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From bridesmaid to Train Wreck

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Last week I spent five days in a whirlwind of activity attempting to make myself look beautiful or, at the very least presentable, for a wedding.

It began last Tuesday morning, five days and counting until the BIG DAY. I was the last minute frazzled bridesmaid, flying into Toronto and trying to squeeze months of neglect into a few short days.

I had done my best in the weeks leading up to the wedding to stay on the seat of my mountain bike as much as possible. The scrapes and scabs on my elbows, war wounds from the first Loonie Race, had practically disappeared and, quite naturally, I assumed I was ready.

My mum took one look at me after I got off the plane however and announced that I was far from ready. Apparently there was a lot of work to be done.

My first major task was to actually get fitted for the bridesmaid’s dress. Seems simple enough but even before the fitting I spent hours going in and out of countless shoe stores for a pair of tan-coloured heels, which I will most likely never wear again.

Heels in hand I stepped into the quiet bridal salon to see what this dress, billed as a sage green satin number with ruffles across the chest, actually looked like. It had been the hot topic of conversation for the past year.

At first everything seemed to be going OK. I shuffled the dress over my head, zipped up the back and turned to look in the mirror.

And then there it was, hanging around me like a shiny green tent. And I was the sturdy middle pole holding it aloft.

Before I had time to panic, the seamstress had tucked and pinned and hemmed and cinched, making it at least tolerable for the time being.

True, no amount of pinning and tucking was going to get rid of the ten pounds I had been planning to shed before the wedding but at least I wasn’t on the verge of a breakdown.

The ensuing days were spent primping and preening and coifing and buffing. And to tell you the truth, I don’t think it made that much of a difference on the wedding day.

Here’s a small sample of what went on behind the scenes before we appeared at the church.

The Tan – The tent did absolutely nothing for my pale pasty middle-of-May skin. But right next to the dress shop there was a blinking light advertising the Mystic tan. The Mystic tan is a 60-second spray on tan that makes you feel like you’ve just come back from the tropics. Gone are the sunburns. Gone the peeling skin. Gone the comments about my British blood.

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