Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Prom Dress 911

I hate to say it, but I barely remember my high school prom.

I didn't have a romantic date. I didn't have a lot of friends who attended. All I remember is riding around in a limo with a boy I barely knew, taking photos with his friends I didn't know, and eating a disturbingly slimy pasta dish at an overpriced restaurant.

The actual dance is foggy to me because I may or may not have spent the entire night in the hotel lounge nursing spiked punch.

The one prom memory I will never forget, however, was my dress.



My dad gave me two stipulations. The dress had to be less than $300 and it could not be "sexy." The latter didn't phase me. Despite a healthy apetite for alcohol and a burgeoning pill problem, I was still fairly innocent. The $300 limit, however, seemed unfair.

Because let's face it, I have always had expensive taste.

I was also determined not to repeat my Homecoming dress experience from the previous year. I had let my mom buy me a turquoise and yellow dress from J.C. Penney for $35 (on sale). It was hideous, but I was desperate to attend the dance. As soon as I entered the darkened gym, I started glowing. And that was when I realized the stupid dress was GLOW IN THE DARK.

A girl never forgets a lesson like that one.

Well, after months of shopping with my father, I was about to give up. We simply could not agree on a prom dress.

Finally, a week before prom, my dad took me to a mall in Cleveland, which was about an hour away. The plan was to look for a dress and grab dinner.

The first store we went was Cache. As soon as we entered the store, I saw it: the most perfect dress I had ever seen. It was my favorite shade of pink and just the right amount of puffiness. It was a dress fit for a princess. But it was $350.

I begged my dad to let me try it on. Maybe if he saw how cute I was in it, he would change his mind about the price!

I entered the tiny little dressing room with the dress and put it on.

It was magic. I looked STUNNING.

I reached for the door handle, to fling open the door so I could showcase the fabulousness...but the door wouldn't open.

I tried opening the door again. Nothing. I twisted it harder. Nothing.

I was stuck in the dressing room.

Normally, I would have crawled underneath the door. I was five feet tall and 93 pounds. Not a big deal.

But the door went all the way to the floor. And the walls and door of the dressing room almost went all the way up to the ceiling.

I started screaming. And all of the sudden, for the first time in my life, I became claustrophobic.

My dad alerted the sales clerks and they were flummoxed. They couldn't open the door and they had no idea how to get me out! They called mall security and those guys didn't know what to do either.

Finally, it was agreed to call the fire department.

I spent 30 minutes alone, hyperventilating in the tiny dressing room, wearing the dress, while all this happened. I was crying. Strangely, more and more people kept crowding around my dressing room, talking loudly and laughing in disbelief. Apparently sales clerks and customers from other stores had heard about my situation and came to witness it for themselves.

Since it was nearing dinner time, my dad came back with some hamburgers and after a few attempts managed to throw a hamburger to me over the giant wall. It was a small comfort in such a stressful environment.

When the firemen came, I could hear them arguing over who was the smallest and thinnest man to be hoisted over the giant walls and lowered into my dressing room.

Before I knew it, a cute 20-something-year-old fireman was being lowered into my dressing room with a harness.

He seemed initially startled at the sight of a tiny brown girl who was stuffing her face with a hamburger between sobs while wearing a giant pink prom gown. But he collected himself gracefully and soon became very charming and even complimented my dress. It was awkward being pushed against him in the tiny dressing room as he used some tools to pick the lock.

When he opened the door, I was greeted by a crowd of dozens of people who started clapping. It was like being a celebrity! I didn't even care that I had crumbs all over my dress and mascara running down my face.

In the end, the store ended up giving me my dress for free. If I had been smarter back then, I would have sued the store for thousands of dollars because of the emotional damage. (I have become extremely claustrophobic since the incident, to the point where I can't even be in elevators).

But at the time, I was happy to simply have the dress I wanted for prom.

Sadly, the dressing room incident was way more exciting than the dance itself.

But dammit, I looked good.



And isn't that all that really matters?

64 comments:

Julie (ROJ) said...

Wow what an awesome story, things like this just happen to you I swear! Also I seriously laughed out loud about the glow in the dark. Holy crap!

Melanie's Randomness said...

WOW. I would have freaked out soo badly!!! I am so happy you got the dress tho for free. I've been stuck in an elevator and it was horrible. It was one of those see through out to the mall ones and I was very high up. It was traumatizing. You look so cute in that pink dress!! I love the curls. At least the fireman was cute! hehe. =)

Kc said...

That is an awesome story, would have been scary at the time!!

Kc

http://a-sparkley-silver-lining.blogspot.com/

Tanvi said...

All said and done you looked SMASHING! :) Love the color on you!

♡ from © tanvii.com

Meri said...

haha- I laughed out loud at the point when your dad threw the hamburger over the top. At least you got the dress somehow, right? And for free, nice!

Alicia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alicia said...

That is easily the most intense shopping story I've ever heard. I went to prom both my junior and senior year. Senior year was amazing and full of adventure in the form of smuggling beer into our hotel room, but junior year... I hated my dress and my boyfriend dumped me THE NIGHT BEFORE THE PROM. I mean, what a-hole does that? At least wait until the day AFTER the prom. I wish I had worn a glow in the dark dress to compensate for the amount of sour apple vodka I drank that night to heal my broken little teenage heart.

Imogen said...

Wow this story was so engaging, I can't believe this happened to you. I would have been so scared and it probably would have had an impact on me for awhile. Despite all of this I am so pleased you got the dress you wanted and you definitely should have got it for free. It is a stunning dress and you look beautiful. It is just the right shade of pink.

Tara said...

love the pink color of ur prom dress , cute curly hair :)

Belly B said...

That right there, is my biggest fear my in life. Whenever I use dressing rooms or public toilets, I always always get a suffocating fear that I might get stuck in there. Bravo for surviving it, getting the dress for free and making me laugh so hard at your amazing story! :)
P.S. Sorry about the glow in the dark dress lol!
<3 Belly B

Megan said...

Ohhhhh my gosh!! You poor poor thing!! I would have been crying, too!! What a funny (now) story to tell, especially since you got the dress for free! It reminds me of my first prom dress! So adorable!!

Kavery said...

That's such a great story but couldn't have been much fun in that room. Howver you look absolutely gorgeous and happy in the dress so it was worth it

Heather Taylor said...

Jennifer that story is cray cray! I have always been so creeped out by dressing rooms with doors that go all the way to the bottom- really now? Though it could have been worse. You could have been undressed in front of the hottie fireman. That would probably happen to me unfortunately lol.

thechyrelgomez said...

The dress reminds me so much of Gwyneth's when she won the oscar and your winning moment is when the 20 something fireman rescued a damsel in distress. :)

Chelsea Lane said...

oh my goodness girl!! I cannot believe this actually happened, that is CRAZY! so glad you are okay! you described this SO WELL <3 you look gorgeous!

xoxo

Josie said...

That is one killer story, Jen -- I get nervous in small spaces too. BUT you got your dress! I went to prom twice; the first time I had only a week's notice and couldn't find a dress to save my life... I ended up borrowing one from a friend. The second time, I was prepared -- AND found one on sale!
xo Josie
www.winksmilestyle.com

Vanilla - notes from my closet said...

That is a great story Jen, I'm sorry that it has caused your claustrophobia...but you do look stunning in that dress :) I kind of wish I had stories like that but sadly I don't :) do you still have the dress?

Love, Vanilla

http://notesfrommycloset.blogspot.com/

Leia said...

You definitely did look awesome! That's a very pretty dress, although I'm sorry to hear about the dressing room incident. I once got locked into a tiny bathroom and I know how stressful it can be!

Leia

Sarah said...

Aww, it must have been horrible! I'm really claustrophobic too. But such a pretty dress
x

Vintage Vixen said...

What a great read. You looked so cute and your hair was so lovely. xxx

Sherin said...

Hey, at least you got the dress. For free no less. That's such a cool story. Makes me feel less bad about getting stuck in a dress, and having the zip pointed out by the cute sales assistant.

Cafe Fashionista said...

Ohmigosh how I wish things like this would happen to me. You seriously have the most exciting life, Jennifer. And the dress? Gorgeous on you! :)

Lee Oliveira said...

What a great story.. You look certainly amazing..
Love the pink dress
Lee x

Shannon said...

hahahahaha - fantastic story. well told.

now I want a hamburger.

Couture Carrie said...

Oh you poor dear!

You look fabulous!

xoxox,
CC

Sick by Trend said...

Beautiful! :D lovely color!

xx

www.sickbytrend.com

FashionJazz said...

What a awesome story babe! I am so happy you got the dress for free in the end :) Happy Monday xx

Audrey Allure said...

You did look absolutely fabulous! Glad they gave you the dress for free; they should've given you an extra dress just for getting stuck! If that happened to me, I'm not sure whether or not I would cry or laugh at myself.

F. said...

OMG what an awesome story, things like this just happen to you!

xoxo F.

Nikki said...

u lukd so stunning....loved the story btw...can I just say u were such a lucky bitch.! :P

MissNeira said...

You looked adorable, so cute you wore pink!

xoxo
Miss Neira

jos xx said...

loved every bit of the story!!! i would have freaked out in that locked room! stunning pics...you're beautiful!

jos xx

The Blonde Duck said...

Oh my gosh! I would have totally freaked out too! But at least you got the dress for free.

My prom dress was pink too--we could have been Twinkies!

drollgirl said...

LOL!!! well i am glad there was a happy ending!!! and this dress is so cute!

p.s. kind of wish you had posted a picture of your homecoming dress as it sounds so AWFUL! lol

Leanna said...

What an amazing story! That's totally crazy that the door got stuck like that... now I'm going to be paranoid about getting stuck in a dressing room... haha

Good thing you got the dress for free, though!

Dahl said...

What a totally gorgeous dress, and you look fabulous in it! Bahaha the dressing room incident sounds crazy. Something similar happened to me once where I couldn't open the door because the handle had FALLEN OFF and I kept pushing but it wouldn't open. Finally I reached my arm over the door and shoved it from the outside, and I was free, but it was pretty traumatizing...

(Fashion.MakeUp.LifeStyle) said...

WOW...girl you looked soo good for your prom!! HOT! such a great story but yes would have been scary at the time too.

Thx for sharing your awesome prom pics!

XoXo
http://fashionmakeuplifestyle.blogspot.com

Christopher said...

You looked adorable! Great story though.

Savvy Gal said...

oh no but you looked adorable.

MariahSmile said...

that sounds like a frickin' movie to me! haha cute fireman gets lowered into dressing room, with distressed cute girl in (free) dress of her dreams, and rescues her! amazing! i would have freaked out too though cause i hate small spaces!

David L Macaulay said...

nice dress, although you do look a bit like that girl on that show my daughter watches all the time, Wizards I think...

Lisa said...

Omgosh this story is so awesome on so many levels. Hahah you look so super cute in Your pretty pink prom dress. I would probably have been super freaked in high school too..haha at least a cute fireman came to rescue you..although probably not one imagines while sobbing and stuffing a half eaten hamburger in their mouth. Hehe.

Ps. The next time I'm in the chanel changing room trying on a tweed jacket I'm going to attempt to "fix" the door so it gets stuck too hahaha

Becky Regina said...

OMG this story should be a part of a movie or something haha! I can't believe that happened to you! It's kinda scary actually. I guess the dress was meant to be yours. Haha. And you really looked stunning in that dress ;)

Samantha said...

First of all, a glow in the dark dress?! Maybe hideous, but I still feel like a glow in the dark dress is pretty cool. Though I might not want to get caught dead in it either, but I feel like that is semi kickass.

Secondly, love Cache! You definitely had good taste! Though it was really sad that no one could figure out how to get you out of the dressing room :o(

ANDDDD most of all, you look too cute!!

Thanks for visiting my blog!! :o)

-Samantha

http://thisfashionista.blogspot.com

Chic 'n Cheap Living said...

That is insane! You should have gotten one of everything in the store!
You did look pretty amazing so that part is awesome at least.

xoxo,
Chic 'n Cheap Living

Katie said...

That is soo sweet of your father to take such an interest in your prom dress. Really, so very sweet.

Courtney Erin said...

Great story!

xoxo ~ Courtney
http://sartorialsidelines.blogspot.com

Bonnie said...

The dress is amazing. I think it was worth the lifetime claustrophobia and emotional damage.
I think this sort of thing would only happen to you.
Or me.
Weird shit seems to happen to both of us.

http://www.glamkittenslitterbox.com/
Twitter: @GlamKitten88

Venus In Virgo said...

Fabulous story! You looked adorable and stunning at the same time. My hair looked like a hot mes in my prom photo, wish it stayed curly like yours. I fixed that google profile glitch, you should see it now XOXO

Olga said...

You looked absolutely stunning!

Venus In Virgo said...

I can't comment on your new post so I'm offering you my condolences her. I'm sorry for your loss sweetie. XOXO

Tights Lover said...

Wow. That is quite a story. Your life sounds so much more interesting than mine...hahaha! I can see why you would've developed claustrophobia, though...

That was a nice dress...it looked amazing on you.

Sorry about your great aunt.

Diego R. Wyatt said...

You looked so adorable! I keep seeing kids around the city doled up for their proms and it's great. It was such a huge deal to my friends and I when I was in high school, but after it was like...it was just a dance where I had to wear a suit and rent a limo. Ahhh...memories lol. I actually went to four proms in high school...glad that's out of my system.

Diego
www.howtozipyourfly.com

Oh to Be a Muse said...

wow, you have the most amazing stories, Jen! so sorry to hear you were stuck in a dressing room, but at least you have another interesting story and a good memory of that cute dress.

i don't remember much about my actual prom either--only that afterward we went to a friend's house and really partied! :)

following you on FB now!

chaoskontrolowany said...

You look so pretty!:)

Fashion Cappuccino said...

OMG, Jennifer! That is an amazing story! Sometimes I imagine being trapped in small room somewhere and it scared me to death! You're so lucky that there were people outside who can hear you and a cute guy saved you, haha! I'm so glad you got the dress for free though and they should give you anything you want in the store for what you went through!

P.S. You can join me for breakfast anytime when we meet up in Paris one day! :-) xoxoxoo

-E- said...

probably the best day of the fireman's week lol.

Mimi said...

that is one awesome prom story to remember! i can only wish i had that kinda story. ;)

<3, Mimi
http://whatmimiwrites.blogspot.com/

Style, She Wrote said...

Love it! So sorry for your loss. Hang in there. xo style, she wrote

JoaNNa said...

omg i couldnt believe something like the dressing room incident happened to you! good thing that you got the dress for free! :p but yea you really could sue them for that.
you looked gorgeous and even now still do! ;)

Roxy Heart said...

Wow what a story! At least you got the dress for free and you did look beautiful!
Thanks for your lovely comment :)
http://www.fashuhneestah.com/

Rachel said...

WOW. What an insane story! I can't believe something like that happened. At least it makes for an interesting story to tell people now, right? Lol.

You looked absolutely gorgeous in your pink dress! It looked perfect on you.

btd. said...

Such an amazing story. Next time I'm going to act claustrophobic so I can get something free. Lol! You do look amazing too!

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