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Free chocolate helps the Bridal Faire go down

January 30th, 2010 Posted in Opinion

By Jess Allen

It’s every girl’s dream come true. But not mine. For me, it was a walking nightmare, very close to what I consider Hell must be like. My stomach clenched in the queasy way it does when something horrible is about to happen. My chest tightened with anxiety as I had to look at yet another white dress and banquette of flowers.

But all around me were crowds of young women who thought this was the beginning of their storybook fairytale.

I’m not going to lie. I did like two things about the Bridal Faire, which filled the Taggart Student Center at USU every semester—the tuxedoed male models and the food were scrumptious.

The event is colossal. It’s huge, with people and booths and displays crammed so thick in the Sunburst and International lounges that all you needed to do to get to the next booth was to turn around and be greeted by another smiling face and bowl of chocolates. Oh, was there ever chocolate! sweet milk chocolate that soothed by raw nerves with each bite. For another piece of chocolate I could have listened to their spiels all day.

The crowd was mostly women, of course, with the occasional groom or father being dragged around like a reluctant dog at the vet.

As fashion show emcee Diane Falslev announced models in gowns and roses, my stomach was flipping at the thought of the prices of the lace and frills the eager, shiny bride wannabe’s would wear only once (we hope).

And for every bride who wants to make her best friends and sisters miserable, there was a parade of bridesmaid dresses.

A violently bright pink, knee-length dress that approached solar intensity might have been the most hurtful to the eyes and psyche, with its black ribbon awkwardly placed between knee and hip. The girl wearing it smiled painfully. As someone who fears her sister sticking her in something similarly hideous, I winced for and with her.

But then the gods smiled, and the bridesmaids were blessedly replaced by . . . Men! Men dressed smartly, men dressed well, and men with a mischievous sense of fun that hung in the air after they exited the catwalk, dispelling the previous sweetness of flowers.

Famished, I then checked out the free food offered by USU Catering in the Sky Room.

Piling a plate with domestic and exotic cheeses, pastries with suspicious looking toppings and with an even odder smell, and delicate thimble-sized cups of chocolate molds filled with mousse, I sat and then wondered if I was sophisticated enough to eat it.

But doubts fled when a suspicious-looking curry chicken salad in a puffy pastry entered my mouth. Lesson learned: the weirdest looking food on buffet tables always tastes the best.

Reinforced, I went back to the sea of booths and estrogen to talk to all the brides-to-be, all of whom were manically hurrying as if the wedding was tomorrow.

But in the midst of all that frenzy and yearning and joy, I couldn’t help remember my siblings’ wedding days, and a ghost of dread rose up in me.

Memories of my parents discussing in angry tones what things would cost, who was to sit next to whom, and the stressed-out bride and groom fretting and making everyone’s life hell.

It’s a pity my mother has threatened my life if I elope. I really would just like to save the money and spend it on exotic honeymoon.

But one thing was certain as I finally escaped the Bridal Faire. I wish I had eaten more free chocolate.


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