I couldn’t sit. I was too zippy, so I ignored the stools provided and just leaned on the high counter staring out the window fully alert and holding onto my hot chocolate for dear life. I’ve never done anything like this before, but here I was at Tim Horton’s after having contacted a perfect stranger, anxiously waiting for them to arrive to complete the transaction. Looking around the bustling famous franchise, nobody seemed to suspect what I was about to do; I couldn’t believe it myself. Yet here I was, in Kitchener after driving an hour and a half surviving the wicked 401 traffic flirting with the option of bolting while stress eating a chocolate dip.
Then my cell jumped to life with a text and broke my whirling thoughts, ”I’m pulling up in a gray SUV.”
My blood went cold and I felt my fight or flight response go into hyper aware and protective mode, after all this was my first time, and I didn’t know what to expect. Was I crazy for doing this? I could still just leave, after all, no money had changed hands. I kept reassuring myself that I picked to meet in a public place that police officers frequent for a reason. I wasn’t going to turn back now.
I saw the vehicle pull into the Tim Horton’s parking lot that was buzzing with the after work rush hour crowd desperate for a caffeine fix and carrying my first ever purchase from Kijiji.
It was that time of year again, time for the annual Wasaga Dance for Miracles and I was fully intending on going overkill with my costume. The theme was Las Vegas, and combined with my secret obsession with vintage wedding dresses, there was no question in my mind that I was going as a bride. Hours scouring Kijiji, Value Villages, and Facebook Marketplace all brought me to this point. The dress had only been worn once in 1988 and was perfectly preserved in its original storage box. The delightful woman who was selling it said that it was just taking up space and was happy to off load it.
As I looked trough the clear window on top of the box I began to get giddy at seeing the explosion of ruffles, protruding pearls, full rosettes and an actual hat veil. I had already tried on countless dresses that had been fitted for the stick figure starved bride and been disappointed, so there was no questions I would need to try it on. The owner was happy to let me bust the dress out of its pristine packaging and told me to feel free to take it inside to the bathroom; but there was no way this massive pile of fabric would be able to be manoeuvred around a wee Horton’s bathroom. Like the good uptight girl scout that I am, I had anticipated this issue and came prepared wearing leggings and tight tank top hidden under my sweater; I was going to try on this tulled delight right there beside the Timmy’s Drive through. In this moment, the fact that I have no pride and very little shame came in quite handy.
Once the dress was on, the backed-up drive through began a chorus of honking horns and hanging out of their windows shouting their congratulations. With animated arms I attempted to explain that I wasn’t actually getting married, but it was a loosing battle. Tossing my hands in the air with surrender I began thanking them all like I had just won the lottery. Why pass up on an opportunity to celebrate? Even though it was an illusion, it was putting smiles on all of our faces and was a heap full of fun.
I began the long drive home with a puffy mother of all tulle dress filling my trunk, and the glow of satisfaction on my face. There was no surprise to me that this woman was a fellow breast cancer survivor, and we spent a great deal of time sharing our experiences while I stood there looking like a pile of swans and the honking continuing around us. She became another soul to add to my ‘glad we strangers connected’ list.
How was my first time you ask? Wasn’t what I expected, but admit it was successful enough that I would be shopping on Kijiji again… maybe next time Royal Doulton china could be involved.