A modern day fairy tale? You decide!
One year ago, my brother was getting married to a wonderful girl and I was over the moon! She often referred to my brother as her “Prince Charming.” She and I got along famously and not only that, my dear friend, whom I always have adventures with, became very close to her as well. My friend and I decided that we would help with planning the wedding and finding her the perfect dress! We chose a day and ventured to the nearest bridal store. It was just lovely, the staff served us champagne and we had quite a good time. My future sister in law tried on several dresses until she found one she liked. It was beautiful and by the time she found it, we were a bit tipsy, and fun was had by all. The dress needed some alterations, so the store manager told us there were business cards with highly recommended local seamstresses placed at the front counter. So, my friend picked a card that had some kind of sparkly dust on it and said, “This one looks interesting, her name is Crisabella Fairweather.” I looked at the card and said, “What an odd name but she’s conveniently located right around the corner.”
So my future sister in law purchased the dress and we called the seamstress and she said she was available right away. We then went to her home. Upon arriving, we noticed immediately that it was a very small cottage. Lining the perimeter was a white picket fence and it was surrounded by an array of colorful roses, daisies and petunias. There was a very large oak tree in the front with squirrels and woodpeckers surrounding it. A cute birdhouse hung from one of the limbs and a red cardinal peeped its head out as though it was welcoming us as we walked to the door.
Things got even stranger……..
We knocked and the door opened slowly as we were greeted by a cocker spaniel, there was no sign of any human being! My future sister in law exclaimed to the dog, (which I found odd, but this whole situation was) “We are here to see the seamstress!” The dog barked and turned around and started walking through the house. He turned back at us, to make sure we were following. So we proceeded to follow the dog. He led us to an open sliding glass door and we walked through it to the back yard. What we saw was so unusual that we must take a moment to describe it! The back yard had several large birdbaths filled with bluebirds who were noisily tweeting. Also, There were hens and chickens running amuck. We saw more squirrels and what we think might have been mice scurrying about. The dog continued to turn around as he was leading us. We then walked down a stone pathway to a small thatch roofed cottage which was her workshop. The cottage was painted white with robin’s egg blue trim. She had more flowers lining the workshop and the top of the doorway was arched as if it was part of a fairy tale. We looked uncomfortably at each other, but then she opened the door to greet us. We couldn’t believe our eyes. She was around 4’11”, very long gray hair with flowers strewn throughout it. She was heavily wrinkled and wore a long lace gown and flat pointed slippers. She wore a ring on every finger and smiled as though she knew us since birth. She had bright piercing blue eyes that seemed to twinkle and when she moved glitter fell off her gown. My heart raced as I looked at my friend who had a complete look of shock on her face. The seamstress said, “Hello my darlings, I have been expecting you. I see you’ve met Prince, my dog, he loves to bring guests to my workshop.” We all found this to be very unusual, but she did come highly recommended so we stepped inside. The floor of the workshop was wood and creaked as we walked on it. it was dimly lit and very tiny, which we thought would make it difficult to work in. She got uncomfortably close to our faces when greeting us which made no sense at the moment. She told the bride to change into the dress, but there was no dressing room. So, she uncomfortably slipped into the dress in front of us and in front of a very large uncovered window that faced the street! We looked out the window and there were about 20 small bluebirds flitting about!
As she was changing, my friend as nonchalantly as she could, pointed at a very rusty antiquated foot pedal powered sewing machine. I thought to myself, How can she get this intricate job done with such an old outdated machine? I then looked up and noticed the walls had small shelves with hundreds of different threads, buttons, ribbons, scissors and sewing needles not in any particular order. The entire workshop was in disarray, things were strewn everywhere. Suddenly, she picked up the hem of the dress and held it extremely close to her face as if she was going to smell it! The Bride to be looked at me with wide eyes as I shrugged my shoulders. Crisabella then stated that she merely had to see the beading on the dress and had to hold it 1/2 an inch from her eyes to get a better look. Our mouths were agape, it made no sense. Most of us use reading glasses to see up close. she saw our reaction and said, “Oh fiddle dee dee, I am as blind as a bat, I have to hold things up very closely to see them!” We thought, how effective could a legally blind person be at altering a wedding dress? And with a rusty sewing machine? Who puts the beading on, the bluebirds? None of this made sense, but, we are just 2 middle aged Jewish women, what do we know from this?
Miraculously, she was able to take measurements while squinting and was confident the job could get done in a timely fashion. Unfortunately, the bride was not the best at preparing in advance and the wedding was only 2 1/2 weeks away. We were worried but Crisabella put our minds at ease. As we left, she handed us each a thimble and an apple for the road!
One week passed and we heard nothing from Crisabella. We tried calling but the line was out of service! We thought about stopping by her home, but in the end we decided to not panic yet and gave Crisabella a few more days to get in touch with us.
Four days before the wedding we were nervous wrecks. The catering, the venue, the decorations and the photographer were all taken care of. But we had no idea if there was going to be a dress or not! My future sister in law was starting to truly panic, so we had to make a plan B. Her sister still had her old wedding dress and being that they were the same size, she decided to borrow it. It was not the dress she wanted, but at this point, it would have to do. We called the bridal store to report Crisabella, and they apologized and said they didn’t know who we were talking about!
The wedding day arrived!
My friend and I showed up early to the venue to help the bride get ready. The wedding was to take place on the beach, and we were able to get ready in a lovely beach house on location. We were all excited and the disappointment of the dress debacle for the most part was forgotten.
Twenty minutes before it was time for the ceremony, we heard a knock at the door.
What happened next was unbelievable!
As we opened the door, standing in front of us was Crisabella. She was dressed exactly as she had appeared 2 1/2 weeks ago! In her hands, was the wedding gown, altered and as beautiful as ever. She calmly said, “Did you even doubt me?” Next to her was her dog Prince who seemed to bark a hello to us. Also, on her shoulder, was a tiny blue bird! I looked past her to the driveway and saw no parked vehicle. We were very curious as to how she got there with the dog and the dress and the bird. However, we were even more curious as to how she knew where to find us! We didn’t ask for it, but she added a lovely blue sash to the waist of the gown. We each gave Crisabella a big hug as we were speechless and thrilled beyond words! We briefly turned around to bring the dress inside, and when we looked back, Crisabella, Prince and the bluebird were gone, and all that remained on the threshold was a pile of glitter!