Off the Rack: A post about listening


“Effective questioning brings insight, which fuels curiosity, which cultivates wisdom.” Chip Bell

Two hours and nearly 15 strapless dresses later, the choice for our daughter’s wedding dress narrowed to two at the first bridal shop we visited.

The extra cost beyond the original $900 would be to have the dress hemmed, fitted, and straps added.

We had enough time to eat lunch before the second and final appointment where our daughter decided to skip trying on anything. Along the way from the first shop to the restaurant, I noticed a boutique not on our itinerary.

We decided we’d make a quick stop there on our way back to order her dress.

Before our daughter got out of the car, she said, “I’m tired of trying on. Let’s just look at bridesmaid dresses and head back to the first place.”

Missy, our salesperson, asked if she could help. I’m not sure why, but I said, “Sure, we’re looking for wedding dresses.”

Our daughter was in the dressing room with four bridal gowns before she and Missy finished their five minute conversation. The fourth wedding dress Missy zipped up was the only one of the day to deserve,

“Oh, Kelly. That’s it.”

It was unbelievable, especially since when Missy said, “Ordering is a nightmare. We’ll find her something here,” I thought, “Yeah, I’m sure you will. In the smallest shop with the least inventory, we’ll walk out with a dress off the rack. And you close in 45 minutes.”

The size four diamond white chiffon dress with no beads, no ruffles, no train, and one shoulder strap, just like our daughter described, fit her perfectly.

Her dad paid for the dress priced at half the cost of the one we planned to order, the one that wasn’t perfect at all.

“You just have to listen. I can usually figure out what a bride wants by the third or fourth gown,” said Missy. 

How are your listening skills? How are mine? Not like Missy’s, but I want them to be.

WRite wHere I’m supposed to be – May we all be blessed to have a listener and to be a listener like Missy at those moments when being heard matters.


6 responses »

    • It was such a wonderful day since it ended with a dress. Looking back, we realized the saleslady at the first place dressed Kelly in what she liked … not what Kelly had asked for. Interesting lesson!

  1. Kim, I remember so well the day we went to look for wedding dresses for our daughter. She liked the first one she tried on and would not look anymore. She stepped out into the area where her daddy was sitting and he cried. He said she looked so beautiful and, too, I think he was thinking about giving her away in marriage. That was a beautiful time getting ready and the actual wedding. Blessings on all of you as you prepare. MarySue

    • Hey Mary Sue, Like your husband, John was really emotional that day also. It was so much fun stumbling onto the perfect dress … it was one of those breathtaking moments. Thank you for encouraging thoughts as we plan for their special day. We love her fiance so that makes it all the better. Hugs! Kim

  2. Isn’t it amazing when you just look at the dress and you know it’s the one! Glad the search is over and your daughter has the perfect dress for her. What a wonderful memory for you and your husband as well. Happy planning!

    • It is amazing. We all thought we had found “the one” but something just didn’t feel right until we really found it. I can’t even remember much about the others dresses. Funny, isn’t it? Looking forward to the rest being as special as that day. Thanks!

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