PATSY R. BRUMFIELD: Bride dress shopping hits heart

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

She said “yes” to the dress. What a wonderful moment to cap off a delightful birthday.
Last week, I traveled to New Orleans to visit my daughter, her fiance and Grandpup Bonnie. Ostensibly, it was to allow them to properly observe my 64th birthday.
Not one meal did we prepare, unless you count that bowl of Raisin Bran I had a couple of mornings.
Miss Bon, my daughter’s Cavalier King Charles spaniel and my former ward, was especially surprised and delighted to see me. Apparently, Margaret had forgotten to tell her I was coming, or did Bonnie forget? I can’t remember which.
The weather generally cooperated, if you acknowledge ahead of time that high humidity is a given.
Of course, we ate a lot of great food.
No doubt, the cuisine highlight of the visit was my birthday dinner at “August,” one of famed NOLA chef John Besh’s restaurants just a block off Canal Street.
I had the Trout Pontchartrain topped with fresh crab meat and sauteed chanterelle mushrooms, with a light cream sauce alongside. Margaret had the soft-shell crabs and Chapman had lamb loin correctly pink.
Dessert was ridiculous – I had some moussy chocolate napoleon, crunchy Bavarian chocolate wafer atop and vanilla ice cream on the side, and my two companions had Besh’s famous Banana Pudding, which our waiter noted Southern Living chose as the city’s favorite dessert. I’m saving that for next time.
But the real highlight of the visit was my adventure with Margaret into the world of bridal fashion. Obviously, the kids are planning a wedding next year, but in the bridal world, you’d better get that gown ordered months and months ahead or people will think badly of you.
So we ventured across Lake Pontchartrain to Mandeville, which is a pretty word to me. Margaret had done her homework, and sensible young engineer that she is, told the consultant she wanted to see six dresses, which she’s chosen online.
Thus, the fashion show began. I sat calmly in the mirrored viewing area and waited expectantly while Margaret wrestled with each dress. Ultimately, I knew she’d emerge for inspection after I heard the fabric’s swishing stop.
Each gown was different and we praised and critiqued the various aspects.
My, what a wonderful experience. I was there to support Margaret’s choice, although we wound up agreeing in the end.
We took photos and admired them to be dispatched to a few close folks, especially Chapman’s mom in Boulder, Colo.
Through it all, I was completely surprised at how calm I was, especially after viewing about a zillion episodes of “Say Yes to the Dress,” during which at least one appointment someone bursts into tears. We were almost finished and Margaret appeared in the gown she later chose. In the background, I suddenly realized the Glenn Miller classic “In The Mood” was playing softly. I immediately thought of my dear belated mother, who’d taught me to jitterbug to that tune.
Goodness gracious, I thought, if she could drift into this appointment on any dear song, it would be that one. Of course, I lost it.
When Margaret emerged, she asked, “Is this a Betty moment?” I said I couldn’t talk about it.
Thank goodness for email.
PATSY R. BRUMFIELD writes a Thursday column. Contact her at (662) 678-1596 or

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