Thursday, April 29, 2010

Dress McFugly

In my quest to engage you, I am going to answer another question posed to me on a fairly regular basis by brides in my dressing room:

Do brides ever pick out a dress that looks awful on them?

The answer:yes. I like to think that my involvement in the process causes this to happen far less than the average person shopping on their own or without experienced assistance (see entry titled "Fiorella? Who Are You?" for my resume). But there will always be circumstances in which personal taste is the determining factor in the selection of the gown. For example, someone may love the look of a mermaid gown, the sophistication, the glamour, and they truly envision themselves in that cut. When she tries a mermaid on, she sees a beautiful version of herself and who am I to tell her that her vision, her personal opinion of how she looks, is wrong?

My strategy at this point is usually to point out what I consider to be the problem areas, "and as you look at yourself from the back, how do you like the fit across your derriere?" or to suggest that she consider an alternative, "since you like this one so much, I have another I'd like you to try on that looks very similar, but has a slightly different shape across the thigh area. Then we can see which one you like better!" But if the end result is that the bride is in love with a dress that isn't my idea of perfect on her, my opinion is irrelevant. In my dressing room, the bride reigns supreme.

I always think of two particular brides when I think of choices I would have made differently had I been selecting their gowns myself:

Bride A, let's call her Monique, had a very narrow waist and a very full hip. She had seen a dress that she was unable to try on because it was too small to fit over her hips. I put her into several other dresses with similar fits that had similar details across the hipline designed to draw attention to the body-hugging cut. My opinion was that each of these were wrong for her, drawing attention to exactly where she didn't need it. But she loved them, saying that all the detail in the area distracted from her large hips. She ordered her dream dress and I cringed!

Bride B, let's call her Mary, was a small girl, petite, flat chested, and had a very plain look about her. She had long straight hair, wore no make-up, and was soft spoken. She and her Mom fell in love with an over-the-top beaded halter gown. Halters are often difficult to wear if they aren't filled out by an ample bust, and the effect made her look tiny, like she was wearing someone else's dress. The crowning glory was the enormous sparkling necklace (yes, a beaded halter and a necklace!) earrings, crown, beaded veil and the long gloves. By the end she looked like a 12-year-old dressing up as a bride for halloween. But Mom cried tears of joy, and they loved it. So my less-is-more or pick-one-focal-point philosophy was irrelevant; I wasn't going to have to look at these pictures for the next 50 years!

I understand the reason why so many people ask this question. Every bride is terrified of making the wrong choice. Let me lay your fears to rest and say that the vast majority of brides pick their dress wisely. Listen carefully to what your consultant tells you, choose who accompanies you on this appointmet carefully, and remember that if you love the way you look, that is the most important thing anyway!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Day in the Life

Brides often comment on how awesome my job is, and how much fun I must have. This is true! But if brides think that all we do is stand around and wait for a bride to arrive so that we can play dress up, they are sorely mistaken. Here is a little insight into the daily life of a consultant:

1. Arrive at store. Check schedule. When are my scheduled appointments? Plan my day.
2. Return phone calls while I wait for first appointment. One bride I've never met is looking for a particular dress, another bride of mine wants a swatch of the bridesmaid dress color, and another just wants reassurance that her dress will be arriving soon.
3. First appointment arrives and we look at wedding gowns.
4. After this apointment I write some personal notes to a couple of brides who bought dresses from me and one who is considering it, thanking them for their patronage.
5. Call a bride of mine that has one bridesmaid in her party that has not been sized yet to let her know.
6. Package up and ship a bridesmaid dress to an out-of-town bridesmaid that will be doing her alterations closer to home.
7. Grab a quick lunch.
8. A bride without an appointment arrives to look at wedding gowns. We do.
9. I have an hour before my next appointment, so I head to the dress prep area to press and steam the special order dresses that have arrived. I finish one and start a second before I am needed at the front of the store to answer a customer's questions.
10. Customer asks questions about how long do dresses take, how much do they cost, what is procedure for ordering and other questions. I answer them all, and when she is satisfied I help her make an appointment to come back with her Mom to look at dresses.
11. A returning bride of mine arrives for her scheduled appointment to look at bridesmaid dresses.
12. New merchandise has arrived in the store. I spend a few minutes familiarizing myself with the styles, prices, color options and sizing, since I need to be up-to-date on every dress in the store!
13. Return two calls that came in while I was with other customers: a bride of mine looking for a particular flower girl dress that matches her gown, and a bride that has been referred to me by a bride of mine who has been to a number of stores and hasn't found anything she likes yet. We discuss her likes, figure and budget and make an appointment for the following day.
14. Bridesmaid arrives to be sized for her dress. Good news! She'll be 6 months pregnant at the wedding! We discuss options.
15. Time to clean up the store - straighten the dresses, veils, crowns, jewelry, vacuum and clean the mirrors.
16. Home for the night. We'll do it all again tomorrow...!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Baby Got Back

Today's entry is a tip for all of you brides who decide that, in order to look your best, you should step up a gym routine and begin a workout regimen. Obviously toning your body will help you achieve that photo-ready physique you long for. But did you know that too much exercise, or the wrong kinds of exercise can render your wedding gown too small?

It's true. Many brides have arrived in my dressing room to try on their beautiful gown that has just arrived only to discover that it will not zip. They are stymied because they have been working out with a pesonal trainer and have lost 10 pounds. So I take the bride's measurements around her back and bust and compare to the measurements from the day she ordered her gown only to discover that she has gained an inch or two.

I remember a particular bride who bought a dress from me. When she ordered her gown, the sample size fit perfectly, so I took her measurements and ordered her dress the same size as the sample. About three months later she came in to look at veils and I put her back into the same sample she had had on. It no longer zipped in the back, but rather was open about 2"! We determined that it wasn't her cycle (which can cause a growth thru the bust) but that in her bridal boot camp she was doing too much weight lifting and aerobic activity that had caused growth in her back muscles and an expansion in her lung cavity.

So here are the tips:
1. Do not roly solely on mega-workouts. A sensible diet and excercise routine work best.
2. Less weight and more reps for less muscle bulk.
3. If you are able to engage the use of a trainer, let her know that you need to fit into a dress already ordered. She'll take your measurements and montitor your progress, adjusting as needed if you begin to bulk up across your back.
4. If you have not yet ordered your gown, consider a corset or lace-up back to help adjust for the possibility of small figure changes either direction.

The bride mentioned above had a happy ending. When her dress arrived in the store a few months later, she had adjusted her workout and her back/bust measurement had gone back down. Her dress fit her beautifully!

Remember, people have a tendency to use the number on the scale as their progress marker - it is really your measurements around that matter in how you look and how your beautiful gown fits you!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Truth is Stranger than Fiction

To set the stage, some time ago a bride ordered a dress from my store (not from me, but from another consultant, let's call her Dixie-Mae)for her wedding several months in the future. As the date of her wedding approached, we notified her that her dress had arrived. For several weeks, we heard nothing from her. Eventually she sent a bridesmaid in to pick up her dress for her without ever having tried it on and the bridesmaid told us the following story:

It seems that after the bride (Let's call her Macy)ordered her dress, she then began to suspect that she was pregnant. Not wanting to be significantly pregnant at her wedding, Macy and her fiance decided to move up the wedding date by several months. This necessitated borrowing a used dress from a friend. Anyway, it turned out that she was not pregnant after all, but since deposits had been put down, travel arrangments made by the guests, the couple decided to get married at this new date after all.

Here comes the juicy part:

At the wedding, somehow the newly married Macy managed to "hook-up" with one of the guests. That's right... AT THE WEDDING! Can you imagine flirting with the woman in the white dress? And where did they manage to hide from all the other guests? Needless to say, the new husband found out, left his new wife, their marriage was anulled, and now Macy is engaged to this new guy. Rumor has it that Macy is thrilled to be able to wear the original dress she had fallen in love with. And all this had happened in such a short span of time that the original wedding date she had planned had not yet arrived. The bridesmaid who recounted this story to us was shocked and appalled by Macy's behavior, but had just been asked by Macy to be a bridesmaid again.

Sometimes my store feels like the set for Jerry Springer!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Say "Yes" to a Budget

Is anyone else flummoxed by the budgets on "Say Yes to the Dress"? I mean, it isn't that someone might have a large amout to spend on a wedding gown that surprises me. What gets me is that the consultant (I love Keisha and Diane, they are my faves!)will ask what the budget is, will say "okay" and walk to the stock room. If the bride has said $4000, she comes back with a dress that is $6500, if the bride has said $5000, she'll come back with something around $8000. And she'll always express that she doesn't have anything the bride will like in her price point.

Really? Kleinfeld's, the biggest wedding gown store in the country, that boasts over 12,000 styles in stock? And although we know that they stock dresses in these budget categories, apparently none of them are good enough for the brides. And they don't even mention the price until the bride is in the gown and has fallen in love with it.

This would never happen in my dressing room. According to the National Bridal Council of America, 85% of Americans spend from $500 to $1500 on their wedding gown. The remaining 15% are budget brides and extravangant spenders. And planning a wedding is an expensive endeavor. Every step of the way it is possible to "upgrade" and end up with a far more expensive wedding than you can afford. It is important to have a budget figure in mind, with a top ceiling not to go over as you shop for your gown. Your consultant should ask you your budget and respect it. If it unrealistic, she should tell you upfront what you can likely get for your budget, and how much a dress like you describe costs. It is dirty pool to put a girl in a gown that is more than she can spend. The consultant gambles that the bride will somehow come up with the money, but if the answer is no, the consultant has now ruined future dresses for the bride as she always compares each consecutive one to the gorgeous dress she could not afford.

Interesting tidbit: I have had two brides recently report to me that they attempted to make appointments at Kleinfeld's to look at wedding gowns. They figured, they had about $4000 to spend and they have seen several brides on the show end up with gowns of $2000 or less. But when they were screened by the booking secretary at Kleinfeld's they were told that due to the popularity of the show and their full schedule they were not currently accepting appointments for girls in that price point. Please note that this is heresay, I have not called and checked the accuracy of this policy myself, and I cannot say a bad word about Kleinfeld's; they are famous in the industry for their service excellence.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Props to Mom

Working at a bridal gown salon is a study in Mother-Daughter relationships.

Most of the time shopping for and selecting a wedding gown is a pleasant and exciting experience that Mom and Daughter bond over. They don't always have the exact same idea of what "The Dress" will look like, but they share similar tastes and visions, and they talk back and forth of the pros and cons of each style.

Then there are the more contentious relationships in which arguing is the norm; arguing over price, who will pay, what will the color be, will the shoulders need to be covered, is the dress too sexy, too plain, too formal, too fitted, etc. Some of the arguments are heated, sometimes there are tears.

Sometimes Mom forgets whose wedding it is.

But my point today is that, in my experience, so often it is Mom who is instrumental in finding the dress. That doesn't necessarily mean that Mom sees the dress from across the room and says, "That is the dress that my daughter will wear to get married!", although there have been occasions where this occurs. Usually it is that Mom speaks of certain qualities she thinks would suit her daughter, and that when the consultant listens to Mom, blends it with what the bride is asking for,that is when the magic happens! A dress that wows everyone, makes Mom tear up and makes the bride melt as she sees herself thru her Mom's eyes. And why should we be surprised that Mom had insight into her daughter's perfect gown? After all, she has known her daughter much longer than I, is familiar with her figure, her tastes, and perhaps her history of fashion missteps.

So, although the bride reigns supreme in my dressing room, Mom is my secret weapon in the search for the perfect wedding gown! My message to you brides out there: be true to yourself, but be open to hearing what your Mom has to say.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pet Peeves Part 1

The following is a partial list of Dressing Room pet peeves (in no particular order):

1. Large groups to "help" the bride choose her dress
2. Brides that arrive to just "get ideas" because they are not technically engaged yet
3. Lack of underwear (see post titled "A question of numbers")
4. Lack of money ("I would like a really beaded ball gown with a long train. I want to look like a princess! I can spend $200.")
5. Too many ideas ("I really like simple mermaids with no beading. I also like the tulle ball gowns. Oh, I'd like to try a crumb catcher, and I love one shoulder dresses. Do you have dresses with color in them? Where can I find the gowns that are flowy like a grecian goddess? I want to try that, too.")
6. Moms that keep repeating "How can we get a good idea how this will look on her if it isn't in her size?" even after the consultant and bride explain about sample sizing.
7. Moms that keep repeating "How can we get a good idea how this will look on her if it isn't in her color?" even after the consultant and bride explain about sample colors and other color options.
8. Moms that keep repeating "In my day a bride was supposed to wear white. And why do brides these days wear strapless and let it all hang out? I don't understand why you don't want a train, a bride is supposed to have a train..."
9. Previously married (i.e. experts) bridesmaids who give bad advice ("You are hippy, so you should tay away from A lines and other dresses that are full through the hips. You should definitely get something fitted, it won't add bulk.)
10. People that ask questions, but don't listen to the answers.
11. Groups that don't listen to the bride.
12. Bored children running around the store.
13. Stinky feet
14. Brides that think just because a store carries a particular line, they have every dress available and are mad when they don't have the exact dress they saw online.
15. Customers that don't treat us like professionals.
16. Customers that have an argument in the store about who will be paying for the dress and how much can they spend.
17. Moms that are so confident that everyone wants their opinion that they offer it to the bride in the next dressing room ("If you ask me, honey, that dress makes you look thick in the middle.")
18. Grooms that will not allow a bride to choose her dress without his "approval", even if she wants to suprise him and is paying for it herself.
19. Drunk shoppers
20. Anyone that makes my bride cry.

I am guessing I'll add more to this list at a later date.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Height Matters

Are you getting ready to shop for your wedding gown? Look in any wedding magazine and you'll find an article that tells you what to look for and what to avoid if you fall into several different body shape categories; hourglass, straight, full-busted, pear, plus-sized, thick middle, etc. But there is one consideration that these articles almost always leave out - your height.

Wedding gown samples are a standard length, usually being an appropriate hem for a bride who stands about 5'9" and is planning on wearing a 2" heel. As you look at the dresses in the magazine you should note that the models are usally 6' tall. Today's styles are often featuring a mermaid/trumpet/drop hip silhouette that may not fall on the right spot of someone 5'6" or shorter.

A bride came into my store crying because she had ordered her dress from another store and when it came in and she had it hemmed she HATED it. Why? Because she was about 5' tall and had chosen a style with a hip sash that looked great on the model and when she had tried it on standing on the pedestal. But once it was hemmed it looked like she was all torso and her legs were 18" tall. And now she was looking for another dress at the last minute.

My recommendation if you are petite (in bridal this refers to length only, not wedding gown size)and are drawn to this silhouette is to:

1. Make sure you bring appropriately sized heels to try on gowns

2. If you find a gown you like, step down off a pedestal and turn the hem under and look in the mirror to see if it still looks good on you when it is "hemmed". Do you look like you have a long torso and stumpy legs?

3. Ask about options for having the dresses made to your height. Most designers offer a petite or custom hem option, but this does not usually alter the placement of any seams across the torso. A few manufacturers will offer custom measurements and can create the dress shorter thru the torso as well as the skirt.

4. If you are liking the shape of the gowns, but haven't found one that doesn't make you look like your legs are too short, ask your consultant to recommend a style that doesn't narrow quite so low. We are used to helping brides find the right shape - let us show you your options!

If you are very petite, but you like fitted, look for an empire seamed dress that is cut close to the body.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Wedding Karma

Let's talk about the dirty little secret of the wedding gown industry: getting used.

I understand that budgets are tighter than ever for brides, the cost of having a wedding has shot up (some estimates put it over $30,000 on average for the majority of the country) while incomes have been lost or remained stagnant due to the sluggish economy. This has caused brides to look for ways to cut costs.

There are ways that are good, ethical ways to cut your budget that can be invisible to your guests and can leave you feeling like you have harmed no one in your search for the perfect wedding. There are entire volumes written on the subject.

Then there are ways to "cheat" and basically get something you are not paying for. For example, when someone chooses to buy a dress at a brick and mortar wedding gown salon, they are paying for not only the gown, but also a press/steam of the garment as well as the service of that garment, the priviledge of trying it on, being able to get expert advice regarding size and alterations before selecting, and professional guidance through the process of choosing exactly the right gown for their figure. When someone chooses to buy a gown from an internet provider (this is all assuming that the website is not selling knockoffs) they are saving a few dollars, but are giving up the service and the feeling of confidence that if you have questions or concerns, there is a person you can talk to face to face. If you are a bride with a very tight budget, there are no moral problems at all with you purchasing your gown online (at your own risk!).

But what if you want to save a few dollars on your gown AND get the level of service that a salon will give you? What if you found a gown online that you like, located a store that carries it, and went in to try it on, see if you like it in person, look at the color options, ask about what size you might be, and then, getting your questions answered, decided to go back to your computer and order it online? That doesn't hurt anyone, right?

Wrong. It actually hurts several different parties that you should know about.

First. Bridal consultants are mostly professionals. This is their full time job and they often have families to support. It is also a sales industry and most stores work on commission. Like all sales positions, there is a system in place for determining whose turn it is to take the next customer that arrives. When a consultant waits on a bride, she must then typically wait for all other consultants to wait on a bride before she can have another bride. So when a bride arrives to try on a dress that she has no intentions of purchasing from the store, her deception could cause the consultant to lose an opportunity to wait on a legitimate bride for the rest of the day. So she did not "save" a few dollars, just "stole" the services of the consultant and got the value from her.

Second. The store you are visiting has invested in samples of the dresses to try on (these are not provided free by the manufacturers, but are sold to the stores) and is employing knowledgeable staff to assist you. They have also provided a location for you to visit with a dressing room in which you may try on. These things cost money. Everytime a dress is tried on, it gets dirty from handling, can become damaged and will need replacing. When a "cheating" bride occupies a dressing room and a consultant's time, those are resources not available to another bride. This is a contributing factor to why so many stores have gone out of business - because of the cost of offering services with no remuneration.

Third. This costs other brides. How many weekends have I had to turn away brides because my schedule was full; and how many times afterward have I realized that a bride was just using us and had no intentions of purchasing and she prevented another bride access to a dressing room, consultant, and our dresses? It also costs other brides in the bottom line... stores are finding it necessary to make up for the increased cost of servicing so many brides by adding to their costs somewhere.

None of this is to say that anyone should feel obliged to purchase a gown from a retailer just because they shopped there*, only to suggest that if you know you are not going to purchase there, please don't waste their time. Time is money, and your savings is coming off of their backs. Whether you believe in karma or "what goes around, comes around", it is all a question of why would you want to taint the start to your love affair and married life with cheating and deceipt? Your marriage will hopefully be here for years to come (knock on wood), you need to begin it right!

*You should choose the store from which you purchase because of their selection, level of service, stability, convenience and your feeling of confidence with them. Your consultant expects to work hard to gain your confidence. If you end up feeling more confident and comfortable with a different store, she understands. As long as she had the opportunity to present her offerings to you and you were open to receiving them.

NOTE: Out of necessity, stores have become adept at identifying who is using their services. Be warned that if you decide to go this route, you may find it impossible to get an appointment at the store that found you out, and even at other stores in the area in their network. Do you really want to be blackballed?

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Question of Numbers

I would assume that most people are aware that wedding gown stores purchase their samples from the manufacturers, and because they would rather have a greater variety, they will tend to purchase 15 different dress samples instead of purchasing multiples, like 3 different colors/sizes of 5 dresses. That being said, if there is a popular dress, let's take Fiorella for example, and there is only one in the store, is likely to be tried on 50 times a week or more, depending on the size of your store. And assuming that this dress is popular, the likelihood of it remaining available and not discontinued for several years is high.

Let's also assume that most brides looking for a wedding gown follow the industry standard and make an appointment to try on gowns (not stopping by a store on a whim. You'll see my point in a minute.)

So if a popular dress is tried on 50 times a week

and is on the racks for two years (104 weeks)

that means the same garment has been tried on 5200 times.

Knowing that, why would a bride show up for her appointment with intentions of trying on gowns that have been worn by many, and will continue to be tried on henceforth without...

wait for it...


It is true, and happens all the time. As is standard across the country, there are health code regulations that disallow the trying on of clothing without underwear. Yet time after time, brides will stand in my dressing room getting ready to try on dresses and will tell me that they would rather not be assisted in and out of the gowns because they are not wearing underwear! In my dressing room I do not allow self-service, so I am able to prevent this. But just last week a bride told me I was the first store of the three she had previously visited to tell her she could not try on without undergarments. How many dresses had she tried on in her birthday suit?

A happy ending to this story: her Mom and she disappeared into the bathroom, and she reappeared in my dressing room with a baggy but clean pair of granny panties and proceeded to try on gowns. When she found the dress of her dreams, her Mom said she could keep the undies for good luck!

Moral of the story: be wary of any store that does not have someone to help you in and out of the dresses. You never know what brides will do when no one is looking.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


One of the most frequently asked questions brides ask me as I take them in and out of dresses is, "Do you ever get any Bridezillas?" (2nd most popular question, "Do you have a really strong back from lifting all those dresses", yes, and 3rd, "Do you love your job?" big yes, 4th, "Do people ever pick gowns that look awful on them?" oh heavens yes.) My stock answer is that, no, we don't get bridezillas, I love my brides and we get along well and I get invited to weddings all the time. Although this answer is 99% accurate, I do become attached to my brides and have been invited to weddings, there are the remaining 1%. And even these are not the raving lunatics from the TV reality show Bridezillas. They are mostly stressed out women, tapped out for money, being pulled in too many directions by fiances, Moms and In-Laws. They have taken on too much and are often buying a house at the same time as planning their wedding, finishing grad school and trying to be Martha Stewart all at the same time. This is a recipe for our version of the Bridezilla, whom I think of as the "Unreasonable Bride". Case in point:

Bride: "I am unhappy with my dress. It is the wrong size."
Me: "I'm sorry, but how do you mean?"
Bride: "My dress is a size 10 and I wear a size 6."
Me: "Oh, I see. Remember that the sizing on bridal gowns is not the same as standard American sizing."
Bride: "But I have never worn a size 10."
Me: "Do you remember when you bought the dress? You bought the sample off the floor, and even got a discount on it. And the dress fit you beautifully then, that's why you decided to go with the sample instead of ordering a new one at full price."
Bride: "My Aunt is doing my alterations and said the tag on the inside says it is a 10 and that the dress is too big for me and I should be compensated."
Me: "It is a 10, most samples from that company are, and if you have lost a little weight and it is roomy, it can be easily taken in through the sides. Would you like our seamstress to do it for you?"
Bride: "But I don't want it, it is a size 10."
Me: "I would have been happy to order you a new one in your size, but your wedding is in only 2 weeks. I wish you had expressed your concerns to me about the size when you took the gown home months ago, then I would have had more options how to help you."
Bride: "But I didn't know you were selling me a size 10."

Yes, this is a real conversation I had with a real bride who then went on to post a review on the internet claiming that I had "ordered" her the wrong size gown, giving the impression that I had taken her measurements badly and was incompetent. She never mentioned in her post that she purchased a sample gown at a discount off the floor.

I went home that night and had a glass of wine.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Fiorella? Who are you?

Let me first tell you this straight out: my name is NOT Fiorella. I cannot use my real name, because I am going to share real stories of brides in the elusive search for the perfect wedding gown. I will not use my name, or theirs. Some of my stories are funny, others are maddening, still others are heartwarming and sweet. But I will share them all and do not want to compromise either their identities, or the bridal salon for which I work. The brides you will be hearing about are like you and me; they do not have the budgets of the Kleinfeld brides on "Say Yes to the Dress", nor are they your average bargain-hunter, wedding dress warehouse brides. They are simply brides who have wedding gown budgets between $600 and $1600, who want to look and feel beautiful on their wedding day.

Those of you who have looked at wedding gowns recently may chuckle at my name choice. Fiorella is the name Maggie Sottero has given to a gown, a one shoulder, body-hugging number that I have adored since the moment I laid eyes on it. And, yes, consultants do get to try on the dresses when there are no brides in the store! But I'll get to that.

I have been in the wedding business in a number of different ways for about 15 years. I am old enough to have been around the block a few times, but young enough to still be fresh and not convinced that a.)wedding gowns must be white, b.) bouquets must be white and c.) all weddings must contain a cake cutting/first dance/father-daughter dance/mother-son dance/bouquet toss/garter ceremony/last dance. Every couple has his and her own style, and I am a firm believer in not putting ANYONE into a box.

This blog will be filled with personal experiences, tips as you look for your wedding gown, and maybe even some inside information that consultants are privy to. I will consider opening my blog up to comments and questions at some point, but am going to hold off for now until I gather more information regarding how secure my identity will be. Enjoy reading! I hope you laugh, smile and clench your fists in frustration in all the right spots!