How My Friend's Canceled Wedding Saved A Cab Driver's Ass

My friend won't be getting married next weekend, so, in my last act as bridesmaid, I used her dress to weasel my way out of a sticky situation.

May 24, 2011 at 11:02am | Leave a comment

My good friend was supposed to get married this coming weekend. But for many, shall we say, very legitimate reasons, she called off the engagement in November. She's doing great, but there was just one little piece of unfinished business: She'd already bought the dress and it needed to be picked up.

The thought of it made her understandably sad, so on Friday I offered to do the dirty work. When we were roommates she courageously picked up (and sometimes murdered) and disposed of mice for me; this was the least I could do for her.

I arrived at Kleinfeld, the wedding emporium featured in "Say Yes To The Dress," where you need an appointment just to pick up a dress. When they brought it out to me, away went any illusions of taking the subway home. They had stuffed what was otherwise a very understated, elegant dress, and it was so big it could basically stand on its own.

So Dress and I walked to 7th Avenue, where I stood on the corner holding this enormous garment bag over my head with the most pathetic expression I could muster for about 20 minutes as all the off-duty cabs (which is to say ALL the cabs at 4:30 pm) sped past me.  Some slowed down to ask where I was going, to which I meekly mouthed "Brooklyn" before they sped off. That scenario repeated itself about 11-12 times.

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Finally a smiling young driver pulled over and when I shouted (at this point with a tough Brooklyn accent, for some reason) "BROOKLYN!!!" he told me to hop in. 

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In the car, he asked what was sitting there next to me, so I broke down and told him the whole story. He was very sorry for my friend, but agreed it's way better to cancel a wedding than have an unhappy marriage. Then we talked about life, love and relationships and he told me about his girlfriend of four years who is very ready to marry and whom he's fairly sure he wants to marry. He also asked how much my friend's dress cost. He was maybe 22.

Anyway, after taking the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, we went through the toll lane. He got the EZ-Pass green light, but the barricade didn't open and he'd looked down to put the Pass away, so bam, we smashed it. Not off its hinges, but it wasn't a great situation. Two policemen scurried over, took his EZ-Pass and started yelling at him to drive up and pull over. 

After following orders, I had a quick flash of MacGyver-y inspiration. I ran it by the cab driver and he was totally into it.

When the cop finally came over, the driver tried to explain, but the cop kept saying cop-like things like "I'll do the talking!" So the driver lowered my window in the back and I said "Excuse me, officer. He was just trying to get me home because, well, I'm getting married tonight," and gestured to the dress. He softened a bit and said "Well, he could have hit someone in that toll lane. There's more pedestrian traffic than you'd think." "OK, but can you let him off easy? I don't want to have bad luck tonight," I said, wincing, like a nervous would-be bride. The officer turned back to to the cab driver and said "Do you have any points on your license?" "No." "Do you want any?" "No." "Okay, then drive more safely" and walked away.

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And we were on our way! The driver told me the EZ-Pass was for his personal car, so he would have gotten about three tickets. He was very happy.

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And so was I! 

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So I'm pretty certain of two things: My friend's dress now has really good karma, and I'm going straight to hell for lying to a law enforcement official. But it's worth it, because that's what bridesmaids are for.