Check this page each week for new information on the swing dance scene in Boston, particularly new class schedules and dancing for the area, as well as the webmaster's weekly "editorial". Changes for the rest of New England will appear on those respective pages. Refer to the Boston dance calendar for updates on individual listings.

Changes to the other state pages are usually not announced; there's just too many of them and typically do not affect the general readership of this site.

October 4, 2015

This Week's News Older News

From the corner booth...

In last week's Soapbox, I wrote about the vendors we used for our wedding. Oh yeah, in case you missed it, Denyce and I got married up at Misselwood in Beverly, MA, last week. By the time you read this, we will have gotten home from a second reception held in Indiana.

I had a rented tux for the wedding in Massachusetts, using a purple bowtie and vest to distinguish me from everyone else in a tux. For Indiana, I used my own tux that I bought 10 million years ago. Yes, it still fit. However, I didn't have the purple bowtie that I liked. Purple seemed to be our color theme.

With great reluctance, we walked into a Men's Warehouse store in Hobart, Indiana. We didn't have a satisfying experience at a similar store in Massachusetts. However, we needed the bowtie and there weren't many options in the area. We managed to talk to someone about getting a purple bowtie and the salesperson showed us a package with a reasonable-looking purple bowtie, necktie AND a vest. While the package was priced at $60, it was marked for clearance at $20. That was less than the rental for the bowtie itself! The vest was an extra-large which I was not. The salesperson called over a seamstress who fitted the vest and then took the time to sew it up so I walked out equipped for the reception.

This highlighted two points:

Adding to the list of things not to say or do at a wedding:

As an addendum to last week's Soapbox, I wanted to mention something that happened at the bridal shop. They had several branches and I'll have to assume that the people at the different shops are going to behave differently, but we encountered one typical sales tactic that was not very nice.

Denyce found her dress at a certain store. The salesperson said that it was the last copy they had in the store and if she didn't buy the dress now and then, she might have to order it and that would take about 6 weeks. Alterations and fitting would take about a month, and that didn't include the cleaning so the timing would be tight. She decided to buy the dress because she really liked it and when I finally saw her in it at the wedding, I thought so too. I thought she looked fabulous. However, she had gone back to the store to get some accessories after the purchase and saw the identical dress (in the same size!) on a manikin so she really hadn't needed to make that decision so quickly. While I understand what the sales people do and why they do it, it doesn't leave a great feeling about the shopping experience. I'm certainly not going to tell everyone to shop there, even though they probably will. The store probably doesn't expect to see the bride again any time soon so they have every incentive to push the dresses out the door before the shopper gets a chance to check out another store.

See you on the dance floor.

Benson Wong

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