Mavis and I went to the wedding of a colleague, held in a Salvation Army Hall. I had been too busy to think about what we would wear – until the day of the wedding. We had to be at the Sally Annie Hall at midday and before hand Mavis had a nine o’clock doctor’s appointment.
On the way to the surgery we discussed what we would wear to the ceremony. Later we would need a different outfit for the evening do.
‘I need something new.’ Mavis tried.
‘You’ve got two lovely dresses you’ve only worn once, wear one of those.’
The dresses are long. Will this be suitable for the church? I wondered. Mavis shared the thought so I suggested perhaps we could look in the little boutique in Tinkle after the doctor’s visit was completed, to find something ‘Smart Casual’.
I found a casual tee-shirt that would hide the muffin top that lurks above the waistline of the only pair of jeans that still fits me. Mavis found a smart little sweater dress that would be perfect. There, smart, and casual!
On the way home Mavis asked, ‘Aren’t you going to wear a dress?’
I don’t have one that fits but I do have a couple of Spanish style skirts and I wondered if one of those might do. We got home and I went straight to the wardrobe. I put on a black skirt with rows of frills (it’s better than it sounds), with some high heeled grey boots. The bottom bit didn’t look to bad, but the muffin top still reached out to attract the eye of anyone who cared to look. I put on a matching top and went to look in the full length mirror.
‘that looks OK.’ Mavis told me.
‘It looks terrible,’ retorted I.
The new top caught my eye. Loose, kind of hand-made and ethnic looking. I could add beads and lots of jangly jewellery. I put it on and relief flooded over me. It looked quite nice.
Mavis entered. ‘That looks terrible.’ she announced, ‘Try it with a belt.
‘No, it still looks weird.’
‘I thought it was quite nice.’
‘Well it’s not.’ Having pronounced judgement Mavis departed leaving me torn between accepting the advice of a 14-year-old and being my own woman. In the end I decided that having my daughter muttering at me for the whole service about the paucity of my taste was not worth the hassle. Time was running out and the bedroom was beginning to look like a market stall. I found another loose top and pulled it in with a belt. It would have to do. I added jewellery and make-up and stalked out of my room and onto the landing, daring Mavis to make some negative judgement.
‘Actually you don’t look too bad in that.’ She sounded surprised.
I feel I must take this as a compliment, it’s probably the best I’ll ever get.