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Flair for Fashion

by Martha Powers

A Flair for Fashion

When the Political Ladies' Club suggested a children's fashion show, I should have resigned. Or at least had brains enough not to get involved.

Marianne thought up the idea of the fashion show. Why any of us listened to her is beyond my understanding. What does a woman who has decorated her family room with white wall-to-wall carpet and yellow velvet sofa and lounge chair know about children? Marianne thought the children would be cute. Now, as every grandmother knows, children are seldom cute when asked to perform.

The only time we ever asked Jean to perform, she sang a song that had at least 50 verses and there was no way short of wedging a sock in her mouth to get her to quit. Around the tenth verse she was carried singing from the room and all through dinner we were serenaded by a muffled voice through the heat register.

Boys are different. We tried to restrict Matt from saying anything in front of company. He went strictly for shock value and my heart was not all that strong.

My job for the fashion show was to ride herd on the little stars, making sure they put on the correct outfits and got on stage. The soldier who was in charge of entertainment at Little Big Horn had a better job than mine.

The big day arrived. My horoscope said that my life was being ruined by miniaturization. Everyone's heard of stage mothers, but seeing them in the flesh is something to make the blood run, if not cold, at least tepid.  Worst of all are stage grandmothers.  All of us view our offspring in a rosy light, but try to be fairly realistic about them. Grandmothers are as realistic as a saleswoman who says sleeveless blouses don’t make your upper arms look flabby.

Gretchen's grandmother had assured me that she was a perfect size four. Since then she must have force-fed her because Gretchen and the size four dress had very little in common, I've seen girdles go on easier than that dress. I had the feeling that we would have done better to grease Gretchen down and then try to ooze the dress over her body.

It turned out that Janet gets hives whenever she wears anything with wool in it. Her grandmother led me to believe that the enormous red welts would subside before the show. In the meantime we attempted to hide the majority of bumps with makeup. Little Eddie had a slight accident and we had to find something else for him to wear.

My two adorable grandchildren were to wear matching sailor suits. They thought it was a great joke to switch suits. I did not see the humor since Kevin was a foot taller than Mark. They kept throwing me black looks and reminding me I had promised them five bucks if they participated. If I didn't deliver, Mark assured me, he would tell everyone in the neighborhood my real age.

The children were finally lined up for their grand entrance. Two of the more reliable girls were sent out and they looked adorable. They made it down to the end of the walkway and back to the accompaniment of ahs and ohs.

Little Eddie, whose mother had continued to ply him with water because he felt nauseous, made it to mid-runway before he had another accident.

Janet did well despite the red welts and even Gretchen rolled down the aisle with a real flair for comedy. Kevin and Mark had gotten on the right suits, but at the last minute exchanged hats. Kevin's hat covered his eyes and Mark's squatted on top of his head like a white cupcake.  It was worth five bucks for the pictures that I can blackmail them with later in life.

The fashion show was hailed as a major success. Marianne suggested for the fall fashion show that all the women walk with a dog on a leash. I have just resigned from the club.

Martha Powers is a former humor columnist who left behind the winters of Chicago for the sun and sand of Vero Beach, Florida.  She is the author of eleven published novels.  Martha writes fiction thrillers but finds that killing off the bad guys isn't as much fun as writing for laughs.  She can be reached at:


©2004 Martha Powers for SeniorWomenWeb
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