She was a king’s daughter, and most beautiful

My mother is the ONLY person in the country who didn’t like the First Lady’s dress. Or her inauguration ballgown.

But then my mother is a VERY tailored personality. Nancy Reagan she admired. Let alone the fact that Nancy has never been larger than a size six! And Jackie Kennedy met with her approval, of course. Even the well-tailored Hillary Clinton. But frills–no. Bows–never. And as for Aretha’s hat . . . well, let’s not even Go There. (Although I thought it was righteous. I can’t wear hats because I have a fat square face and wear glasses. People in stores have actually burst into laughter when I have tried on hats. No lie. I look like a hobbit who got squashed in a car compactor. However, I admire people who CAN carry off such a hat.)

Back in the day, Gunne Sax were *The* Dresses to wear to school dances. Gunne Sax, despite the homonym (gunnysacks!), were the early designs of Jessica McClintock. They were flowy and printed-cottony, with princess seams and flounces, all gauzy and old-timey, and they were The Thing to wear in the 1970s. I remember for one of my first school dances I had finally gotten away with a somewhat “in” dress: it was a spaghetti-strapped ankle-length cotton dress printed with big red cabbage roses and leaves on black, and the top was held up by the smocking–it was a tube of smocking with a long dirndl skirt that ended just above the feet with a flounce. (My grandmother sewed on the plain black silk cord straps because she was so afraid my dress would move South over the evening.) And at the waist was a wide, wide black silk ribbon (four inches wide!) tied in a big honkin’ bow.

Yeah, I know–I looked fat. Even though back then I was a size 10/12 (12 on top because of the ta-tas that helped hold up that dress.) However, THAT WAS THE DRESS FOR ME. And after much crying, begging, and whining, I managed to get my mother to buy it and let me take it home to wear. When Tim showed up at the door with the gardenia corsage, he broke into smiles, probably because he had figured I’d end up wearing something very plain . . . or because that dress showed quite a bit of cleavage. Anyway, I was really proud in that dress, no matter how I looked (or how I might’ve looked better in a simple black sheath, yadda yadda).

If I still had the dress and could fit into it, I would wear it. It was that rockin’. The way it makes you feel–that counts, too. It shows.

And that’s why I said, “I think her dress is just fine.”

Sure . . . someone tall and skinny like that could wear all kinds of elegant stuff. Little tailored suits. But what if that doesn’t fit her personality?!

All the channels say that she’s gonna be the stylesetter for the next four years, so watch out. This means that I will be able to find nothing that flatters me in the stores, but no matter . . . I’ve got too much stuff already. Here’s hoping that the new styles flatter at least some of y’all, though. Because I can already see ’em coming!


Author: shalanna

Shalanna: rhymes with "Madonna" and "I wanna," and is not a soundalike with "Hosanna" or "Sha-Na-Na." Aging hippie with long hair, husband, elderly mother, and yappy Pomeranian. I've been writing since I could hold a crayon. I started with fiction, which Mama said was "lying." “Don’t tell stories,” she would admonish, in Southern vernacular. “That's all in your imagination!” When grownups said this, they were not approving. So, shamed, I stopped telling stories for a few years--rather, I stopped letting anyone read them. I'm married to a fellow computer nerd who doesn't really like hearing about writing, but who reads sf/fantasy and understands the creative drive. I'm actually a nonconformist/hippie still wearing bluejeans and drop earrings and the Alice-in-Wonderland hair with headbands and sandals. Favorite flavor is chocolate/orange, favorite color is either Dreamsicle orange (cantaloupe) or bubble-gum pink, favorite musical is either Bye Bye Birdie, Rocky Horror, or The Producers . . . wait, I also love The Music Man. Is this getting way too specific and irrelevant yet? Obvious why I don't sell a ton of flash fiction, isn't it? To define oneself, I always say, it is good to make a list. How about a booklist? Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird Frank and Ernestine Gilbreth, Cheaper by the Dozen C.S.Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (all the Narnia books) J.R.R.Tolkien,The Hobbit/LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy Gail Godwin, The Odd Woman F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby J. D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye (before dismissing it, actually read it) George Orwell, 1984 Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle Donna Tartt, The Secret History Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn James Allen, As A Man Thinketh Mark Winegardner, Elvis Presley Boulevard James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum Winnie-the-Pooh/House at Pooh Corner, A. A. Milne Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie The KJV and NIV Bible (each translation has its glories)

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