Dressing Up

A lot of people enjoy “dressing up”. I celebrate, and even envy, their joy. I would make a lousy princess; no fairy wings and crinolines for me.

We are attending a party this weekend. It is at an upscale establishment. People will be dressed up. I cannot wear my usual old and tattered and functional and comfortable garb. I need to “dress up”, if only out of respect for the lovely people who are hosting the event.

I used to enjoy dressing according to my own taste. That was when I lived in Toronto, where flamboyant choices were not only accepted, they were often appreciated. Where we live now, in the Malibu of the north, there are strict codes for acceptable “alternative” personal presentations, and these are usually costly, and formulaic. It would take a lot of legwork to create inexpensive duplications. And quite frankly, they aren’t very imaginative, or even very appealing, in my view. However, the cost, and my lack of inspiration, prevents me from playing along, and fitting in with the local dress code for the “alternative” set.

That leaves me in a quandary. The local “alternative” option is not accessible, which leaves the local “conservative” dress code to deal with. Luckily, in that department, we are not considered affluent, so expectations for us are “low”.

I spent the day searching through the closet for something nondescript to wear. Something I could wear with my one pair of decent shoes. I think I’ve got it, a jacket I purchased thirty years ago, and a pair of black pants. I will add a pair of silver earrings, a smile, my decent shoes, and hope to pass under the wire of the smirking disdain, so often displayed by those accustomed to working for the wealthy.

I will enjoy this event because I respect the people who are hosting it. Their generosity is a source of enjoyment.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 10:00 AM EST Thursday 14 November 2013
Condition: Cloudy
Pressure: 101.5 kPa
Visibility: 16 km
Temperature: 3.7°C
Dewpoint: -1.8°C
Humidity: 67%
Wind: WSW 17 gust 37 km/h


“Literature is my Utopia. Here I am not disenfranchised. No barrier of the senses shuts me out from the sweet, gracious discourses of my book friends. They talk to me without embarrassment or awkwardness.”
Helen Keller (1880 – 1968)

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Joan Lansberry

I bet you look just fine in your 30 year old jacket. (Now that I can fit them, I too wear my old things from the 1990s. 🙂 ) Enjoy your event!


“To thine own self be true.” That’s my motto. Wear what you feel good in. Wear what makes you shine. Not what the dress code says you must wear.

Once I was asked to a weekend/dance thing at a prep school by a beau. It was the usual weekend stuff, a football game, and then at night a ball of sorts. I had no idea what to wear but I was at the age where the song “Blue Velvet” was on my mind and I had always wanted a blue velvet gown, like in the song… My mother bought the royal blue velvet material and whipped me up a stunning but plain long blue velvet gown/dress. Off I went to the ball. My date had told me he thought it was formal.

After the football game that day, in the fog and mist, my hair was all droopy. No hairdriers in those days. I made do but I put on my blue velvet gown and shone! Off we went, Peter in his tux and me in my gown. When we stepped into the ballroom at the school everyone looked… and looked… and looked. The teachers came over to compliment me on my beautiful blue velvet gown. (I wish I had a photo!) They said I was very brave… I couldn’t understand why until I got a good look at the rest of the large crowd of young people. I WAS THE ONLY ONE WITH A FORMAL DRESS ON. All the rest of the young ladies had plain old dresses on… no other boy had a tux on either.

At first I was stunned and worried. But the adults at the ball fawned over us and said we were the best looking couple there, and we had a great time in the end. It was a dream to wear that dress – come true.