Shopping. A totally. Hateful. Thing. Especially when your boyfriend (no matter whether a real one or not – you are still supposed to please him) is assuring you that everything looks wonderful on you, while you are determined that whatever you try on makes you uglier with every new glance in the mirror.
Mrs. Caroline stood out of the way for a while and let the sweethearts work it out by themselves, but when it proved to be the most hopeless business ever, she threw Ben out of the game, having come to the conclusion that our clothes make no difference to guys as long as we are not naked, and dragged me out in the street, saying:
“I know where we are to go.”
I felt immensely relieved to be in the fresh air again, but my breath was soon taken away when Mrs. Caroline revealed that she was pulling me to her neighbor’s boutique.
“Are you serious?”
“Absolutely, my dear. Lucy E. likes nothing more than seeing someone dressed the way she has wanted it.”
Well, this was the place that made me feel like a farmer’s daughter. But I was encouraged by Mrs. Caroline saying:
“Here you can choose whatever you like. Mrs. E. will be pleased with everything.”
There are rare moments in my life when I am practical. Luckily for Mrs Caroline, such a moment had come. I decided to choose the second cheapest dress seen around. Just not to rob Mrs. Caroline and to deceive Mrs. E., only a harmless bit. Choosing the cheapest dress would have made it obvious I was drawn by financial reasons. I wanted to pay her a compliment for her design, not for setting higher or lower prices. I was delighted to discover that my taste was unanimous with economy. The evening dress both chosen by me and approved by Mrs. Caroline was of dark-purple color, long, straight and simple, with a silver belt on my waist.
When my hair was done, make-up put on and heavy silver earrings completed the image, I appeared before Ben, and he shrugged:
“You look good like you did in every dress I had seen on you.”
Was it a compliment, or did it really look the same to him? Still being in my practical mood, I believed in the latter.
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