Monday, December 21, 2015

The Comfort of the Emerald Green Velvet Dress

When I graduated from high school I was clueless as to what I wanted to do. My mother insisted I enroll in a local college for girls run by nuns. It was small. I could live at home while I figured it out. I didn't want to go there but I finally took the step. I was tired of my mother asking, "What are you going to do?"
Turned out it wasn't so bad. There were lots of interesting girls there from all over the place. I never liked high school but soon discovered this was different. Since I lived at home and since I had an older brother who drove a little TR3 and often came and picked me up, I was quite popular. Many of my new found friends took turns staying at my house when weekends rolled around. And some of those weekends included 'Mixers' with fraternities in colleges nearby. This was really lots of fun-especially one Mixer. That's when I met a guy from Niagara Falls. He was quite possibly the cutest guy in the place. He asked me to dance. Not once. Not twice but four times. When the bus came to take them back to their fraternity house, he asked me for my phone number. The next week he called. This was early October. We were still an item straight up to the Holidays. That's when he asked me to a Christmas Ball. I was told it would be a fancy affair. He was wearing a suit and tie. I prayed he'd splash on some English Leather. I'd grown to love his cologne. Most all the girls loved English Leather. Many of us bought small bottles of the stuff and dabbed a bit on favorite stuffed bears. I dabbed mine on a little stuffed puppy I'd had for years.

The event was to be held at a grand hotel in the downtown of where I lived. It was an amazing hotel with a grand front porch where rocking chairs sat ready for rocking in the summertime. It was gloriously decorated. Chandeliers shimmered, resembling something out of an old Hollywood movie. Because of the hotel's elegance I knew my dress had to be elegant as well. But instead of going shopping, I went to my grandmother and asked her to make me a velvet dress. An emerald green velvet dress. I was confident I'd be wearing the most beautiful dress at the Ball. My grandmother was an accomplished seamstress. She'd sewn all her life. Most times she never used a pattern. She'd just sit down at her Singer sewing machine with her tape measure around her neck and straight pins pinned to her house dress and create. That's what she did after I asked her to make me that dress. She created the most beautiful emerald green velvet dress ever made and it only took one fitting. With long sleeves and darts just right, that dress was the perfect dress. I felt like Cinderella-until the very last dance of the evening.

I knew he was going home for Christmas the next  day so I asked him when he was getting back. That's when he told me he wasn't coming back. He was transferring. Even worse, he told me he had a girl friend back home. And they were serious. I don't remember much after that. Tears tend to cloud your eyes especially when you're gasping for breath. We were with another couple. Looking back I'm sure they knew about the girl friend. No one spoke when we pulled into my driveway. Not even my date. I just opened the car door, slammed it shut and never saw him again. Once in my bedroom in complete despair I threw my little dog smelling of English Leather in the basket. I curled up in bed still wearing my emerald green velvet dress and cried. I sobbed so hard that my mother heard me. Peeking in my bedroom, she whispered, "You looked beautiful tonight in that emerald green velvet dress."
After she shut the door, I realized she was saying so much more. I fell asleep in the comfort of that emerald green velvet dress.
Looking back-I can remember every detail of that dress. But I can't even remember that guy's name.


  1. What a sad tale. It's so hard to have our hearts broken but am so glad you got over him to the point where you've forgotten his name! Have a very Merry Christmas.

    1. Very hard to have our hearts broken. Merry Christmas!