November 8th, 1990
At home, England
“What about this one?” Lorna asked, holding up a pale blue dress.
I shook my head. “Nah.”
“Why not?” She said, more or less forcing the dress into my hand.
“It’s too…too,” I stuttered, fingering the soft fabric. “Too flimsy.”
“Flimsy? It’s no bloody flimsy, it’s silk!” Her voice was so loud that the woman next to us drew daggers in Lorna’s direction, which had no effect whatsoever. “Try it on,” she urged.
“No way, I don’t wear stuff like this.”
“Well it might be time to change that,” she said, grabbing my hand.
“You’re impossible,” I said, following her to the fitting room.
With Lorna a few feet away (thankfully with a door separating us) she yelled, “How long does it take you to toss a frock over your heid?”
In the mirror, I laughed as I adjusted the dress, turning from side to side to see how it looked.
“Time’s up,” she boomed. “I’m coming in!”
“No, wait, wait. I’ll be right out!”
I smoothed down the dress one last time and opened the door.
“Wow!” she exclaimed.
“Do you like it?”
“I love it, you look stunning. What do you think?”
“I like the colour.”
She shook her head dismissively. “How do you feel in it?”
“I don’t usually wear anything so…fitted.”
“Aye, it certainly accentuates your eh,” she cleared her throat and winked. Instinctively, I put my arm across my chest.
“Uff, for goodness sake,” she said, pulling it away. “There’s nothing wrong with letting the puppies oot once in a while. I think you should get it.”
I laughed. “I just don’t know when I’d ever wear it.”
“In a couple of weeks? In California? For Thanksgiving? With your boyfriend? When you meet the family?”
“Oh,” I uttered. “You don’t think it’s too dressy for that?”
“Listen missy, dressy to you is a new pair of jeans. That is perfect for Thanksgiving.” She took a step back and I watched her head go up and down, a pensive look on her face. “I’d wear it with wee kitten heels.”
“I don’t know what those are, so I’m guessing I don’t have any!”
She drew me a look of mock disgust and gestured for me to, “turn around.” Obligingly, I did. “Aye,” she nodded. “Just a wee heel, the dress speaks for itself. You don’t want your future-mammy-in-law thinking you’re a floozie.”
I sighed. “See? That’s why I don’t wear anything like this. Does it look tarty?”
“Nononono, quite the contrary,” she said, furiously shaking her head. “You look angelic.”
I laughed and she continued. “A wee angel that might get a ring for Christmas, especially after David sees you in that.”
“Don’t be so ridiculous.”
“I don’t want to hear you saying the two of you are no getting somewhere.”
“Getting somewhere in your world means a ring!”
“Aye and what’s wrong with that? Don’t you desire,” she breathed in a posh accent, “Something like this?”
I laughed and admired her engagement ring for the umpteenth time. “It really is beautiful.”
“Aye, well Klaus does have his good points.” She winked. “As do I. So, Auntie Lorna’s going to buy you the dress.”
“No way! You’re not! I don’t even know how much it is!”
“You don’t need to,” she said, flashing the price tag in her hand. I tried to grab it but I wasn’t fast enough. “Lorna, I can’t have you doing that. Give me the tag.”
“No and if you keep that up, you’ll be getting skelped.”
I burst out laughing. “I haven’t heard that expression for years and you wouldn’t dare spank me.”
“Don’t put it past me. Now, get in there and sling the dress over so I can pay for it.”
“Yes, madam,” I groaned, closing the fitting room door.
“Next stop, shoes!”