Sunday, September 20, 2009


Yesterday, a friend and I attended a light luncheon and fashion show put on by a local business women's club in the cafeteria of a local hospital. The clothing was provided by Dillard's, modeled by members of the club and their daughters as well as the club's scholarship recipients. The $25 tickets were a gift to my friend from her employer.

Since I've eaten there before, I was confident that the food would be good and the setting pleasant. Sure enough, the round tables with white tablecloths customarily used for banquets awaited us loaded with plates of salad, dessert, and sparkling goblets of iced tea and water at each place.

As expected, the food was delicious, so much better than I've had at other cafeterias, good enough for a decent restaurant. Two grilled steak strips topped the bed of freshly crisp rabbit food punctuated by rather large soft croutons with a bread stick along side. The dessert was a layered, flaky cream pastry topped by strawberries.

The accompanist was a man I had met in a local music store who had left a long time ago. The last I heard, he was the music minister for a local church. David joked with us as we were deciding where to sit saying that we'd have to pay him $2 for the privilege of sitting at the table closest to him.

The fashion show opened with a mother-daughter pair of unmatched black and white coats. The busy print on the mother's coat was large enough to tell it was houndstooth and small enough to be an instant headache. The black and white houndstooth on the girl's coat was larger and a relief to see but still too small to look good.

With that start, I was not eager to see the rest of the show.

As it turned out, the fashion show was a mixed bag leading me to hope that whoever put the show together isn't making fashion her career.

Some of the outfits were fine but the descriptions inappropriate. For example, a lovely pine green dress was described as emerald. Another dress, totally unsuitable for the office, modeled with stiletto-heeled, thigh-high leather boots was described as an outfit for the professional.

I leaned to my friend, "Professional what?"

What got to me were the separates that came across as totally uncoordinated and downright ugly. For example, while gray is a neutral, supposedly going with anything, gray slacks that were definitely cool in color temperature were topped with a print blouse and short jacket in light olive green, soft gold, rust, and other colors on the warm side of the color wheel resulting in the model looking like she was chopped in half at the waist. All I could think was, "Ugh." Why weren't warm neutrals such as khaki, tan, or brown used for the pants instead? Best, in my opinion, would have been pants in a darker olive.

Pleasantly surprising were the shoes that ranged from fun black and white lace-up tennies to slip-ons to boots to platforms with those really high "hooker" heels you just know that no woman will be able to stand or walk in comfortably for very long.

Between the categories of casual, business, party, and evening wear were dance performances by a group of teen girls. Seeing movements that were rather listless and sloppy except for their high kicks, I told myself not to be hard on their performance since they were only teens. Then, I remembered that high school cheerleaders look alive and put snap into their routines. Why can't these girls? Of course, they can. It must be their choreographer or whoever was coaching their practices who let them look like slouches.

The best part was the door prizes. I almost always pray to win something I can use and when I heard, "Now, we have a $50 gift certificate to [a local flower shop]..."

I thought, "No, Lord. I don't want that."

The name was pulled and the announcer finished, "...goes to Gail Rhea."

Puzzled, I accepted it with thanks and pondered how I might use it before its expiration date as the rest of the door prizes were awarded.

Near the end, the lady seated next to my other side won a small green cutting board and paring knife set by Pampered Chef that I instantly coveted. As we stood to leave, I ventured to ask, "By any chance, would you be willing to exchange door prizes with me? That shade of green is my cousin's wife's favorite color and I'd love to be able to give it to her."

I know that my gift certificate was worth much more than her prize, but it isn't always about monetary value, is it?

The real question is whether the set will make it into my cousin's Christmas box or if I'll end up keeping it for myself.

It's the perfect size for traveling.

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