The good news is, I found a dress for the wedding. It's a swishy halter-top number, black with turquoise leaves swirling around on it. Hubby walked in while I was trying it on and it put a big smile on his face, so I think this was a good find :)
But walking out of Macy's with my new purchase under my arm, I couldn't help but admit how unsophisticated most of us are now compared to the women of our mothers' generation. When I get dressed on Saturday night, I'll blow dry my hair the usual way, perhaps with a bit more fluff. I'll put on my normal makeup, albeit with an extra coat of mascara and a slightly darker lip gloss. That's it. There will be no fancy up-do, no gloves or hat, no painstaking application of false lashes to my fluttery lids. Which makes me wonder if maybe there should be? I wonder if going out - to dinner, to weddings, to the movies - wasn't more exciting when our womanly preparations consisted of more than throwing a dress on rather than jeans?
On the back cover of About Alice, author Calvin Trillin's tribute to his wife, there is an amazing picture of the two of them taken in younger days. She looks like a blonde Jackie-O with her beautifully coordinated skirt and jacket, a hat perched carefully atop her shiny mane. It's clear she didn't just pull these items down off a hanger five minutes before and throw them on. And Calvin himself looks quite dashing, decked out in a suit in the days when this was what one wore when joining friends for drinks and dinner. I think I miss those days.
A friend of mine recently threw a birthday party for her husband, and the invitation instructed us to wear our "fancy party clothes." I was surprised by how much we all liked it, standing in ever-shifting groups in our nice duds, talking about all manner of books, ideas, hopes, dreams, and funny things that happened to us on the way to the party. It was like dressing up, dimming the lights, and pouring some wine made us rise to the occasion; those were some of the most interesting discussions I've had in years.
Which got me thinking...if I made my book events next spring a chance to "wear your fancy party clothes," would anybody show up?