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>Red Writing Hood: It was purple.

August 13, 2010

>

This week’s meme is to write an argument in dialogue. Having lost all my brain cells due to lack of sleep and puke-y boys (again, 4am wake up call) I am too tired and un-creative to do anything terribly unique or sophisticated. I decided to pick up where I left off the first week of Red Writing Hood. You can read the first segment here.

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It was purple.

Not eggplant. No, that would have been an improvement.

It was a lurid, vivid purple. Violet.

And it was crushed velvet.

Smothering, I turned away from the mirror only to find her, hands clasped to heart like some vintage heroine, tears in her eyes.

“Oh. Austen,” she breathed.

“It’s perfect! You are breathtaking! Radiant!” She dabbed at her eyes with a tissue already streaked with mascara.

I stared at her, incredulous.

“No.” I said

“What do you mean, no, darling? No what?”
She fidgeted with the bodice, cross-hatched in gold thread.

“No,” I repeated. “No. I won’t. I will not wear this.” I look like a pathetic groupie from the Ren Fair.

“Oh, lovey, you don’t! You are stunning! I promised you Maid Marion and you are!”
She kept fussing with the dress, the hems, the bodice, her hands fluttering.

Perhaps this is what Cinderella felt like when she was being dressed by the birds and mice,
I thought, darkly.

“Mother. Listen to me. “
My voice was low. I was too mortified to be angry.

“Mother, I will not. I will not parade in front of your friends and what’s left of our family in this ridiculous costume. You are making a mockery of me.” My voice was louder now.

“Now, Austen, don’t be unreasonable! I know you don’t like Al, but would could you possibly have against this dress? You are breathtaking!” She held out a matching velvet snood, and the camel’s back was broken.

“Austen, darling,” she held my hand in hers, her frosted pink nails scratching me slightly. “Austen, this isn’t about you.” Now she spoke as if to a crying child. “This is our wedding. Al’s and mine. You should be honored that we’ve asked you to be a part of this! We want you to be there, but we want you to be happy that you are there. Not resentful. I think, sweetheart, that this is really more about your anxiety that mama is marrying again than it is about the dress, now isn’t it?”

She could not longer resist the mirror in front of her, and turned to preen a moment before looking back at me and patting me on the cheek. Her hands were cold.

“No! This has nothing to do with my anxiety, this has everything to do with you making a fool of yourself! I mean, seriously, mother! You are 58 years old with a boob job, silicon in your lips and you plan to parade down that aisle with your fake tan and your enormous hair, fancying that you are 19 again.” In for a penny, I thought, in for a pound.

Sweating, by now, in the heavy fabric and long sleeves, I sat down and pulled the long skirt up over my lap. Just to annoy her further, I didn’t even cross my legs. “You are not 19. You are marrying a loser and this is your fourth wedding. This is not a game, that you do over and over until you win. This is your life. There is no such thing as Prince Charming. You are taking the same vows of lifetime commitment next week that you’ve already taken three previous times. When is enough going to be enough?”

Having had enough, myself, I began tugging at the tiny buttons down my sleeves, strangled by them, knowing now that all that had so long been left unsaid had now been said.

And I could never take it back.

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. August 13, 2010 4:56 pm

    >So sorry your house is being visited by The Barf! It's the worst!But you still did a great job with this. You could totally feel the disgust of the daughter and the desperation of the mother.

  2. August 13, 2010 5:30 pm

    >I like how the mother is being patronizing without listening to her daughter and I love how the daughter finally gets the last word. Nicely done!

  3. August 13, 2010 6:17 pm

    >She said what everyone wanted her to be able to say!

  4. August 13, 2010 7:10 pm

    >Loved the ending – that she knew the relationship was changed forever. You painted the character of the mother, with her fussing and preening very well too I could so see what sort of person she was.

  5. August 13, 2010 9:21 pm

    >Love it! Great job on this. I could easily read more!

  6. August 13, 2010 11:10 pm

    >Eek. Those are some harsh words. Sounds like Austen had been keeping them in for years. Maybe her mother needed to hear them. Great story, I thoroughly enjoyed.

  7. August 13, 2010 11:18 pm

    >Oy! Harsh. Would love to hear what the mother said back. Loved the 'ren faire' line, too funny.

  8. August 14, 2010 12:03 am

    >I loved the ending. I think it ends right where it needs to….leaves the reaction of the mother up to the reader…I bet she was floored and maybe for once silent?

  9. August 14, 2010 2:51 am

    >Great lines. Really cutting. I loved the word snood, it tickled me for some reason. Really well done.

  10. August 14, 2010 2:59 am

    >Sometimes things need to be said to clear the air. Sometimes it takes playing dress up to bring that out. I enjoyed your story!

  11. August 16, 2010 5:21 pm

    >Oh, I like it! I love the little detail of those frosted nails. That says so much about the Mom. I just have an image of her. I love that this is mother-daughter relationship, and it involves clothes and taste. So often, that is just the perfect storm when it comes to words we can't take back.

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