Something Bargained, Something Blue

I am at a very elegant wedding in a $5 dress.

Worse, I pulled it from a cardboard box at a flea market over the summer.

I only had four one-dollar bills that day. A swarm of thrifty women were closing in. The drummer boy was out of cash-lending range, tables away, amassing records. But I stuck the dress under one armpit, dug elbow-deep through my hobo bag and came up with exactly 101 cents. It was mine.

From then on, I knew this fancy frock deserved to be treated to something spectacular, like a gorgeous fall wedding in the mountains. What better to accent persimmon polyester?

Well, there is just one thing, sky-high heels in rich teal suede. I found them on the eBay outpost of a sweet boutique. These pumps have a classic shape, so they look natural with the 70s-style loose cap sleeves of my flea market find. But the color gives the entire outfit a modern pop, erasing my self-imaginings as a frugal frump.
Until I get here that is, surrounded by a small army of beautiful bridesmaids in sophisticated, floor sweeping ethereal brown. The bride, my friend Beth, chose an ornate, strapless, full-length gown. She looks marvelous, as if she’s holding court. I wonder if I’m a worthy courtier. I head to the bathroom for a final hair check before we take our seats. On the way in, one of the celestial bridesmaids is leaving. I duck my head, smile lamely and try not to appear tacky. But she stops me and says the only thing I wanted to hear today, besides those beautiful vows of course, “I love your shoes.”


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October 2008
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