Sunday, September 4, 2011

Dressed for Success

by Charlotte Bessette

What was I to do? School started today. The noise coming from the twins upstairs was about to drive me wild. Rags, my cuddly Ragdoll cat, was hiding beneath the kitchen table.

I crouched and stroked his ears. "It's all right. They're not committing any crimes." At least I hoped they weren't. Why wasn't their father dealing with the screeches, I wondered, until I remembered that he had left early to drive to Cleveland for a wine seminar.

As I rose and tended to the twins' breakfast, Amy raced into the kitchen, her brown hair flying off her frowning face.

"Aunt Charlotte." She plucked at the checkered blouse she had donned. "I hate it. It's too tight."

It wasn't. It looked adorable.

"Why did we buy it?" she asked.

"Because you claimed it was perfect." Last week we had gone on a shopping spree to find three new outfits for school. The checkered shirt with the A-line turquoise skirt had been Amy's favorite.

"But it's not."

Clair waltzed into the kitchen while slipping on a purple headband that matched her ruffled sweater and skirt combo. "Don't mind her. She's just trying to dress for success."

"I am not."

"Are, too. She just found out that Tommy hates the color turquoise."

"I did not."

"Did so."

I eyed them both. "And exactly how did you find that out this early in the morning?"

"The computer was on in Daddy's room," Clair said.

"So I did a bit of detecting, like you," Amy added.

I blanched. I was a cheese monger not a detective. And yet here were my nieces--who weren't really my nieces, but that's another story--referring to me as a snoop.

"And Tommy was online and he said his favorite color is green," Amy went on. "Can you imagine? Green? I look horrible in green."

"You look lovely in turquoise. I'll be he changes his mind when he sees you."


"No, she's just making it up," Clair said in a snarky but cute tone.

"Sit down and eat," I said. I had prepared a hearty meal of pineapple and ham quiche, fruit salad, and milk. The girls needed good nutrition if they were going to focus on schoolwork. The first day of the year was always the most distracting. So many friends to see, so many teachers to get used to.

And now boys? They were too young. They were barely nine years old. Boys?

They gobbled their food and hurried with their backpacks to the foyer. My pal Meredith was chauffeuring them to school. She had been their teacher last year. Now she was the love of my cousin's life.

"Bye, Aunt Charlotte," the girls screamed as they tore out the front door.

"Be brilliant," I yelled back from the front porch.

"You, too," they said.

As the car pulled away from the curb, I assessed my own attire. Was I dressed for success? Beige trousers, beige blouse, blonde hair. I looked a little, um, neutral. It was time for a switch. I pictured more red in my future. Something hot, flirty, and packed with energy. Even a detective...I mean cheese monger...needs to feel inspired and energized to face the day, right?

What do you wear when you dress for success? What do your kids wear?

PS. If you want the recipe for the quiche, here's a QUICHE RECIPE LINK.

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  1. Ha! Dressing for success is something I know exactly NOTHING about. In Texas it was jeans, boots, and tees. My Texas flag shirt or other western style for dress up. Although in Texas, come to think of it, that IS dressing for success! Here in Illinois, where wearing Western wear (alliteration much??) gets you funny looks, it's mainly mom jeans and tees or sweatshirts. What I WANT to wear, though? Oh all the flirty, frilly, lacy, ruffly things (that look awful on me, LOL). But I think I need to find a few girly-girl outfits for those times when I get the wardrobe blahs, just like you. Wish that type of thing was more practical though - I'm the type that can't even keep nail polish on, because I USE my hands, LOL.

  2. Suits, but ranging in color from black, navy, pink, to red. Still, tailored slacks and shirt sound fine. Maybe you just need jewelry or scarves.

  3. What Liz said, suits with lace camisole, nice slacks and tops.

  4. Shel, I'm like you. I can never keep the nail polish on. I'm always working with my hands. And I too wish I could wear the frilly, lacy things, but they just do not suit me. I'm a sensible girl with a sensible wardrobe. Hmmm, should I be daring?

    Liz V. and Dru, a little jewelry, I like that. A lace camisole, a little bling. :)

    Yes, this is all good. Now back to the twins...

  5. Whatever makes you feel smashing. If you're feeling great about yourself, you'll succeed.
    I think red sounds great for you, Charlotte.

  6. I'll read this one just to meet the Ragdoll cat. Love them!!!

  7. If success means being comfy and happy, hooray for jeans, t-shirts (preferably red), sweatshirts, and running shoes!

  8. Every woman simply *must* have a signature color -- but not robin's egg blue -- that belongs to me.

    ~ Natasha

  9. Erika and Janet, you're right. Comfort is important.
    PJ, rags can't way to meet you, too.
    Natasha, I am not a blue person, so you can have robin's egg blue all to yourself. Btw, I hear you and Sophie have a new adventure! I can't wait to read it.
    ~ Charlotte