Dressing the Part


Last night my husband and I went to the annual church choir dinner, our first. I joined the choir in January, compelled by their amazing sound and contribution to the worship service.

Because I had been invited, as a newcomer, to be interviewed about my book at the dinner—what an opportunity!—I went out and bought a new outfit, a cheery green-and-white sundress with a matching bolero sweater. (In my defense, I must say it was hot the day I shopped and it is June after all.) The only problem was the dress wasn’t available in my size, and the neckline plunged a little too low, so I had to take in the side seams and shorten the straps. Mistake! The waist ended up just beneath the bust, which made me look pregnant, and the dress was now too short, so I had to let out the hem. Still barely covered my knees, but I wore it anyway, thinking others would be in sundresses, too.

Turned out to be a fancy occasion—candles on white linen—with about a hundred guests, most of whom wore some combination of black and white. At least 90% of the women wore longish skirts or slacks, and only four in the entire room sported anything near as bright as my summery ensemble. As if that weren’t enough, the stage was elevated. I wanted to crawl under the table. When the interviewer, who was dressed in a lovely long black skirt and matching sweater, called me up to stand next to her, I felt like Shirley Temple—before she became an ambassador. Arg!

Fortunately, the room was dimly lit, the interviewer didn’t mind that I edged her over so I could hide behind the podium, I was too focused on my notes to think (much) about the dress, and the audience laughed in the right places. Thank God! I hope they remember what they heard more than what they saw.

Such a miniscule thing in that grand scheme of things. Still, you’d think that by now, I’d have learned “what not to wear,” especially as the show of that name gave me the idea in the first place to wear something with a fitted waist. Oddly enough, on the day I shopped, I had tried on a long, dark, demure dress in my size—did I mention long?—that I didn’t buy because it seemed boring. I’m going back today to get it.

P.S. The evening was filled with great speakers, top-notch music, and lots of humor from those in choir ministry. I love singing with them, and last night, their affection and affirmation for one another (including newcomers) spoke volumes. I’m so glad we went.

4 thoughts on “Dressing the Part

  1. Oh, Mom, how awful! I think you were probably just fine, but the way you described it made me want to crawl under a rug for you! 🙂

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