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Trying It On

Posted on Sat Aug 3rd, 2013 @ 2:41am by Clarice Darling

Date: February 27th, 2010
Location: Circle Park Bridal Boutique, Downtown Dallas
Time: 10:00 am

Clarice held the strapless gown to her front with one hand, and holding her carefully styled hair with the other. The attendant was behind her. fussing that she'd waited so long to try on dresses. The wedding was only four months away, but money was a beautiful thing. So long as she chose something today, she wouldn't have to worry about a thing. It would be done on time.

The choices were down to four, and the dressing room hooks were fairly brimming with her other choices as she looked at herself in a dress with a scalloped neckline, gathered satin overlay and big taffeta skirt covering her down past her toes. There was a lovely broach that secured the overlay to one side, giving her abdomen some rueshing. She gave a nod to the attendant and she helped her get off the dias, holding the skirt behind her as they went into the front room, with all her guests in chairs in front of a big mirror trimmed in gold.

There were her friends. Wanda was on the end, a ravishing brunette with big blue eyes. Debra was a natural redhead, and at the request of her fiance, was staying that way. Denise was the only natural blonde among them, and a platinum blonde at that. They were all attending each other's fittings as 'support', since they had all come out around the same time. Really, the ones she cared about most, her best, dearest friends, were next.

Gemma, Claree and Rison had been her first and last line of defense for years. The Gillies sisters knew her best, after her mother (and maybe before her), so they had been a must. Gemma was the oldest, with red hair somewhere between Debra and Jana, her cousin, just the right shade that rubies tended to blend in. She never wore them as a consequence.

Claree was the brash middle child, with blonde hair that matched her temperment, and a wardrobe this side of scandalous. While Gemma wore a dark green skirt and jacket befitting a young matron (she had married a year earlier), Claree wore an off-white blouse and short peach skirt. Outright yellow was gauche, as was orange. Like her sister, however, her pumps matched her skirt. Her jacket was on the back of the chair, regardless. First thing to come off, no matter the occasion.

If Gemma was in a relaxed, confident pose, and Claree could have cared less, Rison was in the middle ground. She and Clarice had the most in common, being the same age and both the last born. Her hair was darker than Clarice's, and thinner. She was the quietest out of the four of them, and seemed a little tense in the presence of the three other brides, who were all in pastels. She wore her hair down with a blue dress and pumps. In her hands, she held Clarice's pink hat, with the pink pumps next to her feet. She was not a popular choice for maid of honor, but Clarice didn't care. She didn't get to see the Gillies so much since they moved to Austin, so if she wanted them as her wedding party, all the others could go jump off a cliff for all she cared.

It also meant she didn't have wait for the others' weddings, or do it in cadence. Made her life that much easier.

The real problem sat next to her mother. Jana had been more or less forced to come because she was fourteen. She was going to be presented in two years, so her appearance introduced her to more of Texas society, safely ensconced under her mother's wing. It was an outing most young pre-debs would give their eye-teeth for. Every girl dreamed of their wedding.

Except, apparently, for Jana.

She sat waiting for Clarice to come out, as unpleasant as ever. She was in a forest green, long-sleeved blouse and dark blue jeans and red hair in a long curtain draped down her back, her ever-present cellphone in her hand. As Clarice entered the room, though, Mariah nudged the young girl, and resentfully, she put the phone down and watched as the attendant helped Clarice up on the dias. There was 'ooo-ing' and 'ahh-ing', and she turned around. The dress seemed like a good fit.

"That's amazing."

"I love the way it sets off your skin!"

"It really sets off your figure!"

Clarice looked at Jana, who was very closed-faced. This usually pre-emted a nasty comment. She did not disappoint.

"It looks like you have seashells over your boobs."

It needs to be mentioned that her mother's sister had married *down*.

There were gasps, and Clarice looked in the mirror. Sure enough, it looked like her breasts were held up by two large seashells. Gathering her skirts, she left the dias without the attendant, who had to run to keep up.


"Clarice, come back!"

"She's just being mean!"

"I'm getting the next one!" Clarice called back, annoyed. She wasn't going to stand there and let her cousin give her crap. Besides, there were three more dresses to try on.

The next one was a lace confection, with an intricate, big black bow at her waist. The bodice was lace until it hit her hips, then the skirt flared and became gauze over taffeta. It was really pretty. She went out and posed in front of the mirror. The comments were coming again.

"You look so good!

"I love that style on you!"

"You look so ethereal!" Rison always tried to make things good for her.

She looked at Jana. The teen made a face. "You looked like a fairy princess from a Disney movie." Said as if that were a bad thing.

Another look at the mirror. And darned if she didn't look *exactly* like a fairy princess.

As Clarice went off to try on dress #3, she heard one of the other brides, probably Debra by the voice, say in a whisper, "Why did they bring the kid if all she's going to do is bring the appointment down?"

Clarice knew. Her mother probably figured that if they spent more time together, they might bond. Clarice didn't see it happening, at this rate.

Clarice put on the third dress, same skirt, but it started at her waist this time, with a detailed shell bodice, the 'bling' looking like gold. She looked a couple years older, which might actually help. She would look closer in age to Ben, and the judgement would be less. Not that she cared, but it would make the day easier.

She posed up in front of the mirror.

"You look so mature!"

"Yeah, you look so grown up!"

"You really look at least 25."

Jana did not wait for a prompt this time. "You look 30." The delivery very Jana-esque.

Clarice rolled her eyes. "Onto dress #4!" she announced, heading off once more. Maybe she'd just choose the fairy princess dress out of spite.

The next dress took her breath away. The bodice was lace, with satin reushing over the waist. The satin skirts started at her hips and seemed to flow out from under the lace. She struck a pose in the dressing room. It was gorgeous. Not too fussy. Just the right amount of elegance.

When she posed in front of her entourage, the comments flowed like the skirt of the gown.

"That's perfect!"

"That gown is *amazing*!"

"That is so you!"

Then, as one, the company paused. Then looked at Jana, who was looking at Clarice. "That's more like it," she said, looking back down at her phone with an almost-imperceptible blush. "Don't know why you were wasting time with the other ones," she muttered.

Clarice actually smiled a little. Okay. Maybe bringing her along hadn't been such a mistake. She looked at the saleswoman, Kathy, who had wisely kept her mouth shut through the appointment. "I'll take it."

Her mother looked like she was going to breath a sigh of relief. Or faint. Either way, she was too much of a lady to do it. "Now onto shoes."

Jana did was Clarice wanted to do.

She groaned.



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