Flavia is having bouts of Prom fever. Yes, I know it is far too early and I have (in my previous life) castigated girls who were more interested in transport and necklines than their upcoming GCSEs but I do understand and if she has to get slightly absorbed then it's better now than in May.
It is, however, somewhat amusing. Initially she wouldn't be caught dead at the Prom; then came the (dismissed) news that one of her friends was planning a preparation party before they were driven with great pomp to the venue. Nothing for a while but finally I was informed that Kourtney (another friend) was very keen to go and Flavia was considering going with her as a favour. A week or so later, Kourtney was apparently claiming that the desire to attend was Flavia's. Now there appears to be little doubt - they're going.
Flo's picked out a dress (over £100.00 but Simon, in a burst of generosity and, I suspect, conviction that tomorrow never comes has offered to pay for it). It is incredibly pretty. Neither is it tacky or of the, 'see my wares' variety.
I used to dismiss Proms; we didn't have them in my day (death knell phrase) and I couldn't really see the point but in my autumnal days I am feeling more generous. My reasoning is simple (and it's why I haven't shot Flo's choice of dress down in flames even though she could quite easily get away with a £10.00 variety from Peacocks or wherever).
I've never been to a party. Never dressed up and gone out and had all that anticipation and excitement that comes with it. I've seen these things in films - watched School for Scoundrels with Ian Carmichael only the other day...people actually dressed like that to go to dinner???? - but the closest I've ever got was a staff party at Simon's erstwhile school where jeans and drunkenness seemed to be the order of the day (sigh).
It's probably my mother's fault; she reared me on musicals and films from the 1940s where women wore court shoes (that in itself explains something), always seemed to be chic regardless of their occupation and regularly went to sophisticated, magical places. Whilst I never actually envisaged myself as Audrey Hepburn or Grace Kelly (ahhh, wouldn't that be exquisite?) the impression remains. I'd love to go to a party; I'd love to wear a glamorous frock or gown, be coiffed and primped and feel confident in myself as I dance and scintillate throughout the evening. It appeals to the very depths of my feminine core and I mourn that it can never be. I'm forty-eight (nearly forty-nine) and whilst I appreciate that age has little to do with it, it does mean I've managed almost half a century without being within even a whiff of such an occasion. My chances, therefore, are decreasing. Hell, it's ten years since someone other than Mark cut my hair so there is no way I'd ever be in the position of going to a glamorous party.
So, with my opportunities of wearing a stunning dress and feeling more Cinderella-like than the female herself my sympathies are very much for Flavia and her friends. So what if she spends a fortune on a dress she'll only wear once? In forty, fifty, sixty years time she'll have the amazing memory of it and how she felt when she had it on and I'm damned if I'll take that away from her. I just hope Simon doesn't renege on his promise as he usually does.