One day an invitation came,

A command performance, so to speak,

Though I did not want to go,

My "No, but thanks a lot." was weak.

 

I had to go, but what to wear?

I hadn't gussied-up for years,

For funerals and weddings now,

I just simply don't appear.

 

I sorted through my closet

To see what was hanging there,

My sweats and jeans and usual things,

I knew I could not wear.

 

Other garments in my closet

Did not fit me any more,

Strange how in the dark they'd shrunk,

Behind that closet door.

 

I tried this dress; I tried that blouse,

The whites had yellowed over night,

Once perky collars had grown limp,

And all my skirts were much too tight.

 

Was I ever really small enough

To wear those skimpy things?

Now they'd think I was a floozy,

With all those tassels and those strings.

 

I tried to match this up with that,

But you know plaids and stripes don't go,

They fit all right, but how they clashed,

My mirror told me so.

 

Too late to shop;

I must make do

With whatever I could find,

Either that or call my hostess,

Feign an illness and decline.

 

But undaunted, I still forged ahead,

And on a hanger ... way in back,

I found the perfect thing to wear,

A dress styled like a flour sack.

 

Not too shabby ... flowered, too,

It would hide a multitude of sins,

Perfect for the occasion,

Yes, that's what I would put me in.

 

The day arrived; I donned my dress,

But, woops! A button fell,

A BIG, IMPORTANT BUTTON,

And without it, one could tell.

 

I never was a seamstress,

Nor would I lay claim to such,

But sometimes desperation

Makes strange beings out of us.

 

Quick! Get a needle! Find some thread!

Priority Number One!

Sew that darned button back in place,

Humph ... easier said than done.

 

They're making needles smaller now,

Some don't even come with eyes,

And thread's almost invisible.

My air turned blue with cries.

 

My cat meowed at this new sport,

She batted at the dangling thread,

"Out, out, dumb cat!" I yelled the words,

That Shakespeare's MacBeth had said.

 

A seamstress I have never been,

I know I was not meant to sew,

But, Lord, have mercy on me, please

And sewing talent now bestow.

 

Did I make the party?

Was my button back in place?

Did I wear my sack-like dress?

Was there a smile on my face?

 

Casual, cool, collected,

I mingled with the guests,

And demurely dropped my eyes,

At the compliments on my dress.

 

By Virginia (Ginny) Ellis

Copyright July 2003

 

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