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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

George, Gracie, and the Brown Dress


            I “met” Gracie Allen and George Burns at an open house hosted by my father-in-law last Saturday in Dayton.

            “I absolutely adore your dress,” Gracie gushed. She was seated at a small table outside on the patio. Her friends pulled a chair up to the table for me and I sat down.

            “Thank you,” I answered. I had bought the dress specifically to wear to the event, and I liked it.

            “Brown is ‘in’ these days, isn’t it?” she asked.

            I nodded. This was the first time in years I had worn something other than jeans and a t-shirt, so it followed that I was not particularly up on the latest fashions. I did vaguely remember seeing a lot of brown clothing at the store, though.

            “Where did you buy it?”

            “Coldwater Creek,” I replied.

            “Ohhhh, I just love that store, don’t you? I was in there just the other day and, you know what?”

            I smiled at her enthusiasm. “What?”

            “I picked up that very dress. I’m sure it was the same one. I just love brown, don’t you?”

            A nod from me sufficed and she continued, “I was going to try it on, but I asked my husband if he liked it and he said he didn’t, so I didn’t try it on. I wish I had tried it on because I just love it!”

            “I’m sure Coldwater Creek still has it. I just bought the dress yesterday.”

            “Oh, what a good idea! I’m going to make my husband stop there on our way home. I bet if he sees what it looks like when it’s on, he’ll love it, too!”

            I left Gracie somewhat reluctantly – she was charming – but another woman was waiting to say hello to her. I offered her my seat and then went inside the house to get a glass of iced tea.

            I met up with Gracie a while later by the bar. She grabbed my hand and tugged me across the room to meet her husband.

            “George, this is Vicki,” Gracie said. We shook hands and said hi. Gracie continued, “Do you notice anything familiar about her?”

            George looked baffled. We shared a confused stare.

            “It’s her dress, silly,” Gracie explained to George. “Don’t you remember when I told you I liked it when we were shopping on Monday and you told me you didn’t like it?”

            I could tell by his expression that George barely recalled holding Gracie’s purse for her while she tried on clothes; remembering a specific garment that she had commented on days earlier was completely out of the question. I felt a bit sorry for him.

            “Well, this is it! It’s a darling dress. I want to stop at Coldwater Creek on the way home and buy one for myself. Don’t you just love it, George?”

            George eyed my dress dispassionately, and then frowned. “No.”

            Ba dum bum. It was a vaudeville-worthy skit.

As I walked away chuckling, I could hear Gracie continuing to argue with George about the dress. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn that he bought it for her that very day.

Give that man a cigar, please.

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