I digress. But only a bit. Because, a couple of days before, M had expressed disbelief that she hadn't just given K the money to go town and buy herself something from Slutshop. Instead, they'd gone shopping for pattern and fabric. K is well on the way to Style-Police status herself, so not only did she opt for a Vogue pattern, but it had to be this stunning 1955 Vogue Original:
Look at that devilish neckline, that sleekly fitting bodice, those profligate skirt panels and the hellish hem. Surely enough to make even the most loving mother and experienced sewer put her foot down. But M is made of sterner stuff. She got to work.
Unfortunately, at some point in the early stages of production, a mysterious stain appeared on the bodice. Slap-bang centre-front. M dabbed and sponged. The area dried nicely. But later, as she bent over it to confirm her first impression that the small stain had now become a much bigger and more alarming water mark, her nose dripped. The partially sewn bodice was now sporting three stains.
M went online (I don't think I need to describe her state of mind at this point), and discovered a world of desperate women who had spilled tea over their daughters' wedding dresses and smeared red lipstick on pale cashmere. The consensus was that sponging made things worse - only an overall dunking would do. So M dunked.
Then, just before I knocked, the overlocker decided to play up. The net effect of all this - coupled with a tight deadline, daughterly expectations of high glamour, and metres and metres of impossibly slippery blue stuff - was that M opened the door looking like this, only paler.
The half-sewn bodice hung damply on a towel rail. The stain jury was still out.
I'm a writer. Sometimes I write fiction and sometimes I'd rather do something else, like earn money, travel or dance tango. Whatever I do, I never stop looking. So this blog is about looking to write, writing to see, and seeing to think. I was once the kind of feminist who believed it was wrong to delight in such things. Now I'm the kind of feminist who doesn't believe that at all. I will never, as Linda Grant puts it, go beige into that good night.