The Little Velvet Dress

Last night we went to watch an orchestra at Beijing’s National Arts Center. It was a great performance, I thought about what kind of Fantasia skit could go along with that piece. We were late because we got stuck in traffic and our taxi driver let us out at the wrong gate. We ended up having to do a long lap around the entire building.

It reminded me of when I was a little girl and we would go as a family to watch a play or a ballet at the arts center in Ottawa. I remember the cold winters when we’d leave the house in a rushed panic to make it in time. My sister and I wore our favorite velvet dresses, mine was bright red and hers was dark purple. They were extremely soft and had a white collar down the front. I felt like a princess in that dress. I’d struggle to put on my white stockings and call my mum for help. My mum would hurry in and I could smell her notorious Chanel 19 perfume slowly fill my room, her signature scent. We would run downstairs and my dad would start the car as me and my sister put on our black shiny shoes and winter coat. My mum would hurry down the stairs looking beautiful with red lipstick, black stockings and a black dress. She’d quickly put on her high heels and a big fluffy coat over top. My Dad would run inside to get us and then we’d all pile up in the warmed car. He’d drop us off right at the door while he went around back to find a place to park. Although I didn’t particularly have the patience to watch a play and squirmed in my seat as my parents whispered “it’s almost over” I still loved it all anyway. I loved the getting ready part, I hope to do the same thing if I ever have kids one day.

Elizabeth and I in our favorite velvet dresses.

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