Mama and I were discussing First Communion dresses. I felt that some of the specimens I had seen on the racks when searching for the V-meister’s dress were a little inappropriate.
“For example, spaghetti straps. Can you imagine?” I complained to Mama, who agreed that the world was indeed going to hell in a handbasket as evidenced by the latest First Communion fashions.
“And it was slim pickins’ just to find something with a cap sleeve,” I lamented. “I had to buy the V-meister a bolero jacket for the sake of human decency.”
“Times are changing,” Mama agreed. Then, sensing an opportunity to segue into a topic that has evidently been consuming her, she asked me what I myself would be wearing to the V-meister’s First Communion.
“And what about you?” Mama said. “Will you be bringing your décolleté tomorrow?”
There was a moment of uncomfortable silence.
“Do you know what a décolleté is?” Mama asked, using the French pronunciation.
“Well, yeah.” But what was Mama implying?
“It’s lovely, of course. It’s just that, don’t you think, especially in church, a low neckline can be a little distracting?”
I have never been distracted by my décolleté. In fact, I was only half aware I had one. Still, I assured Mama that I would be wearing nothing short of a turtleneck and hung up in a hurry.
Now I am paranoid. Every morning when I get dressed, I look down to see what’s the what. Most days everything seems to be tucked away neatly, but you never know how your décolleté is going to act in a given situation. I have had to take certain measures, such as walking around with my arms crossed and standing no less than five feet away from a person when we are talking. Also, I no longer permit myself to lean over.
Tomorrow, I am going to Nordstrom to get fitted for a Shakespearean collar.
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