This post is being linked up to Kevin and Layla's Favorite Posts of 2010 over @ the Lettered Cottage. Oh, by the way, it's a true story - unfortunately.
Sashay. It's what we Southern girls are bred to do since birth. It is part of our chromosomal makeup. As small girls we do it in our Martha's Miniature dresses, all ruffles and bells down the center aisle each Sunday at church. We do this as students when we enter the hallways of learning each day. Yes, I am here. I have arrived. Why, thank you. As a matter of fact it is new. We train to do it in pageants. Any Miss Tennessee Moon Pie Festival queen worth her weight in salt mastered it years ago. And we, of course, do it on our wedding day, walking toward our groom satisfied to our core in knowing that we are, at this moment, the absolute center of the universe. My sister was born with this trait. My niece works it quite nicely, and has several pretty little tiaras to back it up. I, on the other hand, never felt a need for it in my youth. I didn't dress fashionably ("comfort first" was my motto) or over worry about hair and makeup, so why would I go to the trouble to act prissy in any other way? Then it happened. I was in my late 20s. And for some unknown reason one night I was bitten by the sashay-bug. A distant cousin had died and I had gone to the funeral home one evening to pay my respects. It just so happened that the place was packed that night, as each viewing room was occupied. My cousin's viewing was in the very back. But before heading in to where my family was seated, I needed to stop off at the restroom.
After taking care of business in the bathroom, I gave myself a once-over in the mirror. I did look good. I had actually taken pains in my presentation that night...hair styled just so, flawless makeup, and a dark floral jacket and white blouse with a fairly plunging neckline over the most elegant, feminine skirt in my wardrobe - long, black, and sheer it was a skirt made for sashaying. And with every fiber in my being I realized that I had not been skipped when the flirt fairy sprinkled her magic dust on girls at birth. I had had it all along. And that night, albeit in a most unlikely place, I could exhibit it like every other female. Stepping out of the restroom into the hallway, I felt more confidence than I had known in a long time, if ever. At one point I think I even felt one shoulder pop up a little, just as Scarlett's had when she entered Melanie Wilke's home for Ashley's birthday party. Chin tilted ever so slightly (not too much, though - one wants to look confident but not conceited) I headed toward the parlor, smiling and nodding at people along the way. Finally, I was sashaying. Me. Tyla. The non-sashayer of the family was sashaying. A few steps from the door a kindly, elderly lady - a belle in her day, for sure - gingerly took my arm to speak to me. Her words live with me to this day... "My dear, I don't mean to embarrass you, but you have the back of your dress stuck in your panties."