A little Monday with Marie segment today!
By Marie Anne Greene
Marie arrived at Girl Guide’s Studio at mid-morning and after rapidly unloading the car and carrying two arm loads of clothes and her signature Green & Gold Rollway and its partner shoe bag up to the Studio, she quickly changed from her casual driving clothes to the outfit that GG had recommended for the event of the day – A Ladies Brunch at an Ante-Bellum Plantation Manor.
Located about 30 miles outside of Atlanta, both of our Girls were anticipating a wonderful Gentile Lady-Like experience in a style reminiscent of Scarlet and Rhett. The drive took 45 minutes and our expectations increased as the miles rolled past. As we pulled into the crowed parking area, we recognized the Manor House was not a true Ante-Bellum treasure, it appears it was probably built or rebuilt in the early 1900’s given the extent of cream-colored bricks. We still were hoping the interior would better convey the image we had anticipated. As we stepped into the small crowded foyer and made our way to the check-in desk which was staffed by a young gal in modern casual attire, our anticipations dropped a little more.
Fortunately, Marie had made advance reservations and we only had to wait ten minutes for a table. Our waitress was very pleasant and showed us to our two-person table and took our drink orders, coffee, tea etc. She returned in less than a two-minutes with our drinks and self-serve salad and dinner dishes and silverware. After thanking her and taking a few sips of our beverages we walked into the main room which in decades past was probably two-rooms (Parlor & Dining Room) then separated by two large sliding doors. Now, it contained nine self-serve food stations containing more than two dozen vegetable and meats lining three walls with a large round, double tiered table in the center displaying almost a similar number of choices in deserts – pies, cakes and custards, etc.
As we returned to our table, surveying the other guests we came to the conclusion, given the number of tables with eight or more guests and the high level of noise that permeated the air, we were probably surrounded by several “Company Christmas Luncheon Groups”. The noise level was not conducive to enhancing or prolonging our “Dinning Experience”. Although the food was plentiful and definitely good “Traditional Southern Food”, we were not inclined to go back for seconds and were anxious to walk the grounds to assess its possibility as a Photo Shoot Site.
Once outside and after completing a full walk-around and agreeing only the front façade with its wide veranda and six – 20-foot-high columns was suitably photogenic. Once we completed our walk-around, GG decided she needed a few pictures to document the site. As a way of judging proportions, GG had Marie stand in as her “Yard Stick” and took several photos. Our Girl was very stylishly attired, wearing velvet opera slacks, a Gold Silk waist length top and a Jessica Howard tailored waist length Black Jacket with two exquisite Embroidered Floral designs in multiple delicate shades of gold, yellow and green. Marie was also carrying her London Fog Rain Coat.
Overall, an extremely Classic combination perfectly fitted to match a tall statuesque lady with a white pixie styled Coiffure. Of course, a Lady must have a properly matching handbag – Our Gal had a perfect complement. It was from the J & Cales collection. However, for our Gal its most important aspect was that it was her very first handbag and even more so because it was a gift to Marie from our Girl Guide. This was topped by the fact a large letter “M” (For Marie) was embossed on its front.
Since we had some daylight remaining, more than enough to make the drive to the studio, before the Atlanta rush hour and winter darkness took effect, GG suggested we visit several of the dress shops she noted in the village as we had made our way to the manor. SOLD ! Marie is almost always open to these side excursions directed the car to a parking space in the vortex between the stores. GG decided she could not make the exploration trek as her shoes were killing her, so Marie was off on her own. Our Gal had to cross the very, very wide “Main Street”, probably that wide so the farm wagons of old could turn around. Marie had seen this in other old towns. She made the crossing in typical female style with quick, short steps not quite running and then popped into the first store. A young cheerful sales woman was in attendance and answered Marie query as the price of two cute “farm girl” style shirts. The price tag was far above Marie’s budget and the shirts really did not ring a bell with our Gal, so after a cordial “Thank You”, our Gal walked about twenty feet to the next shop where she was greeted by a Mother and Son team.
Marie spotted an interesting royal blue item, which appeared to be an ankle length dress. Lifting the hangar down and holding the item in front of her, Marie realized the dress skirt was not a skirt but Kul-lot style slacks. Marie was still interested and asked the price, which was again on the high side. At this point the owner team suggested Marie take two sizes into the dressing room and try them on. Realizing the offer was congenial, but Marie also realized rejecting one after a “Try-on” would be a tiny-bit difficult so she politely declined the offer offered her thanks and exited, turning right and making her way to the traffic light and began waiting for the red hand to change to a green “Walk”.
While waiting for the full light cycle, Marie scanned the other side of the street which housed a Tavern on the corner, a Hardware store, a Real Estate office and Bakery. Noticed two men were standing, smoking and talking outside the Tavern and with another three conversing near the Hardware Store with about twenty-foot ‘S” shaped void between the two groups. Our car with GG sitting in the passenger seat was another fifteen feet further on. As the light changed, Marie began crossing the intersection in lady-like quick step with the skirt of the London Fog fluttering in the breeze. Our Gal was without a thought or concern merely think of navigating the distance from the corner to the car and between the two conversing groups. As she passed the first pair their dialogue was about an upcoming football game. The second was focused on fixing a tractor that was having a problem. Neither of any of interest to our GAL as she scuttled past the two islands of maleness.
Marie managed the brief “S” journey without incident and after sliding into the driver’s seat and starting the engine, GG piped up and commented “Did you know you attracted some favorable looks when crossing the street?” Marie responded NO, but then a thought erupted in her brain. It triggered a feeling of what a woman walking alone in an unfamiliar environment swerving her way past the two knots of masculine conversation might feel. Marie then recognized that in retrospect she felt that “fear”, another barometer of her inner femininity. With that thought in mind, she set it aside and drove back to the Studio.
As our Gal pulled into the Studio Driveway, Girl Guide stated she had a surprise and Marie had only twenty minutes to wash up and take off those clothes, trade them for a bath robe and meet her in the Studio. Marie had learned when GG issued such a directive the best thing to do was comply without question.
A quick dash up the stairs, shed the Classic Lady look, slip into the fuzzy warm powder blue bath robe, then a make-up remover pad and clean the palette, let it dry with an assist from a hand fan. Thinking all the time, what could the surprise be?
Sat at the make up table & mirror: Moisturizer, a light foundation, a little blusher, freshen Mascara, Lip-color and Gloss. Enough! Spritz of perfume and a six-stroke hair brush completed this in-extremist exercise and then traipse down to the Studio, not a minute to spare.
GG was there holding a clothes bag on high, apparently containing the surprise she had just revealed the existence of only 20 minutes previously.
GG directed Marie to sit on the focus stool in the center of the photo area, she then asked her little Fashionista (Marie), what she thought of the day’s adventures from the Brunch to the “Shopping Visits” and what more would she (Marie) like to do to complete the GIRL day. Marie stated she had no idea, but apparently GG had something in mind. GG responded YES! “You know I do not like to go out at night and I do not drink any alcohol, however always wanted to go to a Disco and enjoy that dancing experience in a delightful – sparkling Mini-Dress -. However, never had the opportunity but did purchase a special dress that I just fell in love with should by some miracle or stroke of fate the opportunity can to pass.” GG continued – That dress is the surprise and it in this bag and I think it will fit you and you then you can pick up on my Disco dream, so let’s see if it fits and I can pass my wish on.”
With that statement, GG hung the bag on the cloth’s tree and smoothly pulled the zipper down lifting GG’s dream out of its dark case and into the glare of the photo shot area. The dream was not like anything Marie had even seen, much less had worn or even tried on. It smacked of a Night Club Cocktail Dress just made for dancing, shimming and wiggling. The burnished satin burgundy was definitely visually stimulating.
OKAY! Off with the bath robe. GG held the almost glowing vision out for Marie to step into it, which was accomplished smoothly. GG then zipped up the treasure and adjusted its scoop neck shoulder straps and tugged down the skirt to its maximum which left it about five inches above Marie’s knees. After stepping into the matching heels glowing like Dorthey’s Red Slippers from the classic movie -The Wizard of Oz – our Gal operating in a feeling not experienced previously, spun around three times, arms fully extended, almost getting dizzy and returned to the Photo Stool with a bright flush to her cheeks and hands now held in a steeple fashion over her mouth. When viewing the final photos from the shoot, Marie could only describe the Burgundy wrapped image in one of three words Striking, Glamourous, or Sexy. Then again maybe all three fit – you chose.