The heavy cream parchment envelope was addressed to Muriel the Mannequin.
It hung from a scarlet silk ribbon tied to the atelier room door.
“You appear to have mail, Muriel.” I said with great excitement.
” Would you like me to open it for you?” I asked my mannequin. Muriel really didn’t receive much mail.
Muriel has been my close companion as I have threaded needles and welded my flashing silver scissors cutting out classic suits, little black dresses, evening gowns and once a wedding dress. She has stood uncomplainingly as I have pinned fabric, draped ruffles and adjusted collars and hems on her patient form.
“It’s your invitation to the annual mannequin’s holiday party. ” I read when I opened the envelope.
“Miss Virginia this year I must be outrageously gorgeous. May I carry the sparkling purse The Tin Man sent from The Emerald city?”
“Of course, darling Muriel. I am sure Tinny would want you to look outrageously beautiful.
“And your feather boa. I ‘ll fling it over my shoulders and it will drift around me when I dance?”
Dear Muriel the feather boa is absolutely you.” I exclaimed. ” It’s very flirty and more than a touch romantic.”
“I want to sparkle like the stars in the winter sky. Do you think your crystal necklace would light up my night?”
“The crystals will shimmer and shine and light up the night.” I replied.
“Last week when you were visiting your little house in Paris you brought me back a ruby red silk rose. I would like to wear that too.”
From deep within my closet of happy memories I took out a scarlet silk tunic I had worn to a Diwali party and buttoned it on her. Again I reached into my closet for a sapphire silk jacket. You can never have too much silk or two many jewel like colours when you dress outrageously beautiful. I draped the jacket over her shoulders. Adjusted the feather boa and pinned the single rose to my sweet Muriel.
“You are ready for your party, Muriel.”
Muriel twirled and danced around the room. The feather boa floated. The crystal necklace sparkled. The Tin Man’s purse glittered. She was outrageously beautiful.
“Miss Virginia, do you this is all too much?”
“No my wondrous Muriel. You look perfect!”