Amelia and her late husband, George, may have shared the same address but over the last ten years or so they had shared little else. Even their circles of friends were different. Amelia turned up to her husband’s funeral wearing a bright floral frock. Apparently George had requested that people wear something bright to his funeral. As she moved up to sit alone in the front pew she noticed she was practically the only one who had bothered to wear something bright. It showed you how people cared. Even her friends hadn’t bothered to turn up.
Amelia sat throughout the service barely listening. The panegyrics and prayers droned on and on. All she could think was how little a mark she had made in her life: a futile marriage, no children, friends who had deserted her when needed. Those who saw her dab her eyes thought it was grief, but it was remorse. It was remorse for having lived such a trite life. From now on things would be different.
Amelia followed the casket out of the church as if she was in a trance. It was dreamlike, surreal, bizarre – whatever word you wish to use. As she descended the church steps she overheard a little boy say:
“Mummy, who was the funny lady up the front in the dress with flowers on?”
“She a bit strange,” said the mother. “She thinks she was Hector’s wife, but Hector’s wife died last year.”
It was then that Amelia realized she had gone to the wrong church.
There were two words in the English language that Gabriella despised: “frock” and “frump”. “Frock” because, even though it wasn’t, it sounded like something her great grandmother would wear. “Frump” because it sounded as if the woman concerned was dumpy, like a sack of wheat.
To be honest, Gabriella wasn’t God’s gift to the planet when it came to looks. She was slightly portly even though she was only sixteen. And she never dressed particularly fashionably because she didn’t have that much money in her weekly allowance.
She used to be teased at school. “You’re a frump in a frock” the other kids would shout. “A frump in a frock.”
Gabriella went to quite a fashionable shop to look for something nice that she might be able to afford, like a scarf or something. She did! She found a beret that she thought made her look quite smart. After purchase she filled out a form that asked why you would buy such an item of clothing. Gabriella wrote, “Because kids call me a frump in a frock”. And it won! It won! Gabriella didn’t even know it was a competition! She won ten thousand dollars’ worth of fashionable items!