I bought some of the clothes - having decided on giving them to the next charity bag collector in the next few days. She didn't know, bless her, she'd been crying, her mascara had run down her cheeks while she'd waited for me.
"Got enough?" she asked anxiously, "I mean we came all this way, and I want to make sure you get something out of it."
I thought about this, we usually had fun. Laughed about the extremes of fashion and bought our stuff together - then we sit down at a cafe and laugh about our preferences. We hadn't so far. I was fed up.
"I know a place," I said carefully watching her face.
"Is it for older women?" she answered quickly.
"It's designer, mostly," I replied hiding a grin. She really had it bad.
I led the way down into the side streets of the city. The shops were old down here, they had windows that were etched by old wood frames. She looked down her nose at the tiny insides. I stopped her by the largest shop where it rounded the corner into the street beyond.
"In here, meet Phylis," I said, "Phylis meet my neice Amy!"
Amy had the grace to look surprised,Phylis was more her age than mine. She had the most wonderful hairdo, this time she was pink, with two flashes of blue showing at one side.
"Marion!" Phylis coo-d, "Lovely to see you again, have you decided yet?"
I had to laugh, "About the Ladies Triangle, I hadn't thought..."
Amy butted in, her face bright red, "Aunty! You can't they banned ladies of over 45 last year."
"Oh that's only out in the sticks!" laughed Phylis unconcerned. "That's only because they look better than we do when they dance under the full moon naked!"
"Look," I said, trying to derail a scene quick, "No intention of dancing naked! I don't think I want to - if, if..."
"It's on tonight, darling," said Phylis, "Come with me, have your hair done, next door, who's to know?"
"I would," snarled Amy furiously, "You can't. Older women aren't allowed!"
"Arn't allowed?" I asked cut to the quick. "I'll come!"
Phylis shook with laughter, "They don't like them to come to the meetings, because men prefer them, less plastic surgery, and everything's as nature intended."
"It isn't," said Amy outraged, "It's just, just..."
"Go on," I said, carefully,it had to come out. It was tearing her to pieces.
"Just my boyfriend,picked up someone who looked like you last friday night." she said explosively. Then she burst into tears...
Phylis nodded, "We went out friday," she explained, "Marion was with someone, Paul?" she looked at me...
"Yeah Paul..." I admitted annoyed. "I've known him for ages. I'll have to ask him about you."
Amy choked on tears, "His name isn't Paul."
"I have a picture," I said, pulling it out, "Why didn't you ask?"
She took it with a shaking hand, Phylis held out a dress to me. I took that.
"It's a low back number, can you model it for me on Saturday...?"