The Red Dress Club

Posted on | May 6, 2011 | 15 Comments

I’ve slacked on participating lately due to… well.. personal crises.  But this prompt was too interesting not to participate in.  The theme? Jealousy.  And that’s it. I have 600 words to write about the feeling of jealousy… fiction or non-fiction. 

Miranda was quiet all the way home from the theater; she couldn’t bear to speak.  Every inch of her seven year old frame was simultaneously tense and exhausted.  She ached everywhere, a deep soul ache that she didn’t have the experience in words or life to explain. 

Her mother’s eyes would look up every now and then, questioningly peering back through the rearview mirror, but still Miranda wouldn’t speak.  Beside her, the chatter of her friends bounced back and forth, rattling at the cage she had shut herself in.  But still she wouldn’t speak.  It was too much.  It was all too much.

She wondered if she’d ever feel happy again. 

One by one, her friends clambored over her to exit the car at their respective houses. They waved. They thanked her mother. They said “bye” and “See you soon” but she wasn’t sure they meant it.  How could they like her?  How could they even want to be her friend?

When the car was empty, her mother turned.

“What’s the matter?”

But Miranda couldn’t answer.  She’d rather claw her eyes out than answer.  She’d rather never speak again, with her awkward too-high voice.  She’d rather just fade away into the curve of the mini-van seat than to ever do anything again.

Her mother shook her head and started home. They reached the driveway and then the garage in silence.  The car stopped and the doors opened and there was her mother, standing there, expectant, waiting. 

“Are you coming in?”

She shook her head and that simplest of motions loosed the tears and they fell without warning, splashing down against the gray seatbelt.  She couldn’t stand it.  She didn’t want to be her anymore, she wanted to be beautiful.  She sat in that audience and she watched the girl with the beautiful red hair play the role of the Little Mermaid with such grace and beauty.  She had red hair.  And she was beautiful.  She didn’t have a too-large nose and too many freckles.  She didn’t have gangly arms and skinned knees.  She was perfect and beautiful and everything Miranda wasn’t.

She was everything Miranda wanted to be.

And at the ripe old age of seven, Miranda knew she would never be any of those things.  She would have killed to be that girl, with her perfect hair and perfect smile.  She would have killed to trade in her crooked teeth and too-red frizz for just one day of being beautiful.  But she couldn’t tell her mother that.  She couldn’t look into the same blue eyes, framed by the same red frizz, and tell her mother that they were never going to be as beautiful as the little girl in the theater.

And so she cried.


15 Responses to “The Red Dress Club”

  1. Jess@Straight Talk
    May 6th, 2011 @ 4:32 pm

    AHHHH Beautiful. The ending really got me. Amazing.

  2. Rusti
    May 6th, 2011 @ 5:05 pm

    that was beautifully written… and I think it’s something that everyone can relate to, in some way, or some point in their life… great writing.

  3. Jennifer
    May 6th, 2011 @ 5:06 pm

    Ouch. As a redhead I totally understand what she was going through. The tenderness and heartbreak of not wanting to tell her mother that she they both weren’t pretty like Ariel was heartbreaking.

  4. Krista
    May 6th, 2011 @ 5:28 pm

    oh Lord. I have tears. This is my biggest, biggest, number one fear about having a daughter. that she might some day feel that kind of pain. I’d give anything to spare her from it.

  5. Amanda
    May 6th, 2011 @ 6:20 pm

    Beautifully written and something that many of us, of any hair color, can relate to.

  6. Susan M.
    May 6th, 2011 @ 6:50 pm

    Seriously…you wrote that?! That is great…I mean sad, but great!!
    Go Heels 🙂

  7. Ashley
    May 6th, 2011 @ 6:52 pm

    That just broke my heart. So sad. You conveyed this so well. Great job!

  8. Mrs. Jen B
    May 6th, 2011 @ 7:49 pm

    Ahhhhhh I’m crying!! You summed it all up so beautifully. Just beautifully, wonderfully, you hit the nail right on the head. I wish I could give that little girl a hug.

  9. Erin Margolin
    May 6th, 2011 @ 8:11 pm

    It was YOU I nabbed the idea from then! I, too, wrote from a child’s perspective…only your piece is far better.

    Love that she stayed in the minivan until she could finally cry. Broke my heart that she couldn’t tell her mother, and that she has the insight at 7 to keep those thoughts inside. Sweet girl. I want to hug her.

    And you.


  10. Frelle
    May 6th, 2011 @ 8:17 pm

    ouch. revelation at such a young age, and comprehension to not hurt her mother with the admission.

  11. Cheryl @ Mommypants
    May 6th, 2011 @ 8:48 pm

    I’m so hoping my seven year-old doesn’t think that way yet. Then again, he’s a boy.

    But I love her awareness that she looks just like her mom and doesn’t want to break her heart. Very sweet.

  12. The Reason You Come
    May 7th, 2011 @ 3:01 am

    It’s heartbreaking that a 7-year-old had such a painful realization, and heartwarming that she wanted to spare her mother the same pain.

  13. Alison@Mama Wants This
    May 7th, 2011 @ 12:40 pm

    That was beautiful, I can feel poor Miranda’s sadness through your words. Thank you for this!

  14. Andrea
    May 7th, 2011 @ 7:35 pm

    Sigh. I absolutely love and adore this piece. It’s so great. SO touching. Breaks my heart. I love it. So much. Thank you for writing it. It’s so how so many little girls feel and how so many of us women have felt in our youth. This was great. I’m kind of sad and feel a lump in my throat with the hopes that my own daughter never feels like this — ever. 🙁

  15. Writerly Wanna Be
    May 8th, 2011 @ 2:23 am

    A beautifully written piece. I love the ending as well. It is sad to know how early young girls are feeling this kind of thing.

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