Ah, Cinderella, in your beautiful pumpkin coach, heading off to the ball. Glass slippers newly polished, party frock sparkling in the candlelight. Is this the template for parties to come?
All little girls secretly want to be Cinderella, to wear the beautiful dress and win the heart of her prince. I know I did. I had a party dress as a little girl, my special dress that I was only allowed to wear to birthday parties. It was blue and white with a blue satin belt which tied in a huge bow at the back. There were delicate flowers embossed on the material and a froth of net underskirts to puff it out. Every little girl's dream. All my friends had a special party dress and it was with great pride that we swished and rustled through a succession of parties at our classmates' houses. We all felt like Cinderella when we were dressed in our finest with our hair washed, brushed and tied up with ribbons and bows. Too young yet to worry about finding our Prince Charming at the ball.
As we grew older the fashions changed but the ritual of dressing up remained as important. In the place of party frocks and birthday presents came make-up, jewellery and the importance of finding your price. We primped and preened in each others bedrooms, swapping clothes and gossip, preparing as part of the mating ritual. Whoever you had your eye on needed to be enticed by the warpaint and gaudy, attracted by an outward show. Only then could you dazzle him (and it was exclusively him at that time) with your sparkling wit and personality.
Unlike Cinderella, we had to kiss many frogs before we found our prince. A sad lesson was learned the day we realised that the bait we were using wasn't very good at attracting princes but was a powerful drug to losers and wasters.
So, sorry Cinders, you'll have to go to the ball on your own. My Prince Charming doesn't socialise much and he ain't impressed by frocks and glass slippers. But then I guess you already know that, don't you?