arts & music beauty

Accessorizing. A lesson.

by Niffer — March 7, 2013

closet trouble accessorizing

I’m dreaming.  I know I’m dreaming, because I’m at Opera Camp.  I’ve never been to Opera Camp, not really, don’t even know if such a thing exists.  

I’m dreaming I’m at Opera Camp.

I’m walking through what I know is the great hall.  They are setting up for what looks like an event.  Caterers, bars, white table cloths.  I am perplexed.

Pulling someone aside I enquired as to the preparations.

“It’s the Finale Gala tonight! Didn’t you know”

I’m wearing a cotton dress over pajama bottoms.

Clearly I did not know about a gala.

I rush up stairs and find myself running through the rooms of a house, searching.  I’m looking for accessories.  The perfect pieces to turn my plain cotton dress into a gala worthy gown.

I need a belt, something to snug in the loose waistline and add definition.  Nothing fits, the colours are wrong.

And I’m still wearing pajama pants


In the next room, I’m searching out shoes.  Again all the wrong styles.  Desperately I try to tame my hair into something acceptable.  A chignon, a french twist… a pony tail for heaven’s sake!  It’s hopeless.

Jewels all fall short.

The entire time I can hear the party… this magnificent glittering gala… happening downstairs.  So close and yet- I hold myself back from attending.  I just don’t have all the right pieces, how can I join the festivities in this condition? 

In the end I’m left, barefooted, one shoe in hand, hair half styled, dress hanging loose… at least I’ve had the good sense to take off the pajama pants. 

Standing in front of the mirror I stop, and look.  For the first time I look at myself.  I drop the shoe, let down my hair, fluff up my skirt.  I realize that not only do I look just fine, I look effortless.  Comfortable.  Timeless and ageless and actually quite elegant.

john singer sargeantShocked, I take a breath and turn to descend the stairs.

But I’ve missed it. 

The hall is dark.

The guests are gone.

The tables have all been cleared.

While I was fussing and trying to find things to make my dress perfect, I missed the gala. 

I wake, an unfamiliar ceiling comes slowly into focus.

I roll to my side and see the man sleeping next to me.

He’s snoring.

That’s not on the list… and I smile.

I have a moment when I thank my subconscious for such a clear and succinct nudge.

Hey, stupid.  You could spend your whole life looking for the perfect accessories, but you could miss some pretty great things.  Enjoy the gala, it won’t last forever.


(Image- Rosina, John Singer Sargent)


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  • Irma

    And I thank you for such a clear and succinct nudge.

  • Victoria

    Accessories don’t have to be items that we can put on to adorn ourselves. It can be our attitude- bearing, mien, whatever you call it – and how we carry it across a roomful of people.

  • Hazel Rose

    As in all things, the devil is in the details.

  • Heidi McD

    Niffer, you crack me up. Lovely post. Now I want to know who the man was that you woke up next to! 😉

  • wendy

    Niffer, the Freudian dream interpreter in me goes nuts over stories like this. It’s like giving me catnip. If I were a cat.

    What I took away from the dream is that you did not want to go to this particular gala (or what the gala represented) but perhaps felt obligated to attend. Your unconscious then did everything it could to keep you from going, to justify not going—the pajama bottoms were genius!—so that in the end, you’re able to say, “So, you see, I couldn’t have gone.”

    I’m interested to know whether in the dream, you felt regret, or relief, or anxiety, or no emotion at all for having missed the event…?

    Lastly, I love the images conjured by “Opera Camp.”

    • Niffer

      Oh I definitely wanted to go… was upset I hadn’t known it was happening earlier. I felt disappointment at having missed it.
      Go Freudian if you like 😉