Sunday, December 7, 2008

Memoir: The Tiara Ball

I’m having fun recalling that time in my life when I was a New York Debutante, especially during Christmas when there were so many balls. This year I am in a play, “Lady Windemere’s Fan” and I am costumed in a period ball gown. It does bring back some memories.

This one ball was called the Tiara Ball. All the young ladies had to wear a tiara in their hair. Well, most, if not all, wore cute little rhinestone tiaras that made every one look like a cookie-cutter princess. I would have none of it. In my flamboyant actress style, I took my circumspect tiara and decorated it with white ostrich plumes and black egret feathers. It was stunning with my white ball gown, swirled in a rhinestone border, and my pearl necklace and earrings. I finished it off with my full length three button kid gloves and a white fox short cape. I was not to be outdone at this ball.

Well, my date and I and another couple were good friends and were hanging out together. One of the features of the evening was door prizes. They actually gave away a donkey. The two guys disappeared for a bit and we knew they were plotting something. In a while, they returned and announced that they had rented the donkey and we would take it across town to the Peppermint Lounge after the ball, which was at the Plaza Hotel.

Off we went, with me riding the donkey. It was a bit of a stir in traffic and the New York Times showed up to get some photos and a story for the society pages. I was having a blast.

The next morning there I was on the Times front page, riding the donkey side saddle with my flowing gown and head-dress. My mother was furious. How could I have disgraced her so. Well, sad to say, it wasn’t the first nor was it the last time. I guess I was and still am, a bit of a rebel.

Prema Rose

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