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Another small story form my Writers' Group ramblings:
Fred was waiting, with growing impatience, at the Reception desk of a modest Parisian hotel. His wife, Dot, was upstairs in their small room trying to find something suitable to wear. This meant something that made her look slimmer. That had been the main topic last evening as they ate dinner at the little French cafe down the street from their hotel. They hadn't wanted to venture too far away, afraid of getting lost. But, once there, they had both had managed to eat a substantial dinner there at a considerable price. But Fred hadn't complained; this was a once in a lifetime trip they had been planning for the past year.
Dot had talked a lot about how stylish French women were, how thin, how they wore high heels and tight skirts and clicked along the cobblestone streets at such a quick pace. Then there was more about how slim their legs were . . . Fred had stopped paying attention at that point.
Over dessert of Peaches Melba--it had been the only thing they had recognized on the dessert menu--Fred had ventured an opinion that the French women's growth had probably been stunted in the last War, rendering them permanently underweight. Hadn't they been forced to resort to tulip bulbs? Or was that the Dutch? Fred meant to be consoling and supportive. That was the word--supportive--that Dot used in their occasional disagreements when complaining about some trivial action or lack of action on his part. Face it, Fred had told her, we just don't fit in here and it isn't just our white runners and fanny packs.
But Dot refused to be consoled. It hadn't helped when she had ventured into a high fashion boutiques down the street from their three star hotel. The eel-thin sales clerk had pretended not to know what plus-size meant. Although, as Fred looked down the street from his seat at a little table at the front of the hotel that he had retreated to after ten minutes in the shop, it didn't appear there was much demand. Reflecting back on last night's lavish feast, complete with cognac, Fred had to conclude that some things were impossible to fathom. But he was on vacation and heavy thinking was definitely not on the menu.