Oh no. Oh no, oh no, oh no. It is my first night in the Ballroom, and already I am hiding at the edge of the room, trying to duck behind the second potted palm I find (the first was already occupied by Miss Darby, who seems to be of a similar mind). And why am I hiding? Because in the middle of the ballroom are beautiful people, dancing in beautifully precise lines.
Now, I enjoy a good party. I wouldn’t be in the Ballroom if I didn’t. But my pleasures are found in the card room or in good conversation. I don’t dance. In fact, I loathe it. Fear it, would run from it if it were at all polite. And for some reason, today in the Ballroom, there is an uncommon number of gentlemen, and they all seek dance partners.
It’s times like these, I wish I could be mistaken for a palm frond.
Lady B: Miss Noble, there you are!
I jump out of my reverie, and am nearly slapped across the face with peacock feather.
Kate: Lady B, you scared me! What a, er, lovely hat. Are those real peacock feathers?
Albert: <<squawk>> Avianicide!
Lady B: Thank you my dear, but these are painted goose feathers. In deference to my darling Albert, my hats would never feature *real* peacock feathers. He is part peacock, you know, on his father’s side.
Kate: I… did not know that.
Lady B: Well, if you are to partake in the ballroom, Miss Noble, I suggest you come join the party. You cannot hide back here when there are so many people who wish to meet you. Besides, you simply do not blend into the wall, my dear… not with that hair.
This is a sad fact of my life. I have this long blonde curly hair. And admittedly, it’s very pretty. I love it, but I also cannot escape it. I’m easily spotted because of it, be on the street or, apparently, in the ballroom.
Kate: I’ll never be mistaken for a palm frond.
Lady B: What on earth are you talking about?
Kate: Nothing, Lady B. It’s simply that, sometimes, I wish I were not so associated with one single trait. For instance, I will never be able to commit a crime, or have a secret identity, as long as I have this hair.
Lady B: I’m a bit worried that you wish to embark upon a life of crime – but you are not the only one with identifiable features. Why, who would I be without my hats or Albert? He’s been my constant companion since Lord B gifted him to me.
Albert: <<squawk>> Trademarked!
Lady B: And what about that young lady? Who would she be without always dressing in gold?
I look to where Lady B is pointing, and in the throng of dancers, catching the eye of every man in attendance is a vision in a gold dress, gold gloves and slippers, golden hair done up with gold pins.
And suddenly, I know why there are so many gentlemen in attendance this evening.
Kate: Lady B, how is it that you know the Golden Lady?
Lady B: Who, my dear?
Kate: Miss Sarah Forrester. The one dressed in gold. Everyone calls her the Golden Lady. It’s made her the most sought after woman of the ton… but I know her secret.
Lady B: (leans in conspiratorially) What is her secret? And how do you know it?
Kate: She is the heroine of my latest novel, If I Fall. Thus I know all of her secrets. And last season, her heart was most cruelly broken by a Duke when he ended their engagement. Everyone was looking at her with such pity, that she couldn’t stand it. Thus, to survive socially, she became the Golden Lady so no one would think of her as anything other than shining and happy again. She didn’t want her identifiable feature to be her sad past, therefore, she changed it to the color gold.
Lady B: Well, it seems to have worked. Never have I seen a lady so surrounded by gentlemen! Not even myself before I spotted Lord B’s perfectly proportioned calves. She’ll find a new love before long.
Kate: I’m not so certain of that. It would have to be someone who can see beyond the Golden Lady to the true Sarah Forrester underneath. Just as I would hope that someone could see past my hair, and I am sure Lord B saw past your hats and Albert to fall for the true, complex creature that you are, Lady B.
Lady B: Hmph. Well, I see your point, Miss Noble. Although, I will say that Lord B has the same talent for spotting well-made hats, as I have for spotting well-formed limbs.
Kate: I… have no response to this, Lady B.
Lady B: If you are not one for conversation, Miss Noble, then perhaps you should partake in the Ballroom by dancing. In either case, it is time to step away from the potted palm.
Sigh. I suppose some things just cannot be avoided.
According to Lady B, we all have identifiable features – so tell me, what are yours, and how do they affect your life? We will chose one lucky commenter to win a copy of If I Fall!
Personally, I really regret not being able to embark upon that life of crime.