The Chartreuse Dress

By Ellie Levin, a member of Get Your WordsWorth

I had a chartreuse dress once that I liked very much. I bought it the first fall season after I graduated from college. It was princess style light wool, trimmed at the neck and sleeves in matching chartreuse satin. I thought it was a dress that could go anywhere and would not go out of fashion quickly.

The days I wore the dress to work always seemed to go well. I also bought a victory red lipstick to brighten my face and contrast with the dress and my olive skin. I was dating a lawyer a few years older than I was. I must have worn the dress and the lipstick on several dates, as we frequently met after work. One evening we were having a light supper in Carnegie Pub, when quite casually he asked, “Could you wear some other dress when you meet me?” The color chartreuse reminded him of gangrene, poison, decay, and all manner of infections and that lipstick of blood.

It wasn’t easy, but I forced myself to hang the dress in the back if the closet and wore my collection of old skirts and sweaters in black, deep purple, and maroon, with a delicate pink lipstick instead. We spent several happy months together, and I no longer thought about the chartreuse dress until the day he asked me to marry him. When I accepted his proposal, he added, “No more chartreuse dresses ever.”

Elinor Levin is a retired teacher and mother of two sons. These days she enjoys swimming, walking, yoga, and Writing from Life Experience.

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