Quest for the dress

All she wanted was one beautiful prom gown suitable for a princess. All I wanted was to stay home, read a book and not spend any money.
She says I make Silas Marner look extravagant. I say plan ahead and buy things when they are on sale. We began shopping very early for her prom dress.
I started out optimistically sure that we would find The Dress in the first place. It would be marked way, way down and I could go home and read a book.
I didn’t exactly work that way.
I waded my way through bouffant skirts, metal racks and tiny hallways into crowded dressing rooms to evaluate the half dozen dresses she tried rooms to evaluate the half dozen dresses she tried. She found The Dress. It was not marked down and we did not go home. She looked mournfully at the powder blue gown with key-hole back, squared her shoulders and marched to the next shop.
I lounged on a comfortable couch beside the three-way mirror while she carried a handful of gowns back into dressing rooms with wooden louvered doors and freshly swept carpeted floors. She loved the deep purple formal with spaghetti straps and ground sweeping skirt. But Scrooge and Marley, Inc. frowned at the price tag and raised their eyebrows at her bare shoulders.
Four shops later, I slumped on a shiny metal stool held up by one curvy post, while she dragged armfuls of gowns to the dusty dressing room. She giggled at the form fitting aqua gown, “I feel like a mermaid in this thing.” I had a very quick look at a stretchy sequined black gown that left her digging her nails in for a good itch. A gown with a fitted white top over a full black skirt captured her imagination. Its price tag fit my pocket book, she said, “Let’s check out one more store.”
Yeah, sure, one more place. After one too many malls and boutiques with dusty dressing rooms and non-existent dress hooks, I was burnt out. we stopped for lunch. I collapsed saying, “just order something. I’m so tired I can’t think.”
We ate, talked and revived, headed back in search of The Shop with The Dress.
At The shop, The Clerk actually asked, “What are you looking for today?”
“Do you carry formals?”
“Yes and they are all on sale, today.”
I felt better immediately. a cushioned chair awaited me. The dressing room was clean, brightly lit and had hooks enough to keep the full-length formals from resting on the floor. The Clerk swept the rejected gowns from my hands, insisting, “no, no let me hang them up.”
My princess loved the imperial purple gown with the black sequins on top. She adored the royal blue princess formal that swept the floor as she twirled in front of the mirror. After figuring out the actual price after the discount, I approved of either one. She picked the more expensive one.
She smiled as the clerk bagged it up for her. I smiled as I paid for it. We both went home happy. Once she put on her gown and pirouetted in front of her brother. Me? I went to bed too tired to even read.