My ‘going away’ outfit was bought in Open Till Eight on Baggot Street

Family Fortunes: The very terminology ‘going away’ can now only amuse us

My pink ‘going away’ outfit. I’ve hardly worn the colour since.

My pink ‘going away’ outfit. I’ve hardly worn the colour since.

 

On our 44th wedding anniversary recently, I went on a trip down memory lane and found my “going away” outfit. It was pink – for goodness sake pink. I have hardly worn the colour since.

There it was, bundled in an unreachable corner at the top of a wardrobe, left there for decades to the mercy of spiders and their cobwebs. And all the time that was spent traipsing round the shops in Dublin, friends in tow, looking for this special outfit.

I happened on it in Open Till Eight in Baggot St, that summer long ago.

It all came to me while packing a few new dresses in a suitcase recently. The connection was made by the fact that the new ones were going to where the pink heirloom had travelled to all those years ago.

The very terminology “going away” can now only amuse us. After being “given away” by our respective fathers, we were then “going away” to a whole new life in a brand new outfit.

I thought I was gorgeous; well, gorgeous is overdoing it just a bit

And I did go away in the pink which, to be fair to it, was a rather pretty pink two-piece trimmed in cream lace. I suppose I thought I was gorgeous; well, gorgeous is overdoing it just a bit.

Anyhow, our first port of call was the Fairways Hotel in Dundalk where I dislodged confetti and some grains of rice from my new pink attire. From there, fortified with a good mixture of youth, innocence and adventure, we took off in our Fiat motoring car and drove to Paris.

Driving in Paris in the 1970s was no mean achievement. The little yellow Fiat with the IRL sticker got no concessions from the heavy backed Citroens. This we discovered when we got on the inside lane round the Arc de Triumph and had to circle it a number of times before we “escaped”.

More than four decades and three sons later, we were going back to Paris and I pondered briefly on taking the pink outfit on the “anniversary trip”.

But no, I folded it away, a little more carefully and just took the photograph and the memories.

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