The Prairie Review

Woman Gives Daughter Outdated Dress to Wear to Chicago Cotillion

Chicago, Ill.–Attendees of a recent cotillion in the city have reported sightings of a girl who wore a clearly outdated dress to the occasion.

Mary Ingalls, the until recently fiancée of John Sanderson, Jr., arrived in Chicago–”unexpectedly,” John Jr. would have you know–to attend the cotillion with John while her father, Charles Ingalls, delivered stirring monologues at the Grange convention. Mary arrived at the cotillion only to be wearing a dress in a noticeably different style than the other ladies at the dance.

“Wherever did you get that dress?” one woman asked Mary. “It looks like it’s over twenty years old!” 

“Why, yes, it is actually,” Mary proudly beamed. “It’s the dress my Ma wore when she first fell in love with my Pa. I’m exactly the same size as she was then!” At this, Mary’s brief companion left to refill her glass of champagne.

When asked for comment, John Jr. confirmed that his embarrassment at having to take Mary to a dance when he had already made a date was compounded by the girl’s attire. “The dress, there’s nothing wrong with it essentially,” John Jr. tells us, “it’s just that it is clearly from a period of about twenty years ago and from a prairie community with lower standards of fashion. Here in the city, we do things differently. We dress differently, we are more sophisticated. I was very embarrassed when Mary and Charles arrived unexpectedly and they were wearing their same old prairie clothes. I knew it wasn’t looking good for the dance. Don’t get me wrong, the dress is, as I said, nice, just outdated. I do have to admit, however, that it is quite a step up from what the Ingalls usually wear.”

“I know Charles owns a suit,” John Jr. added. “Is there a reason he couldn’t bring it on his trip to Chicago?”

At press time, Charles Ingalls was reiterating to Mary that they just did not belong in the city.