Out Of Place

Do you ever see people who look like they don’t belong? Either as a result of their clothes, or their mannerisms, or the way they hold themselves?

I am fascinated by a woman who walks past my house every day. She brings an air of the elegance of yesteryear with her, renewing the sun-faded colour in the streets as she passes.

She looks like a young Helena Bonham Carter, a proverbial English Rose, with chestnut hair cascading to her shoulders in carefully groomed waves, skin that used to be described as alabaster, and Rita Hayworth-red lips.

Today she was wearing a Victorian buttercup silk dress with a pleated skirt and mother of pearl buttoned sleeves. She finished the outfit off with 1940s suede strappy shoes in an olive green suede.

She floats down the street, ethereal, dignified, as if she was the top graduate in her finishing school. Her posture is perfect, her bearing almost regal.

How is it that she exists, so fresh and vital looking in the harsh Australian climate? Why does she not wilt in the hot day’s eye?

I saw her once at the shops. I was glad because I was beginning to wonder if she was a dream. Heavenly in a classic cut linen suit. People watched her as she passed, an iridescent movie star.

I wonder who she is. An actress? A designer? A poet?

I imagine her, eating thinly sliced cucumber sandwiches from the finest china plates while discussing French literature and art. Unflappable, witty, respectful.

She is such a contrast to all the other women I see in their low slung jeans, tops with the bra straps showing, fake tans, and attitudes of entitlement.

She is what used to be referred to as a lady. I wish I could be like her. Surely that would make my life different, better. She passes by my house each day, truant from an English country garden, and I wonder if she is aware of the power of her refinement.

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22 thoughts on “Out Of Place

  1. For goodness sakes, go talk to her! I bet she gets loads of people just looking and would be happy to have someone say “hello”.

    Then come back and tell us all about your new friendship 🙂

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  2. you’ve got me fascinated. you HAVE to talk to her. i always wished i was like that. i used to assuage myself by saying that only movie stars can pull that off. well, shame on me!!!

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  3. I once summoned up the courage to talk to a woman similar to the one you describe in your post. In contrast to her resplendent appearance, she spoke
    in a thick ocker strine accent -which totally ruined any movie star/elegant lady illusion. 🙂 DavidM

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  4. Some people’s demeanour just demands that you notice them while the rest of us just slip into the woodwork. Now you’ve got me curious because she definitely doesn’t sound like your garden variety Aussie that’s for sure 🙂

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  5. What a great story and I have experienced this myself with a few people over the years. They just looked like they were marching to a different drum but in a very good sense. This sounds like the start of a story that could be wonderful too. And I agree with Paisley, you just have to strike up a conversation. What woman doesn’t love compliments? Sounds like you could make her day too. 😉

    Hugs, G

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  6. she sounds like a dream, a character from a fantasy land but still there is the refinement in her dress and her manners which is quite fascinating, I think perhaps maybe you should talk to her and get her story or write her story!

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  7. My friend’s wife always wore flowery print dresses, and high-heeled shoes, like a Fifties movie star. And, the only reason she would give was she didn’t like wearing trousers.

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  8. Woohoo! That is brilliant. You just brought her alive and she is the perfect character because she accords so well with your incredibly elegant prose style.

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  9. LAURA:
    I’m going to do it. She’ll probably think I am a stalker or something, but I’m going to do it. I’ll keep you posted.

    LURAGANO:
    I think I am so fascinated by her because I want to be like that too. I would love to walk through the day as graceful as a dancer and have people say:’Who was that enigmatic, mysterious woman?’ but alas, I am too busy tripping over my own feet and dropping my keys every five minutes. LOL.

    PAISLEY:
    I am intrigued too. That’s my project for this week. I have to know.

    DAVID:
    Hahahaha. That’s what I’m afraid of. I’ll die if you she says :’How’s it goin, darl?’ I won’t be able to cope. 😆

    ROMANY:
    She doesn’t, does she? If I didn’t know better I’d say she had stepped straight from the pages of a book!

    QUERULOUS SQUIRREL:
    I’m on it. I will indeed keep you posted!

    OTTO:
    I will definitely try. Ooooh, this is exciting!!

    GERALDINE:
    It is intriguing when you see people who appear to belong in another era, isn’t it? I’ll be interested to see if she’ll talk to me.

    LISSA:
    It is just so unusual to see someone like her these days, especially in summer where everyone is wearing shorts and T-shirts. I have to know her story!

    TRAVELRAT:
    I had an aunt who was the same. She thought trousers were undignified and purely for ‘those feminist bra-burners.’ Hahaha.

    PAUL:
    Thank you so much. I do aspire to be elegant in some way. I can’t achieve it physically so if I can do so through writing I am delighted. Cheers!!!

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  10. Sorry – going against the tide- don’t talk to her. I like the idea of her- what if she is someone else all together.

    I know what you mean about the low slung jeans and sense of entitlement- very well put. Again word of caution- don’t talk to them either.

    (I have sinking feeling I’m anti-social)

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  11. the power of her refinement….i like that. she must also give off an energy that indicates she comfortable with herself too?

    she would most definately stick out like a sore thumb in the welfare office where i work! lol!

    I do see many who don’t fit, but it’s most people from the other side of the tracks lost in a sea of the people in our shared community.

    I would like to have that power of refinement, but then I’d have to get rid of my dangling earrings and my flowy scarves….or maybe not.

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  12. NAT:
    You’re on. Just call me Scoop. LOL.

    LAURI:
    I’m laughing because I can completely relate. Why shatter the illusion, eh? It’s similar to when a book you have really loved is made into a movie and it just doesn’t measure up. So disappointing. Now I’m torn….

    DANA:
    Dangling earrings and flowing scarves have their own sense of refinement.

    She does exude a sense of self-ease. There is a relaxed vibe about her which most people don’t give off these days – they’re trying to get where they’re going as quickly as possible. I think that is initially why she struck me.

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  13. Sounds like the woman I need to meet about now–wonderfully described as usual Selma. Like most males, I was once attracted to the superficial female with fake tans, but as I’ve grown older, my tastes have changed for the better . . . real people 🙂

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  14. Just a couple of days ago I found myself having this fantasy of a woman just like the one you describe – dressed from the past – and wondering how out of place she would seem. How very odd.

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  15. BOBBY:
    I think any man would be captivated by her. Such classic beauty. I hope someone just like her wanders into your neck of the woods very soon.

    RICHARD:
    NO WAY. It’s like we’re on some psychic link-up or something. That is just bizarre!! 😯

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