Melanie had never felt prettier. Her grandmother had scolded her before she left the house, saying a velvet clutch and black velvet shoes with a black velvet dress was too much – adding that the full skirt and petticoat, “make you look like an ottoman.” Mamaw could be so mean! But Melanie didn’t care, and her mother assured her she looked nice. Melanie knew she looked better than nice. If it weren’t so vain, she’d venture to say she looked gorgeous, almost like that young Italian actress, Sophia Loren. Her tea-length black dress with an extra-poofy skirt and sweetheart neckline was the most mature thing she’d ever worn, and with the beautiful purse her father had sent her from his travels, she felt almost exotic. It was too bad Teddy couldn’t pick her up at her house, but with Mamaw’s unpredictably ugly mouth, meeting him at the club was definitely the right thing to do. She wasn’t even nervous about meeting his parents and extended family. This was going to be a perfect evening.