Prom dress sea­son brings vi­sions of bowl­ing teams and pe­plums

News-Herald (Perkasie, PA) - - AROUND TOWN - Outta Left­field

Any con­ver­sa­tion that in­cludes the word “pe­plum” I know is go­ing to be well be­yond my reach.

In ad­di­tion to pitch­ers and catch­ers re­port­ing this month, it’s ap­par­ently Shop­ping for Prom Dress Sea­son as well, where moms and daugh­ters report early to places like the Lim­er­ick out­let mall to warm up their credit card arms in prepa­ra­tion for the spring prom sea­son.

I didn’t know there was such a sea­son. But I am a typ­i­cal guy in th­ese mat­ters and it’s gen­er­ally ac­cepted WKDW , wRuOGn’W EH DEOH finG my hind end with both hands when it comes to the de­tails sur­round­ing any­thing to do with prom dresses. In fact, I care more about the suits — RU PRUH VSHFL­fiFDOOy WKH jamokes in­side the suits and their in­ten­tions to­ward the young fe­male in my house­hold — than I do about the prom dress it­self.

For­tu­nately, I was not re- quired to at­tend the most re­cent dress-shop­ping ex­cur­sion, es­pe­cially when there were more press­ing mat­ters, like re­port­ing to Knuck­le­ball Sports Cards in Hor­sham on a Sun­day af­ter­noon to sit around look­ing at old ball­cards and kib­itz­ing with owner Steve MacKen­zie and the col­lec­tion of cronies that he has as­sem­bled who have al­ready worked them­selves into mid­sea­son form when it comes to hurl­ing good­na­tured in­sults at each other.

Dodg­ing the ac­tual shop­ping trip this time, how­ever, did not ex­clude me from be­ing pre­sented with the Of­fi­cial Shop­ping Report when the shop­pers re­turned from their suc­cess­ful ex­pe­di­tion. It’s like a scout­ing report of the day’s ac­tiv­i­ties, and I can’t put into words how en­joy­able th­ese re­ports make my en­tire day. Although I don’t think I was ex­pected to take notes, I did so none­the­less, just in case there’s a test on the ma­te­rial some­where down the road.

So I lis­tened in­tently — or at least tried to make it look like I was do­ing so — and learned about the “pe­plum,” some­thing called a “ruched gath­er­ing” and a part of the dress that is “beaded on the bodice.” (By the way, Beaded on the Bodice would be a cool name for a band or a bowl­ing team. Just imag­ine the swell shirts the Beaded on the Bodice Bowl­ing Team would have.)

So when Daugh­ter of Blonde Ac­coun­tant made the big re­veal as to the prom dress that was pur­chased, I nod­ded and shook my head ap­prov­ingly while toss­ing is a few “oohs” and “ah­hhs.” Then I shook Py fiVW PHnDFLnJOy to­ward no one in par­tic­u­lar while grous­ing, “This dress bet­ter cover up all the parts it needs to cover up!” Right out of the Dads of Daugh­ters playbook. I am re­dun­dantly con­sis­tent when it FRPHV WR VKDNLnJ Py fiVW DW VRPHWKLnJ WKDW nHHGV D fiVW shak­ing.

“You know, the taupe lace over­lay needs a lit­tle tai­lor­ing,” said The Blonde Ac­coun­tant as she sur­veyed the dress.

“Uh … ya, sure. Huh? What?” I coun­tered.

“It’s ruched and has a pe­plum,” she added.

“What the heck is a pe­plum?” I said, think­ing it might be some sort of dental term.

“,W’V D OLWWOH SRR­fiH SLHFH right around the waist,” she said, like she ex­pected me to know that.

So I wrote that down, be­cause I just know that’s go­ing to come back at me some­time when I least ex­pect it.

Later on, I went to the dic­tionary be­cause I ac­tu­ally wanted to see if the of­fiFLDO GHfinLWLRn RI WKH wRUG “pe­plum” in­cluded the wRUG “SRR­fiH.” , DP KDSSy to report that it does not in­FOuGH WKH wRUG “SRR­fiH,” but it does in­clude the word “flRunFH,” VR , KDYH UHDOOy not ad­vanced my knowl­edge when it comes to this word. I’m cer­tainly go­ing to have trou­ble on the test with this one.

An­other de­tail of the dress that mo­men­tar­ily bam­boo­zled me was the fact that it is con­sid­ered strap­less, yet it has what looks to be two spaghetti straps on it.

“I thought you said it was strap­less,” I said, won­der­ing as the words were coming out of my mouth if I should have just done what I do best, which is just shut up and nod my head. “It is,” she said. “Then what do you call those lit­tle straps?” I asked.

“I call them an­noy­ing,” she coun­tered.

Oh. More tech­ni­cal fash­ion ter­mi­nol­ogy, I see. I could have ad­vanced the con­ver­sa­tion into a “Who’s on First” di­rec­tion, but I’ve been around long enough to know bet­ter than to do that. (By the way, the lit­tle straps are de­signed so the dress can be hung on a hanger, then just tucked in when it comes time to wear the dress. I am not aware of any item of men’s cloth­ing that has some­thing com­pa­ra­ble to that.)

So, we’ve got the dress, now all we need is a prom date. I am not sure yet which Knucklehead in Wait­ing it’s go­ing to be, but he’d bet­ter be a ke­gler (that’s bowl­ing lingo).

He doesn’t know it yet, but there could be a really fancy bowl­ing shirt in his fu­ture.

Mike Morsch is ex­ec­u­tive ed­i­tor of Mont­gomery Me­dia and au­thor of the book, “Danc­ing in My Un­der­wear: The Sound­track of My Life.” He can be reached by call­ing 215-542-0200, ext. 415 or by email at msquared35@ ya­ This col­umn can also be found at www.mont­

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