"French Satin at a Pissup" - A short story about a teenage girl struggling with cultural differences in a new country.

Essay by nathaniaburrieHigh School, 12th gradeA-, June 2004

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She slipped the pale lipstick along her lips and observed the results, leaning back a little as a painter does to reflect on his strokes, then the indigo mascara, the curling iron, the eau de toilette her cousin had given her for her birthday last summer, in Paris. In front of the mirror, she meditated on her expectations of this party.

How exciting this was to have been invited to a party, merely a month since her arrival at this new school. She hoped to meet more people, integrate herself into a social circle, attach herself and establish her place. According to the experience she had acquired as a teenager in France for six years, such an event, on short notice, without invitations, labelled as a 'party' on no particular occasion, would have at most 20 people, nibbles and soft drinks, music and chatter, perhaps even dancing and good conversation.

A social scene, an occasion to meet people and make an impression. She hoped she was suitably dressed. She'd chosen her loose cerise satin singlet, with the feminine lines that had been so admired in Givenchy's spring collection last season, and her favourite pair of pants, the tight black bootleg ones she'd bought in Paris before leaving. Parading in front of the mirror, she checked her outfit. She adored that pink singlet. It made her feel so elegant, and yet its vibrant colour and soft texture was purely girly. Versatile, she thought.

Although she vaguely recognised her slight dissimilarity in the eyes of her new peers, she felt at ease in the casual social atmosphere of the little town. After all, apart from the tropical heat of November, what was so different in this part of Australia from her New South Wales childhood? She still maintained vivid memories of summer...