Caroline checked her watch again.
“Mum its one minute since you last looked.”
“If you worry too much you’ll get wrinkles.” The rest of the waiting mothers stifled giggles. Caroline noticed Bree needed a manicure desperately.
“Aiden!” Bree smirked at Caroline’s discomfort. “I have great genetics. I don’t get wrinkles.”
Bree was only too pleased to interject. “You have a great asthaetic specialist.”
“Bree darling, you need a manicure. And for next time, remember not many people can pull off red.”
“Yes. I should never have used a salon outside Snobsville. Local knowledge, you know. I tried a new place and paid the price.” She sighed for dramatic affect.
“Never mind dear. They look fine.” Tracy was Bree’s best friend and her daughter was Madison’s stiffest competition for the lead part in the Ballet Academy’s Bree and Tracy were a force to be reckoned with at the Ladies college that the girls attended together.
“Where did you go? A recommendation against is as important as a referral for these places. You get what you pay for you know Bree. I hope they didn’t use the cheap nasty stuff on your poor fingernails.”
“It was a place in Southie. Should have stayed in Proper.” She looked sadly at her fingers. “I have an appointment with my regular nail artist tomorrow to fix it.”
“Really Bree, I hardly think the nail artist was any less capable because her shop was in South Snobsville!”
“Oh Caroline. I know you’re a Southy at heart–“
“Our home is definitely in Snobsville proper Tracy. I’m just saying-“
“Yes dear, we know.”
“I mean, really, what’s the difference anyway?”
The two women looked at her incredulously as if she had asked what the difference was between the sun and the moon. Or designer and off the rack.
“Well, Caroline, I mean, it’s not one particular thing.”
“No, your right Bree. It’s more, I don’t know-“
“It’s the vibe.”
“The vibe? Really?”
“Yes. It’s like Mercedes versus Volvo, or Thermie versus Bellini.”
“Macro versus organic!”
“Exactly! One is just a slightly less, uh-“
“I was going to say expensive.”
“Yes, absolutely. One is a slightly less expensive version of the other.”
Caroline’s patience was thin on account of her nerves for Madison. “God Bree, your acting as if I just suggested your nanny cook your kids food from a jar! I’m only saying expensive isn’t always better.”
The two women looked at Caroline with genuine pity.
“Maybe dear. But you do get what you pay for. I really believe that.”
“Tracy, it’s a damn manicure. She wasn’t buying a house for goodness sake. “
The heated conversation had drawn the attention of the other mothers who were anxiously awaiting news from inside the ballet studio.
Caroline smiled weakly and looked at her watch again. With Aiden’s class it was so much easier. The mother’s didn’t pick fights so much. Yet. Maybe once Aiden was Madison’s age that would change.
“Anyway dear. We didn’t mean to upset you. You have a lovely home.” Tracy smiled condescendingly, and Caroline knew that she barely meant what she said.
“Yes. I mean, you don’t want to be upset before the girls come out.”
“Oh? And why is that?”
“Well. I probably shouldn’t say. But I’m pretty sure Clea is going to get the lead.”
“Bree, she is a lovely dancer. Truly. But I wouldn’t rule out Sienna either.”
“No, of course not. I’m sure she’ll be a principle. It’s just that the Teacher’s assistant, she noted how much Clea’s demi plie has improved. And they are doing the nutcracker suite, Clea has seen it every year when it is performed by the Australian Ballet. She knows it backwards.”
“Sienna got a highly commended in her last eisteddfod. I didn’t see Clea’s name on the honour’s list?”
“No. Calf injury that weekend.”
“Hmmm. Sienna wears her fake tan beautifully.”
“Clea’s hair looks better in her hair piece!”
“Oh god ladies, cut it out!” The women stood in a stony silence waiting for the girls to come out. Finally, when Caroline could barely stand the reticence any longer Madison, Clea and Sienna emerged chatting excitedly.
“So? How did you go honey? It doesn’t matter, I’m proud of you either way-“
“Mum I got the lead.” Madison said it so matter of factly Caroline wasn’t sure she heard it right.
“Oh. Congratulations. Lovely news. Your mum needs some good news today. How did you go Sienna?”
“Well done dear. We may need to discuss your eating plan again. I can see those biscuits you ate for afternoon tea sitting on your belly.”
“Clea? What happened? Do we need more work on your plies? Arabesque?”
“Mum, I’m a duck.”
“I’m a freaking duck Mum.”
“What do you mean a duck? There are no ducks!”
“God I hate ballet. Are there any hockey teams around Mum? I think I’d be better at that.”