Title: No More Poodle Skirts
Author: Genie Gabriel
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 2
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After drifting for years in the innocent age of the 1950s, a woman struggles to join today's world by finding a career and a new love, with some help from her zany family.
Life seemed much simpler when all a girl had to worry about was keeping her bobby socks and the pompom on her poodle skirt a brilliant white. Daphne Madison wiggled and gyrated into panty hose that seemed determined to twist around her like a boa constrictor squeezing its prey.
A modern woman was expected to have it all--a husband, a family, a career--with never a wrinkle in her face or her confidence.
Daphne zipped up her dress and drew a shaky breath as she stared at herself in the mirror. The form-fitting pink dress wasn't as comfortable as her skirts, and the high heels shoved her feet down into the pointy toes.
I can do this, Daphne reassured herself. She hadn't even been born in the fifties, but it seemed like such an innocent time. If she could pretend to live in that time, surely she could live in the current millennium.
Something doesn't seem just right, she thought, as she fastened a strand of pearls around her neck. However, she refused to wear the short skirts she had seen on television programs. The pencil thin skirt that ended just above her knees was as daring as she would go.
She slid her arms into the pink jacket that matched her dress and considered herself once again. Something still seemed amiss. She settled a pink pillbox hat borrowed from her sister on top of her smooth blond hair. Better.
White gloves restored her confidence even more.
With another deep breath, Daphne swept down the stairs to garner the reaction of her family. She knew her adult son, Ryan, would be of little help but to offer a gourmet breakfast gleaned from the latest cooking show on TV. A meal Daphne knew her jittery nerves wouldn't tolerate.
Her sister wouldn't be stirring yet, but Linda would be organizing the house for the day. She was the mother of Daphne's daughter's husband. Did that make her and Daphne sisters-in-law? No, that wasn't quite right, and thinking about it made her brain hurt.
She gave her head a slight shake. It didn't really matter. Linda was quite practical and had motivated Daphne out of her fantasy life. She would know if Daphne was dressed appropriately for her job interview.
"So what do you think?" Daphne turned slowly as she entered the kitchen.
Her son glanced up from the television long enough to mumble a good morning. Linda considered her thoughtfully. "Very elegant. Where's your interview?"
"The bank is hiring for a teller."
"Ah." Linda nodded. "Perhaps take off the hat and gloves…"
Panic niggled in Daphne's stomach. The two accessories that had restored at least a smidgen of her self-confidence.
Linda smiled when she noticed Daphne's obvious distress. "Well, maybe just take off the gloves to shake hands with the interview committee."
Daphne swallowed. Perhaps she could manage that.
"Are you going to eat breakfast before you go?" Linda asked.
"I-I really couldn't." Daphne laid a hand over her belly. "Already full of butterflies."
Linda's smile grew wider. "You're beautiful and smart, Daphne. I'm sure you'll knock 'em dead."
Horror mixed with the butterflies in Daphne's stomach at the thought of her interview committee keeling over dead when she stepped into the room.
"It's just an expression." Linda patted Daphne's hand. "Try to relax and let them see how much of an asset you would be to their bank."
With a shaky nod, Daphne faced the long, long journey down the hallway and through the front door, out into a world she really wasn't sure she wanted to live in.