Emma Birling hated balls. The inane chatter of the featherbrained females who were all out for a wealthy husband, the false flattery of the men who were either looking for a distraction from boredom or fortune hunters looking for an heiress, and worst of all: the aggressive mothers vying for their daughter to be in the spotlight of the Season. To Emma, her mother, Victoria Birling, Lady Hemington, was the worst.
Tonight was the Duke and Duchess of Kimberton's ball and everyone who was anyone would be there. This caused her mother to be in more of a state than ever. It was at least six hours until the ball and her mother was flitting about fussing over her dress and hair.
"My sweet darling, if only you could have been blessed with my blonde hair instead of your father's brown. Blonde is the fashion this year. And that chin, clearly from your father's side of the family." Emma had learned years ago that the features her mother found faulty were a product of her father and his side of the family.
"We will have to powder your cheeks and add a small bit of color. Are you feeling well? Did you rest as I asked you? No worry dear, your saving grace is your eyes.” Emma mimicked the last six words as her mother said them because she had heard them often. She was not beautiful, with her straight brown tresses and average features, but her eyes, they had been commented on since she was a child. A deep blue that reflected an almost purple color in certain lights, they were an outstanding feature that saved her from disappearing in the sea of average.
Emma’s mother waved the maid over and turned a critical eye on Emma’s hair. “We need to curl your hair. Curls are the fashion this Season.” Emma fought the urge to scream. “Mother is it pointless to curl my hair, especially this early. It will be straight again by the time I walk through the doors to the ball.”
“Tut tut darling, we must have faith in fashion and your hair’s capability of carrying it!” Her mother declared as she and the maid descended upon Emma’s hair. Emma closed her eyes with a sigh and resigned herself to the useless torture of the next hour or so.