I wasn't asked to the Sweethearts dance this year, but to be perfectly honest, it doesn't matter. Instead, my sisters, my mom, and I went to the Queen of Hearts event at Gardner Village. I absolutely love the atmosphere there. The shops are all so quaint and pure-each one is housed in an old house or building from years ago. My favorite store is called Anastasia's Attic. It truly is a place for princesses and queens. No girl can enter that shop without longing for some glittering, beautiful object. And when she places one upon her neck or around her shoulders, that superficial beauty is transferred into glowing happiness upon her face. There is something special about beautiful things. It's almost as though we can hide our fears behind the glamor and transfer it to feel real.
Don't think that all I care about is the fake and unreal beauty of objects. There is nothing more beautiful than a young woman. Still, we have a hard time remembering our beauty. It's nice to have some object of beauty to help us realize our own.
Women and girls were wearing crowns and some in gowns and dresses. I dressed up in a gold and black costume that Amanda wore for Halloween last year. She wore my white and gold dress that I got for Halloween a few years ago. I love dress-up. I don't think I'll ever grow out of that.
At Anastasia's Attic, I purchased a tiara and two new hair clips to wear in my hair. Because of my purchases, they gave me a mini tiara (which I can place into my hair when I pin it up) and a small pocket knight to carry around for "love luck." At Sweet Afton's, the candy store, I purchased a bag of lemon drops and a black licorice pipe. The pipe is for my dad (I hate black licorice, but he loves it) and the lemon drops are in memory of a man who meant a lot to me. Those were his favorite candies. I love Sweet Afton's. It reminds me of Honeydukes in Harry Potter. It's bright, bustling, and full of wonderful things to look at and smell. I love moseying through the shop and just looking at everything there is to see.
We wandered around a few other shops and met the cat who "owns" The Village Christmas Shoppe. He is a black cat with a single white spot on his chest. His name is Snowball. Three years ago, Snowball wandered into the shop one snowy night. The workers kicked him out, and he came back. It happened three more times and still he came back. Soon, the real owner decided that the little cat had adopted them and made him the owner of her store. Snowball is an interesting cat with an extremely business-like attitude. If you were just browsing, he would sort of try to herd you out the door. If you were seriously interested in an item, he watched you to see if you'd pocket it. I think he's quite the good "watchdog" and salesperson. "Interested? Stay as long as you'd like. Not purchasing? Good-bye."
I had a lovely chicken pot pie for dinner, followed by a delicious, rich Oreo Dream Bar. Those are absolutely divine. Or as Amy from "Little Women" says, aren't these desserts "divinity?"
Really, Gardner Village is like a Muggle Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley. It has it's own sort of magic. I love it there.