A loving but poor grandmother vows she will make her orphaned granddaughter a prom dress as beautiful as any of the rich girls’.
Dannie Morgan was 17 when she came to live with her grandmother shortly after her parents were killed in a car accident. Dannie had grown up in Denver and had only met her grandmother Ruth two or three times before.
Dannie, struggling to come to terms with her parents’ death, didn’t feel that moving to a small town in the outskirts of Los Angeles with a virtual stranger was what she wanted, but she had no choice.
On top of everything else, Dannie discovered that her circumstances were much reduced. Her parents had been young and successful and had indulged Dannie and themselves in everything they desired.
Saving for a distant future was something neither of them had considered and there had been no life insurance. So Dannie now discovered that her grandmother was relatively poor.
She certainly couldn’t give Dannie the kind of life she was used to, even though her home was in the middle of an extremely affluent community that had grown over the last thirty years around her pretty Victorian cottage.
So when Dannie got to her new high school, she discovered that all her colleagues were living the life that had once been hers. Grandma Ruth did her best to make Dannie feel at home, but it wasn’t easy.
Dannie missed her friends from back in Denver, and the girls at the new school weren’t that friendly. There was only one person who seemed to like Dannie, and that was Tom Kelso. Tom wasn’t a nerd either, he was tall and handsome, and the star of the football team. He started dropping by and asking Dannie out for ice cream, but she was suspicious. What did Tom want with the new girl who no one else liked? But as it turned out, Tom was one of those rare creatures who was handsome, intelligent, popular, and NICE! He liked Dannie a lot, and he quickly let the rest of the students at the high school know that Dannie wasn’t to be picked on or bullied. She was Tom’s friend and under his protection.
Of course, that made the popular girls at school, especially Kelly Bronson who had her eye on Tom, hate Dannie even more, and for Kelly, the straw that broke the camel’s back was when Tom invited Dannie to the prom.
As soon as she knew, Kelly decided that Dannie Morgan was going down. “Oh, Dannie!” cried Kelly in her sweetest voice. “I hear you got asked to the prom! So what are you going to wear?”
Dannie smiled nervously. “I haven’t thought about that yet…”
Kelly winked at her friends. “You do know that there’s a prize for the most original sickest dress?”
“Really? No,” Dannie said. “No, I didn’t know…”
Kelly smiled nastily. “You know, Tom has a real shot at being king of the prom, so don’t mess it up with some lame dress!”
Dannie really hadn’t thought about the dress, but now it was all she could think about. That afternoon, she got home and opened her wardrobe. She had heard Kelly and the other girls talk about their dresses and drop designer names, and there was no way she could compete.
She sat down on her bed and started crying, then Ruth knocked on the door. “Dannie?” she asked. “Is it OK if I come in?” Dannie wiped her nose on the back of her sleeve like a kid.
“Yeah…Come in, gran,” she called. Ruth walked in and took in Dannie’s swollen eyes, and her trembling lips. “Sweetie, want to talk about it?”
“No!” cried Dannie. “Yes! I don’t know…I don’t think talking about is going to help. I’ll just be sharing the misery.”
“Why don’t you try me?” asked Ruth. “I used to be pretty good at solving problems when your dad was your age.”
“Look, there’s this boy — Tom — and he’s really nice, gran,” said Dannie. “And he’s asked me to the prom, and I can’t go!”
“Why can’t you go, Dannie?” asked Ruth gently. “If you like him and he asked you?”
“I don’t have anything to wear!” cried Dannie. “Not like the other girls! They are all buying thousand-dollar dresses from MET Gala designers, and I think a little number from Nice Price isn’t going to cut it!”
“Goodness!” cried Ruth, “But listen, I’m sure Tom doesn’t care what you wear. He likes you for yourself, right?”
“But he’s probably going to be prom king, and there’s a prize for best dress, and, and…” Dannie sobbed.
“MET Gala?” said Ruth thoughtfully. “Why don’t we take a look and see what you like?”
Ruth and Dannie spent a pleasant two hours going through magazines exclaiming over different spectacular designs.
“I’m going to make you a dress that will knock the socks off those girls, Dannie!” Ruth said. “And that’s a promise!”.
The magic of love is greater than the power of money.
“But gran, the prom is in in a week’s time!” gasped Dannie.
“Don’t you worry, Dannie! It will be ready on time!” promised Ruth. The next day, Ruth went into town and got herself several spools of crochet yarn the exact color of Dannie’s eyes.
By the time Dannie came home, Ruth had started the dress and was busily weaving the crochet yarn into an intricate web that would overlay a satin lining.
“Wow!” gasped Dannie. “That’s looking amazing gran! But…do you really think it will be ready on time?”
“Yep!” said Ruth. “Come here, I think it would look amazing if we made some sleeves, a little like a delicate spiderweb with pearls falling over your hands?”
“I love it!” cried Dannie. “I really do!”
That night, Ruth didn’t sleep. She sat up all night making the dress, working on the sleeves and the train. and sitting at the sewing machine putting together the lining. For the next week, she worked night and day.
The day before the prom, Kelly decided to pick on Dannie. “Hey, Dannie,” sneered Kelly. “So do you have a dress?”
Dannie smiled proudly. “Yes! My grandmother is making me one!”
Kelly and her friends burst out laughing. “Oh my God! I cant wait to see you tonight, Little Orphan Dannie!”
When Dannie got home, the dress was ready and it was even lovelier and more unusual than she had imagined. She threw her arms around her grandmother and burst into tears. “Thank you, gran, thank you,” she cried.
When she walked into that prom that night on Tom’s arm, it was clear that Dannie was the belle of the ball, and she was delighted when she was awarded the prize for the most original dress.
When she arrived home, glowing and smiling, she hugged her grandmother. “Oh gran, it was all thanks to you!” she whispered.
Ruth just laughed. “Anything for you, my darling, and remember, sometimes the magic of love is greater than the power of money!”
What can we learn from this story?
The magic of love is greater than the power of money. Ruth’s love for her granddaughter inspired her to create a dress that outshone any of the other girls’ expensive outfits.
Don’t judge people by their looks, their financial status, or their clothes. Kelly and her friends sneered at Dannie because she was poor, but ended up humiliated.