At last she understood. "Of course! That's what mother was doing when she was decorating it. Now I see. All round her a mess, a confusion of bits and pieces, and she picked from here and there and the result was that cake. I remember she wouldn't put all the cherries in a cake. She liked to keep some back for the top." She remembered, too, her mother trying things out; holding a nut or a piece of peel over the cake to see if it looked right. "Funny thing is," went on her thoughts, "if asked in court to describe the actual cake beneath the icing, I couldn't. I don't think any of us noticed it. It must have been a Christmas cake -- or was it for one of our birthdays? Or am I quite wrong and it was plain? Never mind, it was just the top that counted, I remember that all right."
Just then the assistant returned with the hat and an apologetic look. It's just perfect for the suit, of course, madam, but it's rather expensive...."
She smiled, suddenly light-hearted with decision. "That's all right," she replied, "I'm keeping something back this year to buy really exciting accessories.
"You see, I have my own theory that people don't notice nearly so much what the rest of your clothes are like --
From Everywoman magazine, March 1950