People often said Camilla Gautreaux had a very large head, which was true. This was not, of course, in the sense that her skull was filled with superior thoughts regarding herself, but rather in reference to its impressive circumference. Indeed, it was rather fortunate for Camilla that hats had not been so much in fashion since the seventies; she found them to be an exhausting ordeal. Despite this, her mother, a refined, moderately bossy matron, eager to keep gentle society thriving by instilling in the young people of the 1990s a keen zest for all things modern-genteel, fervently advocated the wearing of any kind of tasteful head covering for all youths of decent New Orleans society.
Still, Camilla’s cranial troubles weren’t so terribly awful, she often thought. For one thing, the sheer size of her skull did wonders for diminishing the appearance of her ears, and at a time that girls her age often worried about the shapes and lengths of their lobes or the angles at which the tips of their cartilage stuck out. In fact, as far as imperfections went, hers was not so unbearably awful. After all, she reflected, she could have been dull or plain or – oh, shivering horrors! – of mediocre birth.
However, by the grace and blessing of God, Camilla was none of these things. She had been an unusually bright child, and very pretty, and she grew into a clever and comely youth. When she entered young adulthood, many observed that she was quite beautiful, well-mannered, and uncommonly sharp for a woman. And, in spite of what many saw as the sole flaw in an otherwise faultless masterpiece, Camilla possessed a fine character and a sociable nature, which attracted to her those who commanded similar good graces and amiable qualities. Because of this, she became celebrated among her peers – exceptional young men and women of superior breeding like herself.
When Camilla felt she had reached a suitable age for such matters, she allowed herself to be courted only by those select suitors who she felt possessed the choice qualities a young lady should value in a gentleman – and who, of course, had first sought the permission of her imperious, protective father. Out of these men, she chose one who she felt would most please her father on whom she doted, her mother, whose capricious demands she coddled patronizingly, and herself, who she privately indulged the most.
Mr. Samuel Grant LeBlanc was not much different than Camilla’s other beaux, aside from having curiously light-colored hair and perhaps a bit more money that his rivals. He was a quiet man, and rather partial to Camilla, so she married him tastefully and lovingly in a large, expensive ceremony that was talked about over countless fine china cups of afternoon coffee for the remainder of the season. Then, after an appropriate amount of time was allowed to pass, Mr. and Mrs. LeBlanc produced one daughter, a good-humored child with an unremarkably sized head, but who, as Camilla observed on numerous occasions to the couple’s various fashionable acquaintances, had very unfortunate ears.