Little Women Chapter 9
The Kings children have measles, and Meg has been invited for a two-week visit with Annie Moffat. Her sisters help her get ready, each of them giving her best things to take. The Moffats are very fashionable, and the girls staying there spend their time shopping, riding and visiting people all day. Meg feels shabby compared to the other girls; she finds that her dresses are inappropriate.
While Meg is there, Laurie sends her flowers. The others suspect there is a romantic relationship between them. Meg overhears some of them gossiping about her and Laurie, saying that it is unfortunate that Meg doesn't have a better dress. She hears them decide to lend Meg one of their old dresses and to invite Laurie to their party that week. They also say that Meg's mother is probably planning to marry Meg to Laurie, because her daughters need to marry into money.
Meg is hurt by the gossip, but lets the other girls dress her up in the latest fashion. Dressed up, she looks prettier than the other girls, who are a little jealous. Meg socializes at the party and enjoys herself until Laurie spots her and tells her he doesn't like or approve of the way she looks. Meg says he is being rude. "'I'm not Meg tonight, I'm 'a doll' who does all sorts of crazy things. Tomorrow I shall put away my 'fuss and feathers' and be desperately good again.'" Chapter 9, pg. 111 Laurie asks her to dance, and Meg asks Laurie to not tell her family about the way she is dressed. Then Meg goes off to dance with Ned Moffat. She drinks some champagne.
The next day she feels sick. She goes home the day after that, and tells her mother about her adventures, about the party and the gossip. Her mother is happy that Meg has learned that being rich doesn't mean happiness and that nice dresses don't make one beautiful. She is upset, though, about the gossip which says she is attempting to have her daughters marry into money. She tells Meg that she only has plans for her daughters to be pretty, accomplished, admired, respected, and chosen by good men.