In later years I was to feel that same annoyance of watching small faces, as I prepared to go out.
The perfume of the day was always "Evening in Paris" in a small dark blue bottle, with a fancy little lid. A small dab behind each ear, & perhaps a little at the throat. She would carefully choose earrings, & sometimes a matching necklace. No pierced ears in those days. The earrings had clamps, painful things, I later discovered. Or they had screws which tightened to hold the earrings in place. Also painful, I was to discover. I went & had my ears pierced, against Gom's wishes when I was a mother of 3. I have no idea why he was so against it, as his mother had pierced ears, & had had them done when she was very young- by a friend with a hot needle!!
My mother didn't go out socially, very often. Occasionally she would go to the Races with friends. I know she loved a day at the races. She would arrive home happy, & slightly flushed from a drink or two. I never did share her liking for Races, & could not stand to watch the Trotting, which my mother loved. I remember once a would be suitor of mine took me to a Trotting Meeting, thinking he was giving me a treat. I was so bored & cold I didn't go out with him again!
The absolute treat of the day, when my mother was young, was a box of Winning Post Chocolates. Remember those? I am sure the PC Police would not allow such a name to be used today. It almost reeks of intent on the part of the gift giver, to reach the 'Winning Post', so to speak! From memory there was a picutre of a horse, & a horseshoe on the box, which I seem to remember as being blue? I suppose some suitor may have given my mother the chocolates on occasion.
I remember once, as my mother did her hair, & sprayed it to keep it neat, I remarked to her how like Mrs Ball's toilet her hair smelled. She quickly looked at the can of spray & was dismayed to see she had used air freshener instead of her hair spray! How we laughed. Mrs Ball was a friend & I used to babysit for her & her husband, when they had a night out.
I remember the smell of Evening in Paris. It was pleasant, dreamy & soft & not sharp or musky like some of the nasty perfumes of today. Some that I won't name smell just like
Though lipstick was popular in red colours back in those days, my mother never wore the bright, bloody reds. She usually wore soft pinks, often Tangee. Was that a colour or a brand? I know it was very popular, & was very soft. She seldom wore nailpolish either, & never bright reds.
I have an Aunt who married one of my mother's brothers, & she had beautiful strong long fingernails, & dark colouring. She wore Ruby red lipstick, & Ruby red nailpolish. It always suited her so well, & gave her an exotic look, to my eyes.
I can remember the thrill of being allowed to share some of those Winning Post chocolates. What a treat they were then. Now it seems the treats like that have all been spoilt by our overindulgence. Because I don't eat sweets often, I still find them quite a treat. I also love to get flowers. My daughter hates to be given flowers, which I find an odd thing. One of her partners used to give her roses, & she actually told me she hated them! She finally told him, too.
I have been wondering why some people seem to wear a psychic "Kick Me" sign.
I know a young man, who was last born, in a family of 4 children. He was born quite close to a much wanted girl child, after 2 older boys had been born. He seemed a 'forgotten' child in some respects. Almost treated as an accidental addition to the family, which I think he was, in actuality.
When he grew to adulthood, he met & fell in love with a girl, who seemed a perfect match. However, she developed some hideous disease, that caused her to go utterly bald. Perhaps it was alopecia. Every hair on the girl's body vanished. She became depressed, gave up her job, wouldn't go out in public. The young man truly loved her, & still thought of her as beautiful.
He spent all his time, trying to make her feel she was still loved, & still a lovely person. He told her to wear hats, scarves, & he took her out for drives to get her out of the house. He just adored her. He asked her to marry him, they became engaged.
Eventually, whatever the hideous disease was, went. The girl's hair grew back, & she became conventionally 'pretty' again. She then told the man she no longer loved him, & wanted him out of her life.
The young man was devastated. He could not understand how his devotion was thrown back in his face. He spriralled into deep depression.
After a time, he met another girl. Fell in love again, asked her to marry him. She agreed. This time it seemed, he was destined to find happiness.
They were to be married at the girl's parents picturesque property. All the guests assembled, on the lawns in the beautiful gardens. The nervous groom waited proudly for his bride. Waited. Waited.
The bride appeared eventually, very late indeed. Clutching a bottle of beer, swaying & slurring. Quite obviously very drunk!
The Groom's mother, who is a little naive, & generous in giving the benefit of the doubt, asked another guest, with surprised dismay, "Do you think she is drunk?"
"No no" the other guest replied, not wanting to spoil it, "Perhaps she is just nervous."
The 'happy couple' were duly married, & sped off on their honeymoon. The car boot, loaded with beer. All the guests hoped it would be a happy marriage, though the chances looked a little slim.
For a time all seemed well. The Bride became pregnant. There was jubilation. A beautiful son was born. The Father was so thrilled. The Mother spiralled into depression. No one knew why. The Father tried to get the Mother to seek help. She refused.
One day, the Father came home, to find the Mother had fled, taking all the furniture, plus their son. The Father was devastated. He followed the Mother, he begged & pleaded with her to return. He asked why. What could he do, to change things. "Nothing" the Mother replied. She didn't know what was wrong. She only knew she would not go back.
So the almost-young man, even more broken by life, lives a lonely existance. Alone & sad, the only joy in his life, the times he has his son for visits.
Life often seems to be so unfair. I don't understand how or why, one person seems to be singled out for such unhappiness. Such kicks in the ar*e for just 'being'.
It is said we are all born with a set quotient of happiness, that will not change. It is said it is about even for us all. This young man's life would seem to give the lie to that idea.
We have blustery winds. I find windy weather very unsettling. I always feel colder, & a little bleaker, when it is windy. In spite of the coldly blue diamond sky, the lemony sunshine, which cannot warm in the face of such biting wind.
Paul Simon, The Boxer.