Thursday, June 26

An Evening in Paris, & Winning Post Chocolates.

As a child I loved to watch my mother getting ready to go out. I would sit on the bed, & watch, as she put her makeup on, combed, then recombed her hair. I know it annoyed her to have me watching her every move. She would sometimes snap at me to go away. I adored her though, & thought she looked lovely.

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 cat pee animal urine, & take the breath away, & not in a good way! It didn't seem to make anyone sneeze or feel sick, either.

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.


Mike said...

I have known people like the young man you described. It does seem that certain people spend their whole life going from one sh*t storm to the next.

Windy weather in the winter bothers me too. It makes it feel so much colder.

ancient one said...

Your winter wind would have felt so good here today. Really hot and dry here. Even the grass feels crunchy underfoot.

It does seem as if some people are born with that dark cloud over their head. They tend to go from one drama to another... all sad.

I love when you write about your memories of your mom. I felt as if I were sitting on that bed with you watching her dress up...

jellyhead said...

Beautiful memories of your mother, Meggie. And the story of 'Mrs Balls' toilet - very funny!

Helen said...

I feel for that 'almost'young' man. Life really isn't fair sometimes, but I hope that someone who can love as much as that will find someone who can love him back just as much!

bluemountainsmary said...

Oh boy - that poor fella ! What kind of person is he? You know how some people are so hangdog in themselves they just seem to attract this kind of stuff!

My mother used to wear a perfume called "Blue Grass." I can still smell it too!

The Sagittarian said...

My gran used 4711. Even seeing the bottle in the shops makes me think of her. I also used to watch my mum get ready to go out, my 2 daughters sprawl on the bed watching me get ready to go out...sometimes they even try to pick out my clothes and the 10 year old often offers to do my make up (something I haven't been brave enough to agree to yet!).

Such a sad story of that young man; I worked with a guy once whose wife left him one day while he was at work. he got home to find a note, a mug and the TV all that was left.

Anonymous said...

Yes, some people do seem to attract misery and disaster for no reason. I have a friend who is lovely and just meets one man after another who treats her badly.

I do wonder though if there is something about them that causes it - or makes it more likely. Maybe the rest of us just don't attract the type of people who these poor people do? I have always been lucky in finding good souls.

Pam said...

This was a great post Meggie. Felt like I'd settled back in the chair by the fire, with the hands warming around the hot Milo drink as you told these wonderful tales, me nodding, foot tucked under and "Mmm"ing all the while. Had this conversation today,'why good people suffer s'@#t'. When my husband's adolescent students whine away with the "it's not fair" he always states "Life's not fair." So often its not.

Tanya Brown said...

You've taken me back. I agree with you regarding overindulgence spoiling treats. Maybe there's a lesson in there about increasing enjoyment of life - don't overdo it on luxuries so much that we get jaded and quit appreciating them.

Your story about the young man is clearly drawn (as always) and heartbreaking. I wonder if there are those who, by genetics or rearing, are incapable of drawing their feet back and giving life a kick in the seat of the pants. My experience is having to say, at some point, "I don't deserve this treatment, but I am the common factor in all of these experiences. I should try changing something, maybe a lot of things, to see what happens."

Ragged Roses said...

Thanks for this post Meggie, you have reminded me of just how much I use to love watching my mum get ready to go out and how I loved the smell of her perfume too!

Ragged Roses said...

Thanks for this post Meggie, you have reminded me of just how much I use to love watching my mum get ready to go out and how I loved the smell of her perfume too!

Maggie May said...

That poor bloke! I really hope his luck changes and he finds happiness with some one during his later life.

Evening In Paris! My Mum wore that too.

PAT said...

I remember Evening in Paris. It seems the little cobalt blue bottle also had a tiny tassel. Do you remember that?

I didn't have my ears pierced until I was a mother of 3, either!

Sad story about the young man. I've known people like that. It seems they can never catch a break!


Molly said...

You took me back Meggie! I used to love to see my mother all dressed up to go out for an evening. She wore the really red lipstick though, which always seemed so unnatural to me. When I started going to dances she urge me to wear some but I preferred pale pink. Now, I don't wear any............much better!
That poor guy. Life does seem unfair sometimes.....

Marja said...

Oh what a sad story Meg I so feel for the poor man. No i agree it is not even nor fair. Some people seem to attract lots of bad things without doing anything wrong. Makes life hard to understand

Anonymous said...

Not heard of Winning Post Chocolates, perhaps they didn't have them in UK. My Mum's favourite was Black Magic made by Rowntree. Also I can remember her wearing Tweed perfume. She used to put her hair in pins every night and in the morning would stand in front of the mirror with a head full of tiny 'kiss curls'(she called them).
Glad you liked Jorja's jumper, I'm trying to get a photo of her wearing it. Her mother says that she has worn it once and loves it.

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

Lots of memories evoked here, Meggie.

I pause and wonder how one person can attract so much misery, such a sad and troubled existence.

Frankofile said...

Hmm you've tapped into a rich vein here. Mothers' treats: I recall L'Aimant and Black Magic. Or was it just that she made it easy for dad to give her treats? I must ask my daughters one day if they have any such impressions of me..

Thanks for the tips on my blog about using herbs! Yes, much more use of herbs in salads, great idea.

Q said...

Dear Meggie,
My mother wore Evening In Paris too. I still have one of her bottles. My Father gave it to her.
I remember her lipstick too, a soft pink. My mother wore hats.
Sunday church our get dressed up time.
Thank you for your stories. I was taking a break from the heat and humidity. You have cold wind...I have hot heavy air.... your stories take me away.

smilnsigh said...

'Evening In Paris' perfume and 'Tangee' lipstick. Yessss... And was the 'Tangee,' that which went on clear, and became an individual pink, on the wearer? Or am I thinking of some other kind?

Yes, some people do seem born with a 'kick me' sign on their backs. That poor man, brought up not well, and not wanted, may have been doomed by his childhood. And kept choosing women, who would continue the trend of semi-abuse.

Smilnsigh blog

Ali Honey said...

Meg I have put a photo on my blog today that is for you. It's things you have recalled here.
Hugs from Ali.

PS Liz and Brian are back and came for lunch last week.I told them about your family.

Kellie said...

I too would watch my Mother 'put on her face' ... but my mum loved everyone watching her! "An Evening in Paris" what a lovely name for a perfume!!! Sorry I have not been around ... too wound up in my own 'business'.

fifi said...

ah, meggie, it is beautifully warm here in my little pie-shaped corner of the world!
That post reminded me of my younger brother. He is a person who never ever seems to get on top of things and never seems to do anything about it either.

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