Friday, April 15, 2016

Lovely Aesthetic Ghosts

"everyone needs aesthetic ghosts in order to live. " YSL

Ropes of pearls, little black dresses, white gloves, ruby red lips, Shalimar perfume, khaki and plain white T's, corsets, ballet flats, languid silk flowers, charm bracelets, Levis 501's fragile from so many washes, crisp white blouses, pencil skirts, black faille mules, armloads of bracelets, over-the-knee boots, smoky smudged eyes, a Kawakubo intricate skirt, a Rick Owens cardigan, crocheted shawls, black bad-ass skintight jeans ... the images don't change.  Always the things I bring home to fondly place next to others very like them.

My mother asked for extra butter on her popcorn and we always sat in the last row at the movies. I have to remember to ask others where they want to sit having come to understand that not everyone likes extra butter or the last row. When she was very weak and drifting away, those last days of hers, I showed her pictures of glamorous women in opulent evening dresses. She thought they were too revealing and she frowned. I sat on the carpeted floor of a store dressing room when I was small listening to her stage-whisper to another woman that she shouldn't chew gum in public. I looked away, not knowing that decades later I'd notice a woman chewing gum in the car next to me and those memories would rush back.

Life wasn't grand, not when you're wearing a navy school uniform with a (terrible) white blouse with an anemic Peter Pan collar and aren't allowed to roll your white socks down below your ankle and your saddle shoes are scuffed. I followed my mother through the basement at Ohrbach's where the copies from the Haute Couture hung and wondered whether she'd scowl at loose buttonhole threads or worse. It pleased and surprised me that salesladies were more eager to please my mother, bringing armloads of dresses for her consideration, than some of the other women shopping. She thanked them graciously, telling them she would think about a dress or two. 

It's a sunny day and perfect to see a movie, wander into a shop. I could use a white T, maybe black jeans, All Saints skinny black jeans that is.


  1. Your writing is so beautiful. We all do need to have those ghosts. My friends mom growing up had all these rules of being a lady. That I didn't fully get until I was older. One of them was the gum. Or the time we were at a wedding , decided it would be "cool " to drink beer out of the bottle. I remember she kindly coming over to me with a glass. Your hair, makeup & dress are beautiful. You just killed it all by drinking beer from a bottle.I was in my early 20's fresh out of the college. Im still embarrassed thinking about it. I learned a lesson that day in being a lady. Sorry to natter on Ive just missed your posts xo

  2. another hiatus has ended ..

    love your story about the bottle of beer

    my mother, sigh, had so many frowns and rules and yet ... all true

    (she kept me home an entire day to make me memorize the times tables which I suppose it's best to do and leave behind - so hard for a kid, at least me, to understand)


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