Remembering Meme: Dressing Up

Meme always prided herself on her appearance. Up until a few years ago, she was painting her nails the same pearl color she always had, and tucked away in her purse was frosted pink lipstick.

Back in Vermont, she had a decently sized walk in closet, not to mention the bureau, the jewelry case on the bureau (and the one on the shelf that played music), and the whole wall of louvered doors that accordianed open.

She bought her blouses, and of course loved polyester—particularly anything with paisleys (maybe this is from where my offbeat side comes).  The ladies at the fabric store knew her well.  Toting her latest purchases, if she didn’t already have something to match, she’d lay the blouse against one bolt of fabric after another to find just the right shade.  The skirts that resulted were wrap-arounds.  Some tied, others clipped or snapped together.

Aside from pigging out, going to Meme’s house meant reveling in cascading polyester and playing dress up.  She didn’t have any of her dresses from the 40s and 50s (the era of accentuated femininity), but her wrap-around skirts were entertaining enough. And then there was the jewelry. Meme was a huge fan of clip on earrings.  Enameled flowers in lime green with a smattering of rhinestones.  Brooches, necklaces, rings and bracelets.  Her jewelry smelled more like her than her clothes did—more precisely, smelled like Jean Naté and baby powder.

Part of it was the joy of exploration, and the thrill of maybe, possibly being someplace I wasn’t supposed to be, about to find something that was supposed to remain hidden.  The other part of it was simply being a girl.

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One thought on “Remembering Meme: Dressing Up

  1. I just realized that I did not really provide a supportive atmosphere for dress up as I was not very girly and really don’t indulge much in make-up. It’s a wonder you didn’t turn out to be a tom boy!

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