It was one of those days when I knew my mother was sitting in heaven grinning from ear to ear. Since I’d never had children, she’d never personally been able to see retribution visited on me despite her many threats of “Wait till you have children of your own”. Now, from on high, she would get her chance.
I had taken my best young friend Greta out for a day of “girl stuff”. Since I’d never really been one to indulge in those activities when I was young, I depended on Greta to walk me through the technical details.
I quickly found out that the technical details pretty much consisted of finding a mall and then looking into every shop there if only for the purpose of touching whatever it was they were selling. I barely want to do this when I have to shop because of some unexpected wardrobe need. What Greta considered sheer fun, I considered sheer torture. And so the grin started to appear on my mother’s face.
Since Greta did have to buy a few things for her upcoming vacation, I attempted to plunge into the shopping expedition with a modicum of enthusiasm. This enthusiasm started to wane as I pointed out one darling dress after another only to have my selection met with a spontaneous burst of the giggles. I’d never had much fashion sense in my youth and I’d clearly not developed one in my old age. The grin on my mother’s face grew broader.
I had taken Greta shopping just a few months ago for her prom dress. I remember standing in the store as she looked at black, slinky gowns. I gazed at the pastel Cinderella ones thinking that the world had really changed in teen fashion since I’d last paid attention sometime back in 1968.
And then I saw the bellbottom jeans they were selling and suddenly it was 1968. For just a fleeting moment I felt very young again and Beatles music played softly in my brain. I had clogs on my feet, beads round my neck and the summer of love filled my heart.
Then Greta came out in one of the slinky black dresses and my heart skipped a beat. A young kid in jeans had walked into that dressing room and a young lady who very nicely filled out a stunning gown had walked out. I went up to her as she stood there looking in the mirror. I was startled to see an old lady in the mirror standing behind her. I was even more startled to realize that old lady was me.
On the way home from our shopping trip, Greta and I stopped so she could buy some music for her vacation. I bought a tape of the Beatles #1 hits to play in the car where I could sing at the top of my voice with only my dog to object. Since Greta and I have an arrangement about music when we are together – she gets her music half the time and I get mine the other half – I put my Beatles tape in while asking her if she’d ever heard their music before.
She looked at me, all youth and beauty and future, and said yes, she’d heard these songs on TV commercials.
And my mother’s grin darn near broke her face in half.