My Favorite Days – Part One
Next week I’ll be celebrating the anniversary of one of the best days of my life.
Just thinking about that day led me to consider what other days I would choose as my favorite days.
So leading up to The Big Event, for the next couple of days I’m posting some of the runners-up.
I can’t rank these really – they are so different from each other. But here goes:
PERFECT DAY NUMBER ONE:
Happy Unbirthday, Summer 1963
I was a gawky 12-year-old. Skinny, undeveloped, and a little tall for my age, I was impossible to buy clothes for. A dress that was small enough for my tiny shoulders and non-existent bosom was too high-waisted and much too short – and this was way before miniskirts. (And way, WAY before a girl could wear pants anywhere except the backyard.) There was one store in my town that carried what they called pre-teen sizes. Sometimes they had as many as two dresses to choose from.
On the outskirts of Hartford there was Lord & Taylor. Most of my clothes up to that date had come from the Montgomery Ward catalog. We’d been shopping at Lord & Taylor a handful of times. Mostly just to look. It was as remote and glamorous to me as Paris. They even had a restaurant right inside the store.
And one day that Summer of ’63, my mother took me shopping at Lord & Taylor. Just the two of us. No older sisters, no little brother. That alone was sweet. We had lunch in the restaurant, which was called The Birdcage. And I had a Reuben sandwich, which I had never had before, and which I still love like crazy. And a cup of coffee. Just us girls.
And they had a BIG pre-teen department, and I bought a dress that actually fit me. And was cute too, and didn’t look like a little-girl dress. It was brown, which I thought was incredibly sophisticated (not to mention that it matched all my shoes). I almost looked like I was in high school. (Well, not really.)
As Mom was at the register, I browsed around the nearby counters. They had odds and ends - gift-y type stuff displayed on tables with actual tablecloths. And there was an awesome jewelry box. It was a little upright piano – white, decorated with flowers. And when you opened the top it played a song – “Fascination.” It was the prettiest thing I had ever seen. I stood silently admiring that extraordinary jewelry box for a very long time.
My mother came over the table and picked up the little piano box. I didn’t say a word. But Mom said the most the amazing thing:
“Isn’t this pretty? Let’s buy it for you.”
And she did!
We weren’t rich by any means, but my parents had always done their very best to give us kids wonderful Christmases, and there was always one special gift for our birthdays. But an expensive present for no reason at all? Never!
My beautiful mother bought me a beautiful jewelry box just because she loved me.
I kept that box on my dresser long after I should have outgrown it. All through high school and college, and for many years after, it played “Fascination” for me every time I opened it. Twenty years later I gave it to my niece, and it was still perfect.
And that day was perfect.