My Grandmother’s Closet

addendum 2
hand-painted silk, 1987


My grandmother had a fancy dressing room.

Wall to wall closet, built-in vanity with lots of french-style mirrors, inviting drawers and surface area for potions.

Painted a lovely sage green and carpeted in this soothing color

I crept in there barefoot to sit my young self down in the tufted swivel vanity chair

And take a good, long, private look.

I saw a chubby, acned girl. The distance between that little me and her gowns hanging there in the closet was so great it silenced me on all levels.

So…I opened the golden lipstick tube and proceeded to primp.

I painted, slathered and slipped ever-so-carefully into too many yards of crepe de chine in emerald and scarlet and butter yellow trimmed with gold.

I brushed my mousy hair with sterling hair tools and dabbed perfume behind my pink ears from cut crystal bottles.

Dreaming of dances and be-jeweled darlings dipped by suitors while waltzing

I stood there looking….

Taking a tissue I daintily touched up the corners of my dreaming mouth painted red

And stepped away from the mirror.

I closed my eyes to feel the future kisses and fine stationery as I opened invitations finely calligraphed.

Suddenly smelling hamburgers cooking downstairs

I hurriedly took off the gown, pressed it smooth in the closet to avoid detection and washed my face well.

Running down the stairs to hug my grandmother I knew I had forgotten to delete the strong perfume.

But I didn’t care.

I knew she knew.

She knew so much and loved me still.

Excuse me while I go paint my lips…..


3 Responses to “My Grandmother’s Closet”

  1. Paul on October 17th, 2015

    Very cute memoir!

  2. Jennifer on October 17th, 2015

    And just like me in your enormous bathroom filled with all the colors, which I applied after taking off my glasses to make me look as glamorous as you, then scrubbed off so that no one would know I secretly wanted to be beautiful and chic, not eggheady! Such a long time ago, and yet a very clear memory. 🙂

  3. Rita Kindl Myers on October 17th, 2015

    “She knew so much and loved me still” this is what grandmothers offer us. I’ve been thinking of my own and thinking how lucky I have been.

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