Face, Meet Sidewalk

Violet’s Formative Years

Posted on: September 22, 2011

Dear Alma,

Since my recent Brush With Death, I have become quite reminiscent. Some might call it maudlin, but I have been enjoying my trip down memory lane quite a lot. I’m sure you are feeling the same way right now.

I was remembering how much time you used to spend at my house. We would stay up half the night playing cards and drinking coke and listening to the radio. My memories of those nights are so fond. It has been a while since we played, but think I am still ahead in the running gin rummy total. I must look for that little ledger book, I think it’s still around here somewhere.

Do you recollect the time we went to the beach? It was one of those nights where you slept over at my house so your father wouldn’t know when you got in. I remember the day you first met George. What a glorious day it was. If I recall correctly, the sun was hot and the water was refreshing and there were plenty of young men admiring us. Well, truth be told, they were admiring you, in that very risqué bathing suit. I never had the nerve to go out like that, but you pulled it off every time. I was so jealous of your sense of adventure (and your bosoms!).

And the dance that night! I was exhausted by midnight. I think there were only about a dozen of us left. You went down to the beach in George’s car after they shut the dance hall down and I went home. I almost waited outside for you so we would only have to open the door once because I didn’t know what Mother would think if she heard you come in after I did. But when I got there, I could hear her snoring from the porch. I was in bed when you finally got home, but I don’t think we even slept that night. You were over the moon. I had a feeling you two were in it for the long haul. I was so sorry to hear about his passing.

One of the things I remember most from those days was The Rules of Appropriate and Inappropriate Behaviour. How many can you name? A Lady never drinks hard liquor. A Lady never scratches in public. A Lady must never show more than an inch of knee. A Lady never goes anywhere without a hat and gloves. Now that I think of it, all those rules were meant to keep us from anything that was fun. You were so good at walking that line, though. You always managed to have as much fun as possible without getting yourself a Reputation. I was too afraid. I guess that’s why you ended up with seven lovely children and I nearly ended up a spinster accountant! Anyway, it all worked out in the end. Frank was very good to me. Although I couldn’t have admitted it a year after he died, our time together, however short, was worth the wait.

I hope you don’t mind this nostalgic little diversion, Alma. I’m sure things are still very difficult for you. You should think about coming for a visit. It would be just like old times, only with canes and walkers and a lot more fibre. I’ll have a full deck of cards ready whenever you want.




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