One enchanted evening


The box is not expensive, it’s priceless. The green outer edges are torn and rubbed off from wear. I have no idea how old it is. Perhaps we gave it to her when I was small. The goldtone lock is hard to latch but easy to reopen. There is no key any more. Inside the top is a green satin liner with a gold filigree design. It has one fold-out shelf divided up for smaller items like earrings or rings. The main basin is undivided, about five by eight inches. The hinges still work fine. The music box still works, still transports me back in time. Just now, the tapping of the keys set it off as if in response to that last sentence, and then I remember.

Mom and Daddy are going out. Mom always wears lipstick but she’s gotten her hair done too and I think she has mascara on. I love her perfume. I get it for her birthday every year. The box has midnight blue satin lining. What was it called? I hate my memory. Midnight Blue? Is that a perfume name?

She’s wearing a dress. She likes red. She likes green, blue, gold. Tonight it’s black velvet and gold. Satin rustles. I get to sit on her bed while she gets ready. She’s so excited. She likes going out. She’s smoking and she has a beer. I’m playing with her jewelry box. This is my favorite tune. “Some enchanted evening, you will see a stranger. You will see a stranger, across a crowded room.” I’m sure I didn’t know the words then but it is so pretty.

“Stop playing with that. You’re gonna break it.”

“No I won’t.”

I turn all the jewels over in my hand. This is what women get, I think, when you’re older, all this good stuff. It looks so expensive!

We get to have a baby-sitter tonight. I like babysitters. They’re a lot more fun.

I hope this makes mom happy.

5 thoughts on “One enchanted evening

  1. Thank you Janice. Every time I write about her, I discover something new about myself. I wish I had known her when I was an adult. Childhood kind of casts a colored lens (idealization) over a parent.

  2. So sweet, Diane.

    I can still smell Chanel No. 5 mixed with cigarette smoke and bourbon. I remember as a little girl, my mom’s mink jacket on my cheek as she kissed me goodnight after they came home from parties.

    I have a vinyl recording of my dad singing “Some Enchanted Evening” in the 1940s when he was a young man. I had it put on cd and surprised him for our father-daughter dance at our wedding reception last May. He was stunned that the record was still around… it is a precious memory just like the beautiful ones you shared here.

    Your mother was beautiful; I love that gown…

  3. @Skyewriter That is an awesome memory! Your dad singing? I wish I had something like that.

    yes, unfortunately, lucky strikes and bourbon were my mom’s cup of tea. Led to her demise. I still can’t stand the smell of any whiskey or brown liquor, or cigarettes!

    I still remember the smell of my mother’s white leather car coat when I was a small child. I especially remember the smell when we got in the car in the winter? That leather smell of her coat was so crisp.

    Amazing that the sense of smell is so powerfully present after so many years. Far greater than my visual memories.

    Thanks for writing. My mom had several gowns and 40s style suits in her closet when she died. They were so glamorous for such an average, small town housewife!

  4. Pingback: MosaicMoods

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s