Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Corsage

As I remember grandfather would visit every weekend. He walked in the door, took off his hat, and sat down for his lunch - sandwich meat on toast. My mother had hat boxes lined in the closet. I don't remember the hats, but I remember the boxes. These days my hat boxes come with pajamas in them (from pajamagram.) They have lots of pretty hats in the store this time of year, but I never see anything like them on a woman's head. When I was young, Dad would dress in a tie and suit every day. Just ten years ago my husband dressed for work too. Now if he goes to work "dressed up" people ask him who died or where he is interviewing.

We have lost many attire formalities in modern day society, along with many social graces. People no longer wear hats when they go out. Few men wear ties. Men and women often don't even "dress" to go to a fancy restaurant or to worship. We have lost traditions that I think add a little something special to our often mundane lives.

Last year I gave my daughter her first corsage and plan to give her another this year. This will be one of our "dress up" traditions. To celebrate the Easter holiday with friends (and for me the welcoming of spring,) I bought all four of the girls at the Easter party their own corsage. I called the local flower shop a couple of days early and had them make up special pink ones for the girls wrists. As all the girls were 5 and under, the florist took special care to ensure their were no pins sticking out. The flowers came, as they traditionally do, in little clear plastic boxes and smelled of refrigerated roses - fresh, clean and special to my nose. My daughter stood by the window (you can see the snow still on the ground) admiring her accoutrement. Her spring dress was not quite right for the still winter-like weather. The satiny pink brim of the hat -- yes, note that she is a hat person. We are bringing back that tradition too! -- perfectly matched the smooth, glossy petals. I'm not sure the other girls were enchanted with this unexpected surprise that brought a little nature and early summer to their ensemble. But I know that my little nature lover was enthralled.

I remember two occasions when I received corsages, my sixth grade graduation and the prom. There may have been other times, but these two are burned in my mind. I remember the pins being stuck into my dress. I remember the roses flopping against my body. I remember that fresh refrigerated rose this day the rose is still my favorite flower...

No comments: