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Friday, August 6, 2010

The Look of Love: Booze, Bikinis & Bacharach

(thanks to my friends that push me to spin yarns about my upbringing...)

I claim to be a Texan but it all started long, long ago in Connecticut.  Life in the '60s in an affluent town up east left an imprint that I can't shake.  I suppose had I continued living that life it would be ho-hum and nothing to write about.  When transported to the panhandle of Texas via a Mustang convertible, a single mom and two brothers from a rather privileged life..there are stories.

There was a season after the divorce before the move south where Mom, Brothers and I downsized and moved into the town.  We were "townies."  I was traumatized.  Dashing Dad pretty much now The Weekender Dad.  A much smaller home.  Mom went to work!  We went to public school. 

Dad worked on Wall Street - a very buttoned up profession.  TGIF had extra power in the swinging '60s with the event of The Weekend House.  Dad and several bachelors rented a pad, usually near water.  Rowayton, Stamford, Norwalk.  And every other weekend three spoiled, mischevious children descended on The Weekend House. 

Booze, bikinis, Bacharach.  That was the scene.  Throw us in the mix...I have to give Dad credit.  He handled it really well. 

This next bit is "for girls only."  Gentlemen readers, if there are any, may want to skip this tale. 

Women were all over, honestly, the place was a grown up version of a frat house.  I was enthralled by these younger-than-mom, bikini-clad beauties.  I'd lock myself in the bathroom and scope out cosmetics and such.  And so while IN that bathroom one Saturday, Mother Nature decided to come a-calling.  Dear old Dad took me into town and parked in front of the pharmacy.  He told me what to purchase.  I simply could not take my 11 year old, insecure, frizzy red-headed self in there.  And in he went.

Yup.  Dad did the deal.  I don't know if he'd remember this story; but a daughter will never forget.  

Soon after the divorce Dad remarried.   Burt Bacharach was singing "The Look of Love" and "This Guy's in Love with You."  She didn't stand a chance - between the music and Dashing Dad!  And talk about bikinis.  My stepmother wore one better than most!  And I wore the color green.  I was 12, she was 24.  I was frumpy, she was glam!  She had Dad's...heart and attention. 

And it was then that Mom swept us away in her yellow Mustang perhaps with yet another Bacharach tune in the background.  She might have sung the words to "I'll Say a Little Prayer for You." 

Many years later I learned Mom never stopped loving Dad...and Burt's lyrics probably seared her to the core:

My darling, believe me
For me there is no one but you
Please love me too

Booze and bikinis?  Who needs them?  Not so the look of love.  Whether it's between Dads and Daughters, Mothers and Sons, A Husband and Wife, Parents and Kids.  I {{{LOVE}}} love - it's grand!


8 comments:

Dianne said...

Oh Va, I am there in that car with you...frizzy hair and all. Eleven is a horrible age for so many reasons. Not a little girl, not a grown, sophisticated teenager either. :) Kudos to your dad for the way he handled it.
I love the tales of your childhood. So different from my traditional southern upbringing. Keep them coming. You are a very talented writer.

Pam said...

Va...you could write a book..and then turn it into a movie. And can I say..my brothers daughter was here from Texas visiting..and while she was in my care for a few days...guess what came for the first time?? She was so thankful she wasn't with her dad..but with me. I'm picturing you at 11 going through this. I am LOVING these memories that you're sharing with us..what a life! Please..keep them coming!! xoxo

Kelly said...

Oh, that first time....two of my dear girlfriends started after me, and were too scared to have their moms help...(SO sad), so I took the reins. I'll never forget it. This post brought a tear to my eye, VA.
Get your book going now durl!! xoxo

Emily said...

Crazy good writing Vava! I guess I was lucky. I was the youngest of 4 girls. One sister and two step sisters were there for me. Your dad stepped up to the plate and I'm sure he has not forgotten that day either!

jen said...

Great post, brings back a memory of my own that I may need to post soon . . .
And thanks so much for your attachment today! So thoughtful. Thank you thank you!

sewmuchwhimsy said...

How far are you in writing your your book, Vava?!!!! Get on it...it's in you!
xoxoxo Gretchen

eddieross said...

You are such a good writer! Keep these wild childhood tales coming!

xo
Eddie & Jaithan

Dawn said...

Love this tale...like all the others have said time and again...you can write!! AND you have an amazing story to tell!!
xoxo