The Secret Life of Melanie O.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
I remember when I was a child, how badly I wanted to be grown up. On family trips to the beach, I admired the young women in their bikinis and sunglasses as they stood in the line at the snack bar. It seemed like such an adult thing to be able to go to the beach by yourself and buy your own Cokes and hot dogs.

I looked up to the grown women in my family: my grandmothers, who always had rules about how things should be done. My mother's mother made sure that my sister and I always wore white cotton gloves whenever we went out. No one does that any more. No woman went out without a hat and lipstick and I remember my grandmother's collection of pillbox hats and liquid lip varnishes. No one makes those lip varnishes any more - at least, not the way they used to. I suspect they may have been laden with toxic chemicals.

I loved my grandmother's house with its clothes chute and huge attic. The basement had an incinerator and was divided up into separate rooms, one of which my grandfather used for his HAM radio equipment. Their house was a great place to explore, and I wanted one just like it when I grew up. I don't think anyone builds houses with clothes chutes any more, or an incinerator in the basement.

I remember my father's mother and her little dressing table that had her Moon Drops lipsticks and Pond's cold cream laid out neatly for the few times she went out. My father's mother always had a neat house and always cooked for our family when my parents took us to visit. The grown-ups used to sit around and play cards at night, while the kids colored in coloring books. Looking back, those were our halcyon days. Now that I'm a grown-up, I don't think I could re-create those days, for many reasons.

I remember my mother best, dressed in a Pucci-esque print dress. I don't know why this particular dress stands out (I think I may even have a picture of her in it somewhere), but it seems to symbolize the freedom of the late '60's. I think that was a big part of my wanting to be grown up - we just seemed to have had a lot of freedoms in those days. Isn't it funny how you can recall the past with just a snapshot, and the best snapshots of the past are the ones in your head?
posted by Melanie O. at 4:00 PM -
  • At 8:36 PM, Blogger David said…

    Memories of childhood.... :-)

    I very much like your new site design!

  • At 8:56 PM, Blogger LivinginOz said…

    Yeah - it's amazing how the littlest things never leave you.

    Thanks! :)

  • At 9:01 PM, Blogger chimera said…

    Love the new look !

  • At 12:17 AM, Blogger Gallimaufry said…

    Your post makes me mushy. Especially the reference to Pond's Cold Cream :)
    And what a great new look1

  • At 8:29 AM, Blogger LivinginOz said…

    The new look suits, don't you think? All I need to do is to add a '57 Chevy to the design and I think I'll be all set.

  • At 11:57 AM, Anonymous Marty said…

    You're so right about the best snapshots being the ones in our heads....other than the incinerator in the basement, everything else has a familiar ring to it.

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About Me
Name: Melanie O.
Home: Durham, North Carolina, United States
About Me: Female, American health and beauty-conscious professional who has rekindled a childhood love of dolls.
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