|'Estella's' mother's name actually is Mille and used to look almost exactly like this and had this very dress.|
I almost forgot this was a special day. There are likely a few of you out there who may recall that I occasionally mention 'my Estella' who now badgers me almost daily with hectoring inquiries on when will I begin The Confessions of Mossy Kade which is admittedly a bit overdue. Naturally her interests, as always, have a self-serving angle as she can't wait to read an account of our early years together just as she often loves to talk about a hypothetical movie about me just so we can discuss which sexy actress gets to play her. About 5 years ago, we both agreed that Emily Blunt had overtaken Toni Collette (with dark brown hair) as ideal for the role.
My Estella's mother is no Miss Havisham; she is a lovely woman who for almost 40 years has extended me every kindness and generosity. When I was a socially awkward (towards girls) boy of 15 calling on her daughter she always went out of her way to make me feel welcome and convince me that she genuinely wanted me to stay and join them for dinner. More recently when I was in Iraq as a soldier in a war she strongly opposed (as did my own mother) she prayed for me every day.
Estella's mother's name actually is Millie and hasn't missed a major Broadway musical since even well before Ethel Merman took her last bow. I was almost ashamed of myself for being so late to recognize an obvious opportunity to artfully demonstrate to someone I hold so dear how much I appreciate them. Much like Santa, GSL keeps a list of who's been naughty and nice and takes appropriate action. Only a couple of years ago in the course of 18 months Millie lost her beloved son, husband of over 50 years, while also suffering from some painfully debilitating health issues, and she even lost her much adored Yorkie who had been the apple of her eye for 15+ years. I was actually in town when her husband (Estella's father) banged his head which later turned out to be a blood clot on his brain and rushed him and everybody else over to the Emergency Room where he died only a couple of days later in otherwise perfect health. I stayed at the house with Millie and helped her deal with the arrangements, visitors, notifications, etc. until I had to leave just prior to the funeral to get back to Chicago for mandatory National Guard duty.
Before leaving I made some arrangements; I ordered that poster up top and gave her live-in chauffer/handy-man instructions on what to do once it arrived. I told her handy-man I wanted that poster hung in her stately dining room right next to where she sits with her phone, reads her mail, and receives visitors and how to overcome any potential objections of having such a garish object in her dining room by saying "how about we just put it up for a couple of weeks as it would mean so much to GSL....". She relented on those terms and up it went. Because of her recent loss and enormous popularity she received a huge flood of visitors in those immediate days and weeks after the funeral. Many of those visitors were lifelong friends and relatives who upon entering the dining room to comfort Millie would shriek in amazement at the poster and how much it resembled a younger Millie both physically and in spirit. Millie would delightfully reply how much she loved the show both times she saw it and she actually did have a dress exactly like that and loved to dance the Charleston.
I have always known that Tea & Sympathy works even better with an Overture of giggles.
Epilogue: I just got off the phone only minutes ago with my dear Millie to wish her a Happy Birthday. I told her how much I'd love to be taking her to a fancy lunch just like I did during my last visit and how smashing she looked in her Cheetah print jacket and brand spanking new ruby red Dooney & Bourke handbag she acquired for the occasion. She told me she can't wait to show me the new handbag she just got when I'm there for Christmas.
Epilogue II- Not so long ago Estella was visiting her mother and suggested that they move that garish Broadway poster back to the little used TV room tucked away in the back of the house. With a cold stare, Millie told her daughter "It's staying right where it is!".
Update: Here are the twin birthday girls.
|Millie (on right) with twin sister Tillie only minutes ago en route|
to their Birthday Party with Estella in tow