I don’t think you have met her, Mishka, but she is a very dear person in my life. When I found my mom’s old sewing machine my freshman year of college and expressed an interest to learn more about the hobby, she took me under her wing. During the two years I “worked” at her tailor shop, she was my mentor and I was her understudy. She taught me how to blind stitch, how to set a sleeve, and how to correctly press a collar so that the under collar rolled under the top collar a 1/16th of an inch, no more and no less. But her lessons went beyond sewing. She taught me the ins and outs of life. How to save money, how to write a letter, and how to treat men (like dirt) were all lessons of hers. To this day, I call her once a week to chat and every time I visit home, I bring her a famous Philly soft pretzel.
Old (or should I say older?) people have always intrigued me. They seem to have figured out the curiosities of the world. They seem to have the answers to the questions of life. It’s an oddity of mine but many of my best friends are older women (I have many girlfriends my age too. I’m not that much of an oddball). My aunt Ginny and my aesthetician Velia, both women upwards of forty-years-old, are my go-to gals for advice. Another best friend of mine is my grandma Mimi. She was a model for Ford Modeling Agency in her younger years and in my opinion, is as beautiful as Grace Kelly. Just like Mishka, I wanted to chat with her when I visited her over Memorial Day weekend. Her answers surprised me, like her second wedding dress was light pink and not white or ivory, and I want to share her words with you.
Maddie: What did you wear to homecoming?
Mimi: I never went…
Maddie: You never went to homecoming? Why not?
Mimi: Because I was a boarder. I moved to New York to become a model before graduation and never came back home
Maddie: What did you wear to your wedding? Both of them?
Mimi: My wedding dresses for both of my weddings were quite lovely. The dress I wore to my first wedding was made of a beautiful ivory silk organza. The top was lace and off the shoulders and the skirt had a train that was not too short or too long, it was just right. The dress I wore to my second wedding was a pink, very light pink, cocktail dress. Eileen (her daughter and my aunt) wore it to her rehearsal dinner and still has it hanging in her closet
Maddie: Wait… Eileen still has your wedding dress that you wore to your second wedding?
Mimi: Oh yes! And the dress that I wore to my first wedding was worn by several people after I got married. Meg wore it, Terry wore it, Jamie wore it, Barry wore it (all daughters of hers and all my aunts), and my cousin Nancy wore it to their wedding. They altered the design to their liking, they “Maddie’ed” it, but, yes, all women wore it to their wedding
Maddie: Pretty awesome Mimi… pretty awesome…
Mimi: And then Meg sent it to the cleaners and lost it
Maddie: What! Seriously?
Mimi: (Shaking her head) Seriously…
Maddie: Who is your favorite actress and why?
Mimi: Debra Carr. She was a versatile actress. She danced, sung, and was very dramatic in her acting. Her best movie, in my opinion, was the “King and I,” not “An Affair to Remember.” I love that movie (The King and I)
Maddie: If there is only one rule of style to live by, what is it?
Mimi: Classic looks. A classic look will last ten, twenty years. Jackie Kennedy, now she’s classic… now she’s what I like
Maddie: What is your a beauty regime?
Mimi: I don’t have one. I don’t like the hair dresser. I don’t like massages. I don’t like pedicures. I don’t like manicures. I don’t like any of that. In the morning, I wash my face, brush my teeth, apply moisturizer, and that’s it
Gummy (my grandpa who was in the room while I interviewed Mimi): and take out her mouth guard…
Maddie, Mimi, and Gummy: laughing….