A week from today families will be gearing up for Thanksgiving, travelling in airports or by car or train, and others will be shopping and cooking in anticipation of the holiday. Somehow this holiday makes us think more about the passing of time.
Lucy just finished reading Wear and Tear, The Threads of My Life by Tracy Tynan. She had read a glowing review and she had also loved a little gem of a book, Love Loss and What I Wore by Ilene Beckerman (2005). She likes to read memoirs of a life lived through the prism of fashion and clothing.
Tracy Tynan, the daughter of Kenneth Tynan theatre critic and Elaine Dundy, novelist and biographer, lived far from a charmed life. Her parents were sadly mismatched in love and even more ill equipped to raise a daughter. While parts of her story are clearly hard at times to read, we can all identify with the “smell and feel of our mother’s coat “ that offered a haven from a storm when we wrapped ourselves in its warmth after a disappointment that sent us to our room in tears.
Tracy went on to a career dressing actors in their movie roles, but before she got there, we follow along her seemingly glamorous life among the stars of stage and screen in London and New York. This was the world which her parents inhabited and where she tried to find a way to grow up.
Her story makes us reflect on our childhood and those bits and pieces of clothing that changed everything, even if just for a moment. Lucy remembers her first party dress for an eighth grade dance. It was white chiffon with little beads. She recalls a pair of black heels that she bought on her first trip to Rome when she miscalculated the lire and 40 dollars turned out to be 400 dollars. She loved those shoes. They are tucked in her memory box along with a few pieces clothing of both her mother and father.
This is a good time to be sentimental about our youth and how we got to be this old. We are lucky to be here and grateful. While we are not a fan of the phrase “self-care”, it is a good day to take a pause and accept what is, and be ever so kind to ourselves.
And if you have never read Love Loss and What I Wore, it is worth reading and sharing. Although the author is older than we are, our memories of weird school outfits, ballet clothes and prom dresses mirrors the author’s. This is a lovely gift for a pal.
A good day to curl up and read.
Lucy and Claudia