Rachel Ditor - DramaturgWednesday, April 04, 2012
My Mother's Red Shawl - El Rebozo Colorado
Rachel Ditor - Director/Literary Manager
My brother and I went for lessons together, and while one of us was with Mrs. Mackie at the piano, the other would wait and read the 1950's adventure comic books that were put out to keep us occupied. But they were dog-eared and the colours had faded - for entertainment I much preferred to quietly slip out to Mrs. Mackie's bathroom.
Next to the double sinks on the countertop was a vast, sparkling collection of artfully arranged perfumes, powder puffs, eye shadows in peacock blues and greens, rouge in a gold compact, and a dozen lipsticks. All multiplied in the reflection of the large mirror behind them - Aladdin's cave.
Lipstick was especially exciting because you didn't have to choose one colour you could wear two; one on the bottom lip and one on the top! How Mrs. Mackie hovered over my shoulders while I played piano without choking on the cloud of perfume and talc that surrounded me I'll never know. She never batted an eye at my glamorous transformation. Every week the cosmetics and atomizers remained on display, she never put them under lock and key. I suppose at least I was quiet while my brother had his lesson.
This was a brief and furtive foray into girly land. I left that universe behind after the first time I wore mauve eye shadow in junior high and my father asked if someone had punched me. I followed the instructions closely in Teen Magazine, but now when I looked at the various shades of purple I had layered around my eyes... Well, I saw his point.
It took almost 30 years before I ventured back to the land of dresses and lace. Now I have my own perfume collection of pretty bottles lining the counter in my bathroom. And the thrill of dressing to go out at night that I carried as a child is still there in the background; one of those moments when time collapses and the girl is eager to go out, while the woman despairs about looking tired.
The pearl necklace I’m wearing in the photo was a birthday present from my Grandpa Freddy when I was 12. Thankfully I thought it was boring so it remained in a box untouched until I was old enough to appreciate its elegance and his foresight. The shawl is so rich and festive in colour, it immediately reminded me of how I once longed to be old enough to go out at night, dressed for a special event. But this time, only one shade of lipstick, to complement the shawl.
Patrick Reid Statesman, Flag Designer
Michael Varga CBC Cameraman
Bronwen Marsden Playwright/Actress/Director
David Baines Vancouver Sun Columnist
Alex Waterhouse-Hayward Photographer
Lauren Elizabeth Stewart Student
Sandrine Cassini Dancer/Choreographer
Meredith Kalaman Dancer/Choreographer
Juliya Kate Dominatrix