Author’s Note: I’ve been wanting to explore my writing style here on the blog, and one idea I had was to explore with writing prompts. I have here my first selection, which I have found on Pinterest. I am planning to write this story in installments, so you will have to keep your eyes peeled for the entire series. Enjoy
Ethel did not get much time in front of the mirror these days. In her youth, she had spent countless hours prepping and “primping” as her father used to say, but as of late there had been little call for that kind of nonsense. Today was special though, it was her 90th birthday. She carefully applied her rouge, her special blue eyeshadow and pink lipstick. Her arthritic hands shook as she went through her familiar routine. Her eyesight had diminished so that she couldn’t see that her eyeliner wasn’t quite straight and the foundation which she used to try and improve her pale coloring was not quite blended into her hairline. Her lipstick ran into the small lines that surrounded her mouth and her hair curled in tight rings around her head.
The dress she put on today was the one she had worn to her 50th wedding anniversary dinner nearly twenty years ago. She did not know or care that the dress was no longer in style, and she overlooked the fact that she had to forgo the heels she had once loved for sensible orthopedic shoes. Looking in the mirror, she remembered the look in her late husband’s eyes when he had seen her wearing it and she sighed. Her dear Henry had passed on just a few months later. Taking a final look, Ethel unlocked her walker and headed down to the living room.
“Oh Mimi!” Her granddaughter Maddy gushed, using the nickname she had coined fro Ethel as a child when she could not pronounce Memere as a young girl. “You look lovely!”
“Why thank you Maddy,” Ethel beamed. The girl was the light of her life and the two shared a special bond. So much so, that when Ethel needed more help around the house, twenty year old Maddy had moved in under the guise of needing a place to live while she attended a local college. Ethel played along that the arrangement was solely for Maddy’s benefit because she loved having the company, and she knew that it was likely the reason she hadn’t had to move into the local convalescent home.
“Are we ready to go?” Ethel asked. Translation: Is that what you are wearing dear?
“Yup,” Maddy asked, smiling. Maddy had on her go to little black dress. Ethel and she often squabbled about the younger girl’s passion for black eyeliner and the smokey eye, always trying to get her to branch out into more adventurous colors.
Maddy helped her out of the house and into the car, storing her walker in the back seat. They arrived to the restaurant where the rest of the family awaited them. Ethel drinking in every moment, as she so rarely got out these days. She allowed herself a glass of wine with her dinner. She pretended to be embarrassed when their handsome waiter, gushed over how young she looked and when the wait staff brought out cake and sang. She lapped up the attention knowing that each moment was precious. After all, at 90 years old, she had no idea how many more birthdays she would be celebrating. Looking around the table, her gaze landed on Maddy who was flirting with the handsome waiter who had slipped his number to her on a napkin.
Oh to be young again, Ethel thought and she blew out the candles with all of her might, as the crowd erupted into cheers.