Millennium Memoir
Moon and Stars . .

12.28.1999

Christmas Clothes

This Christmas, Florence gave me a beautiful brown velvet jacket that is fully reversible to a green paisley print. It's quilted and very very warm and reminds of me a coat my mother once had when we were in Europe.

Some of the nicest pieces of clothing I have ever owned have arrived for me at Christmas. Clothing that I've worn to death, I loved wearing it so much, like the soft brown dress I got for Christmas 1980, or the Structure henley I got for Christmas 1994.

On Christmas 1984, I got a new dress, a party dress to wear in the spring. And at our Christms party, I wore a floor length Stewart plaid, taffeta number with a white Peter Pan collar and a white velvet sash at the waist that my mother made for me. Later that dress would be cut up and remade into napkins and napkin holders for a different Christmas party.

This year my mother also got me a Chinese knee length, high collared shirt, in black silk jacquard with matching black pants. It's an ensemble to die for and it almost fits perfectly. Another five pounds off the waist and it will be perfect. I can't wait, especially since it goes so well with my new '30s bob haircut.

Back in the early 80s I was completely obsessed with all things oriental, Japanese in particular, because of the airing of the Shogun mini-series, starring Richard Chamberlain.

The costumes, the pageantry and imagery of medieval Japan captured my imagination, partnering with a long time fascination with hand painted rice paper fans.

When my mother bought me a Japanese robe in 1982, I was ecstatic. That Mardi Gras, I trussed up my hair, put on sandals and the robe and slid my fan into the pocket. I was a Japanese lady at last, with all the proper mannerisms and make up as-seen-on-TV.

The fascination still hadn't worn off in 1984, I still longed to travel to the Orient and learn Japanese. My sketch books are filled with anime-like characters, Japanese ladies in fantastic costumes and my idea of what Japanese writing looked like.

It wasn't until I was in high school in the United States that I was finally able to make a part of that dream a reality. By the time I was a senior, the public high school had installed its first satellite dish and they were able to offer courses in Japanese, Russian and advanced Math via satellite from various universities. I immediately signed up for the Japanese class and followed up by taking two years of the language in college as well.

Some day, I may yet travel to that distant shore as well, and finally make the entirety of the dream, a reality.

Moonlit Trees . .

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