I vaguely remember being asked (and taught) to curtsy when I was in Grade Two and someone decided that morning that I should be the one to present a bouquet to a visiting English princess (beats me who; I was, after all, 7). I have no memory of the event itself, except that it was in the auditorium/gymnasium and everything in sight was wood. I did what I was told. My formal education to that point had not promoted independent thinking.
I might have remembered it better had I been wearing a long skirt. I have always loved them, even if I had to wait to attend a formal at university in order to acquire one. My favourite material was peau de soie, which glowed when you moved and we all danced every dance. I rarely don or even see formal dress any more (we've been married forever), which brings me to the point of this piece.
One summer Saturday several years ago, Jon and I came across a wedding party on the local footbridge. As always, the photographer was running the show and these two little girls were waiting for their turn. They were wearing long dresses! Where the sun shone through, the tulle glowed white through its multiple layers; the shaded areas were an equally lovely cerulean. The flower girls made an enchanting picture. I immediately asked one of the adults in the wedding party if I could have permission to take a photo, and I handed her my card. The little girls charmingly obliged.
I guess that the day in Grade Two might have been a Big Day for some involved. I mainly remember what happened afterwards. When I came home from school that day, my mother asked me, as usual, how my day had gone. When I told her, I do remember that she went ashen. After a moment she said: "What did you do with your hair?" (my whole life has been a bit of a hair challenge - bald till 3, the milkman called me "Sonny, yearly Toni's, etc.). I must have anticipated this question, though, because I proudly replied: "I combed it with my ruler!"
Addendum: I titled it "The Big Day" because there would have been months of preparation for them, as well as for the bride. The only work I did was to paint the result. I just wish I could thank them with a print, but I have no way of locating their parents. If you recognize either of these dear souls, I would love it if you could arrange for an adult in the wedding party to contact me. Thanks.