Comfort or Elegance

“What do you think Veronica?”


She looked me over critically.


“Oh, you do not think I look fancy,” I said.


“Well, it’s your shoes,” she told me.


This weekend was a set of memorial services. We had to drive all day to go to my father’s memorial, and stick around to drive to her sister’s memorial the next day.


I packed only one black dress, and a pair of comfortable shoes.


I figured one black dress was enough. And this was family, so comfortable shoes were in order.


My daughter was not so easily impressed.


I remembered these people I had known all my life. I thought about the younger ones, and realized I’d be making my impression on them. As I had remembered my older cousins throughout their lives, I would be making impressions on these younger impressionable cousins.


Maybe Veronica was right. I did not cut an elegant figure.


Should I have taken the time to pack a pair of heels? Maybe I should have brought pantyhose instead of my ubiquitous black tights.


Being the youngest child of the youngest child on my father’s side, I had always thought of myself as the youngest one.


But as Stevie Nicks says, children grow older and I’m getting older too.


I’d like to impress my young cousins with my je ne sais quoi. But I also know I am going to need comfortable shoes to get through this weekend.


There will be a lot of hugs, and a lot of stories. And the stories we tell, the fact that we get together to tell them, will become a new set of stories we tell.


I suppose I would like to cut an effortlessly elegant figure as I mingle.


Then again, that was never the point of these gatherings. It’s a lot more about the hugs than the rakish angle of hemlines.


Still, I might want to invest in some should that are comfortable AND elegant. But I won’t let that stop me from the hugs and the stories.