notquiteold

Nancy Roman

That Explains A Lot

Everyone has those moments – when you hear or see something   – that suddenly gives you insight into your own nature.

I’ve heard it called an “aha moment” – and that expression really fits.  “Aha! That’s why I’m me.”

For instance, when I was a kid, I went through a short phase where I had horrible nightmares. No one knew why. I was so terrified by these recurring nightmares (which I don’t even remember now) that I refused to go to bed. I had to be sedated every night for weeks. Years later, talking to my sisters one day about movies, I said that I didn’t like scary movies, especially about the supernatural. “Yeah,” they said, “we used to love to tell you ghost stories because you were so easy to scare.”  Aha.

Sometimes, though, the Aha is a nice one.

This is my dad walking me down the aisle on my wedding day.

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I may have been a 40-year-old bride, but I was a first-time bride, and I was determined to wear a traditional wedding gown and veil. I was extremely excited to get to be a bride after all those years. But I didn’t shop much for a gown. I saw this gown (a discontinued sample, by the way, at a great price) – and I had to have it. All those years waiting to be a bride and I only tried on two gowns. If you’ve ever watched “Say Yes To The Dress” – you probably know that trying on about 85 gowns is not unusual. But I wanted this gown immediately. It took about ten minutes to buy this dress. I spend more time now picking nail polish.

I didn’t know what appealed to me so much about this particular dress. It wouldn’t be what I would choose today. I’d definitely go for something more sophisticated.

And just this week, looking through old family photos, I came upon a picture of my Uncle George’s wedding.  I was about seven when Uncle George married Aunt Pat. It is the first wedding that I remember attending. I thought it was the best event ever. Aunt Pat was the first bride I ever saw. She was so beautiful.

Here’s the photo I found:

georgeandpat

Recognize the dress?  Aha.

And I had another Aha moment this week too. One that explains a whole lot about my own personality.  Why I am who I am.

I had my weekly dinner with my mother. And over our McDoubles, (she’s a cheap date), I was showing her the latest pictures posted on Facebook. She loves to check out Facebook on my iPhone. And there’s a Facebook page for people from my hometown – where they all reminisce about the good old days. And someone put up this picture:

new departure

And oh, I remembered it right away. It was the largest factory in Bristol Connecticut – New Departure. (I love that name, by the way – what a great name for a company.) And I knew this view without even having to think about it – I lived across the street.

And my mother smiled as soon as she saw it too.

And she said:

“When we moved there, I was about twenty-eight years old. With three little babies – you were a newborn when we moved in.  I was trying really hard to be a good mother. And every time I stepped out the door, all the guys from the factory would hang out the window. And they would hoot and holler and whistle. I know that today that’s considered really awful …. harassment even … but you know…secretly…I loved it.”

Aha.

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Mom. My vanity is hereditary. Totally not my fault.

35 Comments

  1. mo

    beautiful dress……………beautiful bride

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  2. Loved it! One of my haha moment explains my love for Italy (I am French, from the west near Nantes). My parents brought me along on many short trips to Italy and notably a trip to Venise before I was 5. One of my earliest childhood memory is me running towards a fountaîn somewhere there, and flocks of pigeons around 🙂 (i have a picture of me in a delighful smock dress attacked by pigeons, i hate those filthy flying rats, in Paris they even walk by you in the street looking like they could stop you at anytime to ask for a spare cigarette :).

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    • I think one at a time they are okay. When they form a street gang… very frightening.

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  3. Aha. — perfect!

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  4. Aha…;-)

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  5. Perfect moments! You were a lovely bride, by the way.

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    • Thanks – I had absolutely no idea my wedding dress was so similar to my aunt’s – until I saw this photo. Obviously, her wedding completely determined what I thought a beautiful bride should look like.

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  6. so good to finally understand

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    • I knew my mother was always careful about her looks – still is at almost 90 – but it really struck home this week when she confessed how much she secretly liked the attention.

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      • as long as we feel a certain amount of respect–we all like the attention–I have been mourning the lack of it of late

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  7. Your gown is beautiful and so is your Mom. I think most women use to secretly like it when they got a wolf whistle. For some reason I don’t think they were meant to be quite so derogatory in those days.

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    • I agree – back then, I don’t think it was threatening…especially from a third-floor window in the factory across the street.

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  8. Some people go to therapy to find out the root cause of their issues. You should start a new type of therapy…the AHA therapy. Someone would go to your AHA spa rehab, and contemplate life over massages, mani-pedis and fashion shows including wonderful shoes. Oh yes, and maybe a wine or two. Great post.

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    • Oh, I think I could be President of THAT club!

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      • You could replace Freud without all that sex stuff.

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        • My premise would be simple: Take a look at your mother. The end.

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  9. Aha! Your mom was a fox and so are you — what a pretty bride — love the connection 🙂

    MJ

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    • My mother was just a teenager in that picture…but how I love it!

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  10. I must say I was stunned by the fact you only tried on only two wedding dresses, but the aha! explains it nicely.

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    • My mother was very disappointed I wouldn’t try on more (like dozens) of dresses. But I wanted that one. Period.

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  11. Maybe your aunt’s wedding dress left an indelible impression on you and voila, you picked accordingly? Gorgeous bride and captivating dress.
    Why do we store some memories over others? Aha. Because they are so sweet!

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    • Indelible is right! Even the neckline. When I look at my wedding photos now, I don’t like the neckline at all. But it is my aunt’s neckline exactly.

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      • The power of suggestion stuck with you until you saw something more to you tastes as you matured?

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  12. The old pictures are such treasures. There was something very elegant – and sweet about those fashions.
    You picked a great dress – must have gotten the good taste somewhere. (You’re mom’s a doll – nice she’s there to enjoy you)

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    • I am so lucky to enjoy HER. She is the light of my life.

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  13. Wonderful post! Lovely brides and Moms. Moms need to feel like a pretty woman every now and then… especially with three little ones. I loved this… AHA! thank you.

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  14. Love this post: your wedding photo, the old photos. Would give almost anything to share a McDouble with my mom….
    And to hear a wolf whistle once again aimed in my direction!

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    • She’ll be ninety in a few weeks. And she still likes her McDonalds. And her makeup.

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  15. Haha your Mom sounds hilarious and oh so honest– we have to pretend to be outraged by such things.

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  16. Diane

    Your mom is Beautiful!

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  17. Ray Goudreau

    Sorry for not seeing this entry earlier. (Almost) shame on you (I’m kidding) for bringing tears to me. The picture of your dad simply knocked me flat.

    Like

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