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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

(14) SHE LOOKED LIKE SOMEONE'S RED AND GOLD VALENTINE.

September 16, 1964
Cohasset
     Tim tells us he wants to quit Cohasset High, get a job and go to night school.  When he sees our reaction, he says all right, he didn't realize we'd be that upset about it, he'll go back to school.  We had hoped flying lessons would distract him from his obsession with cars, but the day after school began he wanted me to lend him thirty dollars so he could join a hot‑rod club.
     "Sure I'm interested in flying, but don't you and Dad have more than one hobby?"
     At this point I think we had one too many.
     Vonnie is being amazingly domestic.  I stopped by one afternoon as Bob was leaving for the post office after lunch.   "She's in there working like a little beaver," he said.  "She's been up since six this morning doing the laundry, washing the floor, dusting—I haven't been able to get her to stop."
December 16, 1964
Cohasset
     Vonnie and I made a date to go Christmas shopping.  When I went to her little house in Quincy, she invited me in to see what she'd found at the Bargain Center for $13.35—a dress  (maternity), two shirts, two pairs of slacks, and two blouses.   Then I had to see what was in the small chest of drawers:  neatly folded doll sized shirts, plastic pants, playsuits, etc.  Not a dress in the lot.       
     "Every day I open the drawers and stand here just looking.  Bob thinks I'm crazy.  `I wish you'd hurry up and have that baby,' he says."
     She hasn't seen much of Bob lately because he's putting in extra hours due to the heavier mails.  "I don't mind, he's making lots of money," she says.  "Other people have to worry every Christmas about where the money will come from, but we're lucky, we'll always have plenty."
     At the shops we visit, Vonnie gravitates to the infant's wear department and goes into raptures over the baby clothes.   "Isn't this adorable?" she cries, showing me a tiny sailor suit.
     "This is cute," I say, holding up a frilly dress, but she waves it away with an airy, "I can't think that far ahead."
March 18, 1965
Cohasset

     Bob’s Aunt Gert gave a shower for Vonnie.  There was some talk about forewarning her “because she’s so excitable she might have the baby then and there,” but the hazard was risked.  Our expectant mother breezed in at 8:00, under the impression she was going to see an evening of home movies.  When she saw the festooned table, the gifts, and the beaming faces in the living room, she exclaimed, “Did he know?” at Bob’s retreating back.  He made his escape.
     Vonnie looked beautiful.  She was wearing a bright red two-piece maternity dress, and her hair was less teased than usual, just softly brushed and turned up at the ends.  She looked like someone’s red-and-gold valentine with “Guess who?” inside.
     Vonnie found the dress at the Bargain Center, marked down to a dollar.  Our once extravagant daughter is a bargain hunter.  “Once in a while Bob gives me an extra five dollars and tells me to buy myself something,” she says.  “I just can’t do it, Mummy.  I either put it in the bank or I go out and buy something for the kitchen.”
     The gifts of baby clothes are all in blue, yellow, or white.  Nothing pink.  I’ll have fun buying frilly dresses if my grandson turns out to be a granddaughter.

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