Friday, December 12, 2014

Life with Fred & Lucy, Episode 36: Evening In Paris

No, Fred and Lucy never went to Paris. I don’t think my father ever went farther than Wildwood, N.J. in his 90+ years. My mother on the other hand had visited her sister Anna on several occasions when Anna lived in Oklahoma. Mom also spent time in Reno when applying for her divorce from Fred before moving to Napa California with her boyfriend. Long story and I don’t want to talk about this part of my childhood on the blog. What I do want to talk about is the perfume that I had always associated with my mother when I was growing up and...after she left.

My mother loved using Evening in Paris. It was for a long time her favorite perfume. I remember Jane, little Lucy and I sneaking into our parent’s bedroom when they were busy working in the family grocery store and investigating my mother’s stuff.
                                    looked something like this, but nicer                     
Mom had a vanity set that was to die for. It looked like something right out of the movies and this is where Mom would sit and put on her make-up and jewelry. She kept her bottle of perfume on the top shelf of the vanity and we three girls would spritz the perfume on our neck after we would put on Mom’s makeup.
Evening in Paris had a strong scent, at least to me, and even though I wasn’t particularly fond of the scent, I still spritzed. When we three sisters were done spritzing and putting on makeup, we would pull out mom’s fancy slips and make believe we were famous actresses.  

Sometimes we’d forget to wash off the perfume and makeup before heading downstairs for dinner. Mom would ask, “Were you touching my stuff again?”

“No??” we lied, but I think the smell and the rouge gave us away.

“That’s expensive perfume. Don’t touch it,” she’d counter every time.

Recently someone sent me some photos about the old days. I shared them on a blog. One of the photos was a bottle of Evening in Paris. I thought about my mom. She stopped using Evening in Paris way before she took off to Reno. I think she was using Channel # something or other; it really doesn’t matter.

On one of my sister Lucy’s and my visits to Napa, we were in Jane’s kitchen having coffee with mom. I don’t know how we got on the conversation of perfumes, but when Jane, Lucy and I began laughing about our ritual of playing movie stars with mom’s belongings; my mother denied ever using Evening in Paris. “You’re all crazy. I didn’t use that cheap shit.”

“Yes, you did!” we countered in unison. Mom was in her mid to late stages of dementia by then, but we hadn’t picked up on how bad it was at that time. We just thought she was being “Lucy”.

Even though hostile to each other while alive, my mom along with Fred decided to spend their afterlife in my attic. I don’t know why except my dad’s commode is up there, and in their old age before they died, they both considered bowel evacuation as the highlight of the day. It probably has something to do with old age. I hope I don’t get like that, but I told my daughter that if I ever started talking about bowel movements, she is to put me on a block of ice and send me out to sea. It would be time “To Flow.”
So my parents are haunting my house and I’m perfectly fine with it. They help me with my Fred and Lucy stories; not too crazy about my zombie stories. Anyway...when I looked at that photo of Evening in Paris, I heard mommy say, “I did use it.”

And just for a moment, a blink of an eye second as time stood still, I smelled the perfume.


  1. I used and liked and remember the bottle, and Aunt Lucy's dressing table.loved same.

  2. I remember and loved this perfume and Aunt Lucy's dressing table. Annamaria