My last 3 Word Wednesday in the old Courting.
The tulips were drooping in the solid lead crystal plain vase she had forever. She had read an article in Vogue years ago that showed Diana Vreeland’s apartment, and how taste could make a house appear elegant for not all that much money. Vreeland had a vase of drooping tulips over a piano. She had never forgotten how simple and interesting it was.
Her friends were Martha Stewart fanatics. She was a Diana Vreeland devotee. The simple elegance of many chairs, an unembellished velvet couch with many pillows, everything she saw in that article had reinforced her belief that true style was innate.
Dinah was devastated when the vase flew out of her friend’s hand and fell shattered into large shards on the herringbone floor. She couldn’t act angry. She really didn’t want to lose a good friend over something so banal. But it wasn’t banal.
The vase had been a wedding present for her first marriage 35 years ago. Dinah had been a hippie bride in a Fred Leighton Mexican muslin and lace wedding dress. She had thought herself heavy but the dress couldn’t be more than a size six today.
Material goods didn’t usually mean that much to her. After her good jewelry had been stolen from her apartment downtown when she was 25, she stopped wearing gold. Dinah remembers each item precisely, who gave it to her, where, when and why, but never pined for it.
Dinah was a silver and white gold type. She valued luxe vacations, and great restaurants much more. When she first moved downtown, her father had told her to write down each restaurant she went to with a small description. He was jealous that she was living in the West Village and could easily go out every night for dinner to another good restaurant.
Had she listened she could have been Zagat, but what 23 year old listened to her father? Dinah and Ethan went out for dinner every night. Life was a constant party. It was a time in her life she tried to remember clearly but saw filtered through light pink silk.
She had always thought of the vase as a symbol of their love. She thought it the purest, most simple, and in its own way, sweet relationship she had ever been in. They hadn’t divorced because they were no longer in love, but because something they both wanted but couldn’t verbalize was missing.
Theirs was forever love. Dinah’s life had been enriched by it. She hadn’t found better but different, and that was good too.
When they spoke of each other to people they would say almost identical wonderful things. Dinah had never thought about the “what if’s.” They had moved on separately to different worlds. Sometimes the worlds would easily merge but only for a second. It always felt like a roaring kalidescopic.
When the vase broke, Dinah was shattered.