Somewhere in a law school classroom, a lovely young woman with a funky, contemporary fashion sense shifts uncomfortably in her seat, unaware of the drama that is unfolding . . . and refolding . . . and unfolding again some thirty miles away. She is not aware of any cause for concern, yet there is this slightly nagging sense that the delicate balance of the universe has been set askew.
In her world everything is as it should be. She is prepared for today’s lecture. The sun rose this morning. It will set this evening. When she left home, the neighbors were lined up awaiting the opening of the liquor store near her apartment. They will be there when she gets home. The bus came on time. It dropped her off on time. Down the road a-piece, her mother is preparing for work, probably wearing black. Again. The Orioles lost last night. A day like any other.
Still there is this uneasy feeling, this sense that something in the universe is not as it should be.
In her ever-optimistic perspective, today is another day for The Birds, and come next Tuesday she’ll either be cheering her heart and her voice out at Camden Yards or going to the theatre with her mother, who always wears black. All is well. Except for the black. Why must she always wear black?
I know two things that this lovely young woman does not yet know.
I know that she has inherited a keen and heightened intuition that the women in her family have possessed for at least three generations. It will grow stronger as she gets older and it will, to employ the vernacular, freak people out.
She’ll be hoppin’ on wavelengths, having odd dreams that come true — although none of them ever involve anyone winning the lottery or coming up with a cure for cancer or
anything . . . noooo . . . because that would be just too darned useful. And she will have this sense that creeps up on her, which she will shrug off each time, until the reason for it later reveals itself. It will bother her because she will understand that it’s a pretty nutty thing to talk about and people will wonder about her sanity. But they’ll also be wondering how she knew to say X or do Y, when she didn’t know to say or do those things. It just happened.
This is why some time before the end of the day, without knowing why, she will feel compelled to call her mother, wherein she will learn the second thing I know that she doesn’t yet know.
And that is this.
The second thing.
Somewhere down the road, her mother is taking to heart the gentle criticism this lovely young woman with the funky, contemporary fashion sense offered the last time they were shopping together. It went something like this. . .
NotReallyAHippie Mother: What do you think of this blouse?
Funky/ContemporaryFashionSense Daughter: Love it! My favorite thing about it is that it is not black.
Thus the lovely young woman’s mother is dismayed, looking at the only thing in today’s wardrobe line-up, a plain black dress. With the weather finally cool enough, tomorrow is going to be the first official donning of The Uniform (black turtleneck, jeans, and black boots), which will be standard for the next several months.
She recalls yesterday’s black slacks. Three consecutive days of black are too much even for her, especially this early in the cool months.
She decides to take a page from her daughter’s book and add a scarf. A pink scarf. A bright pink scarf. The one she bought because it reminded her of her daughter’s contemporary fashion sense. The daughter rocks pink. She rocks scarves. Maybe that’s why her daughter is so cheerful. Maybe it’s the pink. . . or the scarves. She decides to give it a try.
The NotReallyAHippie mother wraps the scarf loosely around her neck, the way she has seen the lovely young woman wear hers. The look does not translate when she checks the mirror. She unwraps, tries folding it a little, re-wraps. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
She thinks to herself that somewhere up the road in a law school classroom, her daughter is probably sitting uneasily in her seat, with a cute scarf wrapped perfectly around
her neck, wondering why she has this uneasy feeling that something is wrong in the universe.
The end. Or so I thought.
I Swear I Am Not Making This Up.
In the middle of the afternoon, the NotReallyAHippie mother is surprised to receive an email from her lovely, yet very busy daughter. This is a verbatim excerpt from that email:
P.S. I am dressed like a hippie today. Flowing shirt, moccasins, and new turquoise necklace [boyfriend] brought me from Turkey. I thought you would approve.