Monday, April 26, 2010

The Red Coat

This is a story my grandmother had written somewhere that has lingered in my mind for years. The women in our family tend to have more than ample figures. Some unkind individuals might use a harsher term but for our purposes I will use the term Rubenesque. Many fashion mavens admonish women with ample figures to avoid bright colors that might draw attention to their size.
This was the case with my Mamaw. The word she used was "Fleshy" which is a good word but implies something that one might not be to pleased to be associated. Fleshy women have fat --Rubenesque women have curves and are immortalized in paintings by the great Dutch Masters.
There was a coat my Mamaw wanted. A beautiful full length red coat. A coat that in her mind was made for a woman of much smaller build. She wouldn't buy it for herself because in her mind she was "fleshy" and such a coat would draw attention to the fact.
And do you know what he did? He bought it for her and told her, "Wear it and don't worry about what others think. I know you like it and I like to see you in bright colors. You are beautiful to me."
That's a picture of her in the coat, standing beside him.
He was a man who was a rogue and perhaps not the best husband for the shy and quiet daughter of a Southern Baptist Preacher. I'm sure there were times when he irritated her, made her angry and even broke her heart. Those times were more than made up for by the times when he made her feel like a much loved queen.

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