A loud HONK from outside nearly startled me out of my chair. I jumped up and looked out the window—I couldn’t believe my eyes.
A shiny gold convertible Skylark with white-walled tires was pulling into the driveway. A statuesque woman with gigantic hair waved at me from the front seat, reminding me of these commercials for the Konvertible King that we all used to see as kids—although there was no wild animal in the car with her. The lady parked, checked her lipstick in the mirror, got out and adjusted her skirt, pulled a few giant vintage suitcases out of the back seat, and turned again to wave at me. Gleaming orange in the sunset, the lady was wearing a colorful dress with chunky gold jewelry, almost like something Sylvia would wear, but on her it was the opposite of frumpy, it was chic. She wore heels as high as Debra and Donna’s, but on her they didn’t look sleazy, they looked fun. I opened the window and called down.
“Hello,” I called down. “Can I help you?”
“Ashleeeeeeeeeey! Look at youuuuuuu!” She threw her arms wide open. “Get down here and give me a hug!”
I recognized the voice: it was Harry.
The lady was Harry.
Harry was a lady guy.
As I tore down the stairs, I finally got his joke about how I could call him my Godmother as well as my Godfather. Harry was not a small man to begin with. In high heels, and wearing a two-story wig, he filled up the foyer. His eyes darted around to take in every detail of Sylvia’s out-of-the-box decorating style before they rested on me.
“Darling. How absolutely WONderful to see you again! My you’ve grown up nice — mmm, MMM, just the image of your dear mom. I think I may cry.” He held an embroidered hanky up to the corner of his eye and sniffed. I had to laugh. “There. Now give your old lady Godpop a hand with these suitcases. Where’s your room?” What, was he moving in? Harry talked and moaned the whole way up the stairs about how pretentious Sylvia’s decor was. How clueless that she had gotten rid of the Art Deco light fixtures in the upstairs hallway and replaced them with those tacky faux candle-sconces with flickering bulbs. I opened the door to the attic stairs and he gave me a you’ve-got-to-be-kidding look. “This is where your room is?” He had to stoop to get through the doorway at the top. “Good Lord child, I was in the closet so long, I think you must be a woman after my own heart!”
Harry threw his suitcases on the bed and flopped himself down between them, poking the mattress, peering underneath. “I see you’ve adopted a literary solitude, how wonderful and romantic! But a gal as lovely as you really ought to have some semblance of a social life.”
I could barely get a word in edgewise through Harry’s banter. “So, what exactly are you doing here?” I knew the answer, in my heart, which was tap-dancing in my chest like Ginger Rodgers when Fred Astaire is nearby.
He ignored me, stomping over to the wardrobe in his clunky shoes. “I’m here to help you transform, of course,” he said, spinning around and giving me the full sunshine of his beaming face. “You’re growing up tonight, right? Well. I know the art of becoming a woman. I do that myself, at least once a week. And let’s see what you’ve got in here….” He made a face at the sweater and the jacket, pulled the dress out, and practically danced across the floor with it. “Oh! It’s like seeing an old friend! I wonder if it will fit?
“Did I tell you the story? Your mom wore it to her senior prom. We went together.” He turned and winked at me as he lowered his voice and said, “I’ll spare the gory details but let’s just say I ended up wearing it home in the morning!” Harry hung the dress over the door and measured the waist with his large, manicured hands. “And I think it will fit you, just...so.”
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish