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Dear Francesca

I finally got to visit your aunt and uncle in New Jersey.

For a "fixer-upper", their house sure had curb appeal! How do they remember the Renaissance so well, in this new age of stainless steel?

Vatican stonework surrounded the front door. Morty shrugged, "Anyone can do masonry."

The little foyer had a huge crystal chandelier. Maria confessed, "...from the thrift store."

Every archway had finials and carved plaster keystones. Your cousin welded cast-iron curtain rods with curly-ques and dripping vines. Someone hand-embroidered drapes of bridal voile with seashells and pearls.

Some carpets were white: feet were inspected first. It felt like a sheik's tent: like we were supposed to wash away desert sand and remove camel hair.

There was a marble coffee table. On the sofa, there was a cascade of pillows: taffeta, tassels, satin, and silk. You back-flopped onto a cloud.

A dozen strangers were invited to gawk at me, just because I knew you.

You were right: we sat under "the Last Supper", laughing, ignoring the message.

The bathroom was a wall of mirrors, with gold-leafed busts and icons on display.

Maria beat me to the washroom to splash on her powder and rouge, no pencil needed for her thick black brows. Then for her lips: the botox, the hot pink gloss. And in her cleavage, a drop of perfume for the final touch.

Their joy of life... everything, everything is embellished!

I think we need to work on our apartment.

Story by:

Ruth Hill

ruthhill@joiedevivregardens.ca

submitted at 11:03am

21 May 2012