Memories of going to my grandmother’s house include a special treat she reserved for my sister and me. She called it “playing Mrs. Astor.” Her large home in the county (at least from my perspective as a child it was big) sat nestled among numerous towering trees, blooming shrubs and annual flowers on top of a hill. An occasional car passed by on the road below. More often you heard the call of mocking birds and sometimes the whisper of the wind through the trees.
“Playing Mrs. Astor” meant we took out the fancy china in order to eat off pretty plates and drank out of dainty cups. Many years later, as an adult, I learned Mrs. Astor was a wealthy woman my grandmother never met, but someone whom she would have seen in a newspaper or a magazine.
Last Easter, a friend wore this delightful pink hat to church. It was perfect for her, complimenting her blonde hair and soft complexion. I asked if I might photograph it. In a way it reminded me of “playing Mrs. Astor”. We didn’t wear fancy clothes or hats at my grandmother’s tea parties, but she made this granddaughter feel special. I saw the way other women on Easter morning admired this pink hat. Inside every grown up woman I still believe there is a little girl that likes to “play Mrs. Astor,” to dress up in whatever was makes her feel special.