Suzy B.

When I was 10, I took ballet from Miss Long. I loved Miss Long, she was so beautiful and kind to a lonely little girl who had recently moved from Ohio to South Carolina.  

Ireally, really wanted to be a ballerina when I grew up. In reality, I was tallish with knobby knees and skinny legs and not at all graceful. 

But, in my imagination I was a swan, gliding across the stage in a fabulous costume to applause and red roses thrown at my feet.

I was so excited when it came time for our recital. My mother made my tutu. It was purple with matchingsatin top and thin straps. The panties had too tight elastic in the legs and left big welts around my thighs. I got to wear rouge on my cheeks! I remember the scratchy feel of the netting on the back of my legs, the smell of Miss Long’s perfume (Joy which I wore for many years).

I quit ballet when I was twelve, because I could not for anything get up on my toes in my pretty pink satin toe shoes. 

Every time I smell someone wearing Joy, all the memories come flooding back and I remember that lonely time and the wonderful woman that made me feel like I was the most talented, wonderful little girl in the world.