Happy Birthday Suzanne

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About 33 years ago close to this very day I made myself this dress and the one my best college friend Suzanne is wearing.   Today is Suzanne’s birthday and she is my only friend I ever made a dress for. We were saving money to go on Spring Break to go to Puerto Rico to see her sister Gussy. We needed dresses for a big party Gussy was throwing as well as for our sorority formal where this picture was taken. This was back in the day when girls wore the same dress more than once.


You know Suzanne is a good friend because although she could buy any old sack off the rack and it would look great on her she happily bought into the idea that we save money by having me make our dresses. I am not sure what I was thinking with that grey and white stripe, but Suzanne wisely chose a hot and baby pink silk that I fashioned into that little number. Remember this was not long after Lady Diana married Prince Charles and big puffy sleeves were the rage.


That friendship has flourished through the years and she is still such a good friend that she supports me in whatever hair brained scheme I come up with. Suzanne was the good girl and I was the bad influence. Thank goodness her parents liked me enough to overlook the shenanigans I got us into. It helped that my birthday was the same day, just nine years apart, from her sister Gussy, so I was just a younger version of her.


When we got out of college I moved to DC and Suzanne moved to NYC to make her mark. I remember her calling me from a pay phone that she referred to as her “mid-town office” as she was on her way to a job interview. She told me that she had just stopped and had a piece of pie and a cup of coffee, as her meal for the day because it was a special at the diner and back then money was tight. We never let the lack of money keep us from fun.


It is wonderful to have a friend that I have celebrated 37 birthdays with. We have been each other’s maid or matron of honor at our weddings, seen our children grow up, traveled together, and supported each other through hard times and good. I know that if there is ever anything big that is happening to me she will be there.

I know she knows the same about me.


But today, on her big day, I want to say one thing to Suzanne besides, “Happy Birthday,” I want to say, “You were a really good sport to wear that dress so cheerfully. I promise if I ever make you another one it will be better.”







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