Northside SF  

The Final Word
By Bruce Bellingham

This column is called Daisies on Cotton. Why? Because my girlfriend, Sharon, told me that she bought a spring dress from Betsey Johnson. It’s called Daisies on Cotton.

She sent me a pic on the Internet.

Very nice, too.

All dresses should have titles like that. I mean, Daisies on Cotton. Men do not have that luxury, if you will. Not so much a luxury but a temptation of dreary fate. That is, if I put on a suit, no one cares. They may call it Sullen Man in Wool. Or Worsted but Wiser. Or Sullen yet Woolen. No, men, to me, are dull by nature. Too serious, too self-absorbed. I ought to know. I have three older brothers. Don’t get me wrong. I love them. I just do not think I’ll be discussing spring dresses with them anytime soon. They simply don’t embrace that sense of fun. They have other ideas of fun. You know, boy things. Glasses of bourbon, plates piled high with rigatoni.

No, no, girls have the advantage. They certainly deserve it. The pressure’s on them. That’s why they get to play splashy in spring dresses that the catalogs describe as Daisies on Cotton. Sounds like a Rembrandt, doesn’t it? And why not? When beautiful Sharon wears it, then it really is a masterpiece. The hem swirls around her lovely legs when she kicks up her heels – white go-go boots, by the way.

Just for fun. It’s a symphonic mania.

In that fun movement, I know that spring is finally here. Yes, I know when spring is here when my heart really goes dancing.

That’s when girls and boys start to notice each other. The lungs fill with the breeze that tears up the hill here on Clay Street. The eyes of the kids are filled with wonder – and with real lust for the first time. It softens the soul, it sweetens the vision. It also makes one truly interested – no matter our age – in Daisies on Cotton.

Ah, there we cultivate our garden. I want to take care of this garden, but time is racing by. When your heart is dancing with spring, it seems to be the first time all over again. Remarkable, no?

Oh, yes, I call them girls – without remorse or apology. Girls will always be girls, regardless of age.
My grandmother was a girl to the end of her days. I miss her, and I was too stupid, too young to appreciate how much fun she wanted to have. I thought she was an old lady. She was a kid who played the piano at Carnegie Hall. She was funny. Nana gave me a harmonica. You want to be my best friend? OK. Never call me Nana. Well, not yet, anyway. Only on a spring day like today can I picture her in a cotton dress with daisies all over it. Yes, Nana was a girl.

Here’s to all the great girls that we love. When they wear Daisies on Cotton, they make everything grow more beautifully around us. When Sharon kicks up her heels, this moment in time is spring forever.

Bruce Bellingham is the author of Bellingham by the Bay. He also writes for the Marina Times and Media People. His new book is called “The Angina Dialogues.” Tempt him at


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