Gracie McBride

Gracie McBride

She looked more like a Grace than a Gracie.

At first I didn’t recognize her. Gracie had always been cute. The boys liked the way her sharp cheekbones set off her languid blue eyes, the narrow gap between her front teeth, the barely discernible overbite that imbued her smile with a hint of secret mischief. Her body, taut as a guitar string, and her willingness to share it had helped keep her in boyfriends.

But this Gracie following a tall man in black hair slick with mousse and a cashmere topcoat down to the rink-side seats was more elegant and beautiful than I had ever seen. Her auburn hair, streaked with thick strands of silver, tumbled over a charcoal turtleneck. She carried a fur coat over one arm. She seemed straighter, taller, less mousy. Maybe it was the turtleneck. Or the fur.

The man, who also wore a turtleneck, stopped and turned with a confident smile and an offer of his hand. She took it and edged into her seat, laying the fur across her lap and fluffing her hair as she settled in. She looked more like a Grace than a Gracie.