Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mom's Clothes

"I perched on a stool, trying to decide the relative merits of keeping a bank statement from 1977 for a closed account in a bank that no longer existed. Occasionally, a disembodied piece of furniture or pile of clothes would float past me as someone made their way to the dumpster off the deck.
“Joy!“ Theresa called me into the bedroom. She had found a cedar trunk full of what she assumed were Mom’s clothes, and wanted me to assess the memento factor. My eye was caught instantly by a raucously pattern; swirls of blue, yellow and black fought it out on a background of white. Underneath was a long skirt I recognized from my early childhood. A memory flashed into my head. Me sitting on the bed watching my mom get ready for a dinner party, putting on the cream-colored skirt patterned with tiny leaves and rosebuds with a tracery of gold; spraying herself with her signature scent, Shalimar, and waiting for the moment I knew was coming, when she would spray a little perfume on my neck as a treat.
The chest was full of a stash of Mom’s homemade and stylistically questionable clothing. For years, Mom had made clothes for herself and for us. While I could say with confidence that sewing was not her greatest talent, her sartorial skills, such as they were, had provided us with many garments. Unfortunately, she found most of her fabric on remnant tables and at garage sales, so the quality and tastefulness of the materials was often a little iffy. In the excitement of our first ever trip to Hawaii as a family, she found yards of different Hawaiian fabrics and made us dresses and halter-tops. The fact that they gaped alarmingly at the side, exposing my adolescent chest to the world was immaterial."

No comments:

Post a Comment