When I ride or walk around my hometown a forgotten house, a sight of a neighborhood tree or the feel of the air, some small synapse gets triggered and I am suddenly reminded of someone I knew or something that happened I had completely forgot about until the moment it hits me. Today it was a surfaced memory of my brother and I. I think I was in ninth grade and going to go to a dance. I found this electric blue, fitted (but not whorish)* lace-overlayed dress. It was perfect for the semi-formal I was attending and my mom bought it for me from – what was the name of the shop? Jay Jacobs? It was just a bunch of shitily-made clothes for teens and young women but exciting to browse in the preoccupation of liberating oneself from kid-hood into female-ness.
So at home I put this dress on and was looking at myself in the mirror, my under-average-height 130-lb body and new perfect boobs and feeling very pretty and different. And my brother came into the room and I said, “What do you think?” and he said, “Oh…” and I said, “I feel kind of self-conscious because, you know,” and I gestured to what must have been the world’s least-significant slight potbelly (a “flaw” I sensed, rather than felt, would be a detriment). And my brother, Hades fuck him, said, “Well, yeah.”
I didn’t wear the dress; I returned it. Whatever burgeoning confidence I felt evaporated – maybe not because of what my brother says, who knows – and I remember what it felt like to hate my uncooperative and vaguely displeasing body. I of course excuse my brother who was as much a victim and participant in the gauntlet formed against young females as I was. What mostly I think is, I will kick my son’s ass if he ever says anything less than worshipful for his sister’s beautiful body (no worries so far; he loves her fully and completely). And of course, I remember how much I loved the blue of the frock, which I have never seen anywhere else (thank you, Taiwanese textile factory!).
Today I discovered my father is super-excited about Popular Science‘s DIY messenger-bag-cum-solar-cell-phone-charger. I don’t even know where he got the idea (it’s too bad the link doesn’t show a picture; it is kind of cute). Not only does he want to make one (with my husband’s help in choosing electronics), he thinks we should make them and sell them (WTF? I think maybe he was smoking some of his medicine). However despite the fact it is semi-strange for him to be soooo excited, Ralph and are actually so happy he has a project that involves us. I said, “You can show it to Ralph when he comes over tonight,” and he snorted, “What, time to borrow the lawnmower again?” (actually a software install for mi madre).
* Here’s another nice tidbit from dinner at my FOO’s the other night: totally unrelated to this story of the dress my mom, telling my husband how much she was glad I didn’t dress provocatively as a young woman. “I know, I know,” she crowed, “You’d think by her personality she’d be … you know … [a slut!] but she was actually very modest.” O-kay.