What happens when your mother gets a 2 tomboys and a gay son, sooo not what she signed up for

I think part of the reason I hated the whole Easter outfit thing was the fact that my mother had absolutely no taste and she wanted me to be a girly girl. The fact that I won the fight to wear blue in the photo in that other post is a miracle. I think she got tired of me screaming I was not going to wear pink and this was right around the time she got me pink glasses and I promptly went out and “accidently” broke them. Most Easters after this I ended up in yellow not because I looked good in yellow but because it was a battle she was getting passive aggressive about.

The year I was in 7th grade it got really bad. She actually bought me a dress but it was Kelly green and she bought me a big daisy brooch to wear on it. Doesn’t sound so bad, does it? Well she bought a huge patent leather purse and matching patent leather Mary Janes in sunflower yellow. I was still very short, under 5 feet but my feet were starting to grow. They were size 8 or at least the left one was. I looked like a duck, a tiny Mallard duck with immense yellow feet. Mom thought the ensemble was lovely. I wanted to hide my feet which was virtually impossible and to top it off she took me to tea and insisted I wear the damn thing in front of my Campfire group. So my school friends got the pleasure of seeing the hideous outfit as well as my church friends.

My dad was the one who had great taste in clothes, I would have done anything to have him pick them out. One year he came home from shopping for my little sister (in the boys husky dept, mom had given up getting a girly girl when Alison came along) and bought me a rust corduroy pant suit that fitted perfectly. It was my first pantsuit because girls still weren’t allowed to wear pants to school unless they were a suit in 1972. For some reason that outfit made me feel pretty and stylish in a way dresses never had. He even came home with a peach mock t to wear under it. My mom hated that suit and I wore it out, every chance I got. Even if I had to wear it with 2 tone brown saddle shoes.

I had to wear saddle shoes because they had corrective heels on them and the one time I complained about them being blue and white, she bought shoe paint and painted them royal blue and it wasn’t a good paint job. Never complained about that again and she was sooo proud of herself. I was so glad when they started to make brown suede ones. They weren’t nearly as embarrassing.

And that doesn’t even cover the battles we had when I wanted to wear black, Black anything at all except shoes. I started asking to wear black in elementary school. And kept asking all the way through until I could buy my own clothes. Mind you this was way before punk or goth or anything that would have made it even slightly normal. This was right in the middle of the summer of love era. The only way I finally got a black dress was that I bought the material and made it in an advanced sewing class I was required to take in 8th grade and mom hadn’t taken me to the fabric store, dad did and he waited in the car for me. Last time he was allowed to do that for a while.

Is it any wonder I hate clothes shopping and if it doesn’t come from LL Bean or Lands End, I’m probably not going to own it?

She lucked out with my brother, he was the perfect fashion plate. He was doing his best gay vogue already in that photo. I don’t know how many times mom told the story of his potty training but I could have cheerfully drowned him. Evidently the first time mom but him in a suit, he wet himself and went to her and said, “Dirty! Change me!” and never had an accident again. I was the kid who was playing in the dirt and really didn’t care. I was more interested in how my radishes were growing or catching frogs. It made me want to brain the little bugger because he was only a year and a half behind me and I would hear about how clean my brother kept himself. Of course, my abilities to not mind dirt and bugs came in handy all my years working at camps.

I can only remember getting really grossed out once and that was cleaning Arts & Crafts grease trap at Singing Pines. I had to reach in and pull stuff out and no one remembered anyone ever doing it before and it was about the slimiest nasty thing I’ve ever done but by the end there was a fascination to doing it. How much stuff was in there and what the hell was it? I never knew probably toxic and I probably should have been wearing rubber gloves but no one ever mentioned it until I was done.