Fifteen Minute Friday: My Earliest Memory

Fifteen Minute Friday: My Earliest Memory

This week’s prompt… My Earliest Memory. You have 15 minutes–go!

Pocket Deep

It was itchy and no amount of washing would change that, but it was perfect in every other way. My favourite sweater, knitted by my nana, was white, for the most part, with buttons down the front and two small useless pockets on either side at the bottom. What I liked the most about my cardigan was the flowers. If I had my hands in the impractical pockets they were hidden, but when I was walking or standing with my hands at my sides colourful flowers on stems grew from their shallow cavities.

It was the girliest thing I owned.

With this beautiful sweater, I would wear a tam hat made of jean martial in which I placed cheap tourist buttons all over it to weigh it down heavy on my head of short cropped hair. I would wear a plaid button down shirt, not unlike the one I am wearing today but in navy, and a pair of brown corduroy bellbottoms to finish my uniform. I wore sensible sneakers in brown or burgundy as opposed to the pinks and baby blues of the other girls in my class. So my sweater was my disguise for fitting in to the girl crowd when I really only wanted to play baseball with my dad, brother, and his friends.

I had dresses in my closet. I had pictures of myself in dresses. Every Easter and Christmas I would force myself into them and smile for the camera but it was forced and uncomfortable until I put on my flower sweater. I knew that the sweater, a reminder to the world of my gender, was not that at all. It was my armour. With it on, I wasn’t picked on for my shirt buttoned to the top or the colour of my shoes. “I am a girl,” might have been blazoned on those pockets instead of flowers and it would have done the same trick. That sweater warmed me, comforted me, and let the definition of me be what I wanted it to be on the inside of that itchy world. I was uniquely me with a stem full of flowers, likely dandelions, as an adornment. I still blow the seeds off every spring to bring colour to my life even if some don’t think it beautiful, I know that beauty is only pocket deep.

Fifteen Minute Fridays are stories based on writing prompts that I penned in the 15 minutes afforded to me at my weekly writer’s group. They are unedited (except spelling) and are based on one word/phrase. The fifteen minutes includes thinking about your idea, writing it down, and a quick edit if you have time. When we are done our 15-minute writing exercise, we share our stories with everyone in the room. If you played along, please share. If you read my words, please be kind.

Image by Jonny Lindner from Pixabay 


Comments

  1. I just love your writing. It’s amazing and beautiful and descriptive. It probably took me 10 minutes just to come up with this. Sigh.

    • Thank you… so? what was your favourite memory?

      • My mother took me with her to go jewelry shopping when I was about 8 or 9. She bought an Amethyst and Pearl bracelet and I saw the price tag said $100.00. This was probably in the late 1950’s or early 1960’s (ahem, no age comments allowed) and I was stunned. It would be as if it was $10,000 today (I was, after all, a little kid with no real concept of expense). Teasingly I told her that if I didn’t get that bracelet for my Sweet Sixteenth Birthday, I would tell my Father what it cost (like he wouldn’t have known anyway). Imagine 7-8 years later, opening my Birthday Present to find that bracelet! I had completely forgotten the “threat” I had made. It brought back lovely ‘little girl’ memories, and I also got the “BRACELET”! (Of course, it was on condition that my Mother could wear it any time she wanted and kept it in HER jewelry box). I still have it and love it.

  2. Love this story about your childhood cardigan! What is so touching is how it made you feel you when you put it on!

  3. This story is so wonderfully evocative. I can picture that cardigan so well, and I really love how you don’t just convey how it made you look but also how it made you feel. It’s such a great detail that in in spite of it being itchy you loved it because it was your protection against the world.

  4. Love the story. Until I read it I didn’t realize that I have certain clothes that make me feel confident, some that make me feel protected, and others that lower my anxiety levels. Thanks for that realization.

    My earliest memory was going to the store with my parents. They bought me a helium filled balloon. We didn’t have AC in the car so all the windows were down when we drove away. My dad had warned me to hold tight to the balloon, but sure enough I let it slip out of my hand and out the window it went. He quickly pulled to the curb, got out, and chased the balloon across a vacant lot. Unfortunately the elevation gain was too fast for him to get a hand on the string and it floated up and away. My dad could be a gruff fellow back then and he did give me a lecture about taking care of my belongings, but all I remember is that he had tried to save the balloon. Even though I was sad about losing the balloon, I was still comforted in the fact that he tried to recover it. My parents swear I was too young to remember this, but I do.

    On a side note. I think I got my blog back in working shape if you want to try and subscribe again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *