Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Dressed for a Tornado (StoredStory #20)

My grandmother wore slippers and scooted around her house. She wore plain solid dresses during the week--her work attire. For some reason,  a pale lime dress with a rugged texture lingers in my mind as her characteristic wardrobe. She wears that dress in one of the few pictures I have of her.

Children often emulate those they see. Interestingly, I was happy to emulate members from both genders of my family. I tried to walk like an uncle, cross my legs like my dad, cook like my mother, and dress like my grandmother.

As a child, I had a thing for women's clothing of all varieties. I would try to take steps in high heels too large for my boyish feet, I would spin in gowns and sit upon a seat, and I would shuffle in my grandmother's slippers wearing plain dresses. I don't know if this happened often, but the still-frame shots from my childhood slide show suggest this happening on a stormy day. (And there is also that actual photo of me a pink tutu).

One by one the shots go like this: it's dark in my grandparents' kitchen, adults head to the root cellar, I see my slipper feet and a dress that skirts round my leg, I step down onto the first step leading to the cellar, we wait for a tornado to pass.

I suppose I would like to have felt stylish for the storm, or maybe I was just caught by surprise in my grandmother's dress.

I'm not nearly as stylishly brave today, though I long to be sometimes. Perhaps I would care to be dandyish once in a while, but I have no bravery to make the change. Yet, I love the feel of freedom in a t-shirt and jeans; that has been me for years. And then there are those times when I have slipped on women's attire for the masquerade of Halloween. I was Wynonna Judd, which was fun, that one year.

Maybe how we dress shows what roles we have and wish to have. Maybe I'm a nurturing soul with a huge need to relax in comfy cottony t-shirts but with a bigger need to show the world, on occasion, a wildly colorful and vibrant inner life.