I remember many things. This of course has proved to be a blessing, as well as a curse. I remember the white clingy panty hose things my mother would make me wear to our Sunday catholic church services as a child. I remember how girly they made me feel, so embarrassed as my older brother snickered at me during the car ride. Why didn’t he have to wear them too? I remember being far too clever and mischievous for my young age. Example: In the 1980s parenting had concocted a device that was nothing more than a handcuff on a long slinky. The mother would velcro one end on her child’s wrist and the other end on her own wrist while they shopped, to give the child the sense of space and freedom (or so I think?). My mother like most moms was the kind of shopper who would stand in one section looking at clothing for far too long, I would grow bored quickly and tilt my head back to signify I was falling asleep, until my entire body posture mimicked that of a backwards lowercase “r”. Like most children I was intrigued by mannequins in department stores. With their stances, sometimes half bodied, sometimes naked and exposed to the world as they waited to be outfitted with this seasons new button up shoulder padded women’s blazer. Unfortunately, like a wild animal I wanted to see more. I couldn’t be caged in by this human who wanted nothing more than to take care and feed me, I was willing to throw that all into the wind for the chance to see what was beyond the tall racks of clothing I could not see over. I knew what had to be done. I remember carefully unhooking my handcuff, every rip of velcro sounding to me ten times louder than it was in actuality. After It was secured to the wrist of a mannequin I sprinted off in pure happiness as if I had just pulled off the biggest bank heist.
Worse case scenario, if I lost my way and was unable to return, I’d do what I always did when lost. Walk up to a cashier while crying saying I lost my mom. They would bend down and use their puppy voice to reassure me that everything would be okay, get on the store’s intercom system and say they had a lost child looking for his mother. My mother would then march up with darting embarassed eyes and thank them for alerting her and usually cut her shopping trip short to instead chastize me on the car ride home. I now realize why the slinky handcuff was implemented in the first place. I like to imagine passerby shoppers, mothers and children looking at this woman thumbing through clothing racks, seeing her slinky handcuff connected to an inatimate object and just being utterly confused by the sight.
To my credit, I was in reality (in her own words) “a little shit”.