I asked my husband repeatedly to guest blog for me.
Right. My husband, the former newspaper journalist.
An easy request.
He said “No.”
Remember that conversation?
After he said no to me, he immediately went and started his own blog.
I thought I could leave it at that.
So, I did what all resourceful, creative wives do.
I figured out a way around his “No.”
I went to his blog, copied and pasted one of my favorites and I now present it to you as his ‘Guest Post.’
Just don’t tell him you read it here.
The horrors of back-to-school shopping
I hated “back to school” sales. They
signaled the end of the summer vacation.
They also meant that I must endure the annual ordeal of buying new school clothes – selected by my mom, who called boys’ pants “slacks” or “trousers.”
When parents buy clothes for eight kids, fashion sense dissolves into financial cents. Durability was more important than style. It didn’t matter if we looked good in our clothes, as long they had reinforced knees, double-stitched seats and dark colors to disguise the Kool-Aid
My parents prepared for the annual family re-wardrobing by getting second jobs.
The Pfiffer kids were tough on new clothes. We had them ripped and grass-stained before we got them home from the store.
We did our back-to-school shopping at the former Sears Roebuck & Co. store on Elmira’s North Main Street. The middle American department store offered dashing fashions by cutting-edge designers
like John Deere and Black & Decker.
Mom didn’t take all us kids shopping at once. Give her a break. Besides, store security wouldn’t allow it. Mom shopped with one or two of us at a time.
My back-to-school attire allotment included one pair of pants, two shirts, socks, and underwear.
As the oldest kid, I never wore hand-me-downs. However, my old rags were passed down through the Pfiffer progeny until the clothes were worn so thin they just were colors. No fabric.
New clothes are uncomfortable. They’re stiff, itch and smell funny. Unlike a new car smell, a new shirt smell’s repugnant. That’s why I wash new clothes several times before wearing.
Do you see why I disliked back-to-school shopping? I had to try on scratchy, funky-smelling, mom-selected clothes in a dressing room with all the ambience of a solitary confinement cell. They’re now
called “fitting rooms,” because many people have fits when they see how fat they are in the full-length, leave-nothing-to-the-imagination
The mirror traumatization isn’t as bad as exiting onto the storeroom floor to endure mom’s inspection and questions of me and my pants. She ran her fingers around the inside of the waist to check for fit. Yanked on the cuffs for length and tugged on the pockets for a test of
“Are they too tight?” she asked. “Do they cinch in the fly?” “Can you get your hands in the pockets?”
All the while, I had to do squat thrusts, leg kicks and deep knee bends to prove the slacks offered freedom of movement.
“Turn around,” she would say as she inspected my new slacks. “They look adorable on you.”
Adorable is not a term a boy wants to hear when trying on school clothes – especially in front of the whole store.
I admit that putting on a new set of duds does make me feel a bit more attractive, a tad more confident and even taller. I still feel that way as an adult. However, the feeling subsides after the second or third time I wear them.
Fashion wasn’t important to me as a kid. As long as my pants were not “high water” and my shirts didn’t get me beaten up in school, I was content.
In third grade, mom bought me a pair of girly calf-length pants, called clam diggers. I have wimpy lemon-size calves that should always be covered when in public. The pants were white canvas, with
a wide baby blue stripe on each outside leg and a braided rope belt. I hated them, but mom insisted I wear them on our class trip to Eldridge Park in Elmira. I protested, arguing that the park was clam free and the only thing I would be digging would be my grave if the class bullies saw me in my high-water trousers.
Mom insisted I wear them. I did. I didn’t get beaten up or made fun of.
That’s because I spent the entire class trip hiding in the bathroom.