My last post, “Everybody Must Get Stoned” was a bit dark and discouraging. I guess my intention was to sound the alarm about where we are headed as human beings if we don’t get our act together. I’m really an optimist and I owe my resilience to my mom who repeated the same mantra over and over,”don’t worry, we will figure something out”.
My family was poor and we faced a lot obstacles that I won’t go into now. My parents didn’t go beyond an eighth grade education and, like all of us, they made some bad choices in their lives. But they did manage to give their children some important skills
Because of her promise that we would figure things out, my mom gave me a sense of power. When things broke or didn’t meet the required expectations, confident problem solving was always invoked and we persevered until things were back on track again.
In the peace of my camping trip a few weeks ago, I found the time to think about a lot of things including my childhood, my mom, and who she helped me to become. Because of her, I don’t give up, have chosen a life of action, and I’m a happy person. And I’m proud to say that I haven’t given in to any addictions (well, maybe, a small Pecan Turtle Blizzard at Dairy Queen from time to time.) The hard times in my life, have always been motivators for me, opportunities to figure things out and move on to the the next or an alternative step.
Before doing this blog, my approach to writing used be all screwed up. I would start something and then label it “dumb” and give up. It took a long time for me to finally hear my mom whispering, “don’t worry, just revise. You’ll figure it out”.
There is a funny story about the lengths my mom and I went to solve a particular problem. I was going to a formal dance and I needed the appropriate clothes that we just couldn’t afford. My aunt let us borrow a long white brocade dress and my mom added a lovely pink satin ribbon to the waist, letting it cascade down in the back. I needed a shawl and after some creative brainstorming we decided to buy a pink faux fur bath mat and line it with satin fabric. We devised a clasp hidden under more pink ribbon that matched my dress.
Well, I went to the formal event and people said my shawl looked like a bath mat. I guess what was important was that they didn’t figure out that it actually was a bath mat.
I can laugh about this now. It was one humorous glitch in a long line of my mom’s victories. She was determined that all three of her daughters would go to college and, beating almost impossible odds, she made that come true. She did other incredible things, too, that only came to light after she died.
When I was looking for a picture of a pink fur bath mat for this post, I came across pictures of pink fuzzy pillows that were for sale. I’m going to buy one so from time to time when life presents me with a problem I don’t think I can handle, I can hold the pillow, remember my mom, and know everything will be okay.
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8 thoughts on “Wearing a Fuzzy Pink Bath Mat to the Prom”
Our generation was so lucky to grow up when we did. My parents didn’t have much money either. However, I never remember lacking for anything I needed. They provided all that they could, considering they had eight mouths (children) to feed. They went without so they could provide for us. I was blessed to grow up with them as my role models.
BTW, turtle pecan is my favorite as well. However, I always get the Baby! Makes me feel less guilty about having one in the first place.
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Our circumstances made us resilient and grateful for even the littlest things. Terry, we are going to make it no matter what happens. P.S. I gotta switch to the Baby! Hmm, something I need to ponder! 🙂
From now on, I will always think of your bathmat story when confronted with a problem to solve! Your Mom sounds like an amazing person.
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LOL! Gosh! Really not a very good cognitive prompt. But if it works, go for it , my sister! 🙂
I’ll never look at a bathnat in the same way.
I’m sorry. 🙂
Joyce, I love this story so much! It is amazing how necessity prompts creative problem solving! And I would totally wear a bathmat with no shame. We didn’t have much when I was young either and my mother made most of my clothes. By the time I got to middle school, it was a source of embarrassment for me. But as I reached adulthood, I would have visions of clothing that I couldn’t find in stores and my mom would make them for me. I wish I had learned her craft of creating clothing before she passed away. I have a few pieces that she made for me that are very special. And your story reminded me of the time I found an old curtain at a yard sale and I loved the 60’s print and the tassel fringe on the edges so much that I bought it for 50 cents, folded it in half, wrapped it around my waist, and secured it with twine. I got so many compliments on my cool “skirt” and little did anyone know that it was just a curtain! I was always hugely into fashion and had to find creative ways to express myself with clothing…and very little money! Thank you for this reminder with this beautiful post!
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My mom taught me resilience. I can be foolishly stubborn sometimes but it makes me look at the world differently. Not giving up and going into dimensions no one else does is the foundation of creativity.