Me: No it’s not.
Mom: They are not wearing them that short.
Me: Mom, mini skirts are “in”.
Mom: You shouldn’t wear them that short.
Me: *rolls eyes*
This conversation happened somewhere around 1973 or 1974. I had signed up for Home Economics in high school in order to sew my own clothes and place the hem at the appropriate length…according to the groovy disco era. (Yes, I know, disco sucks. Except for K.C. and the Sunshine Band’s boogie shoes.) The blue and white dress I pieced together in Home Economics was short and that’s the way I liked it. Uh-huh, uh-huh.
Mom and dad married when they were both in their late thirties. My brother was born in early 1956, then I came in the fall of 1957. By the time I was 15 and using a sewing machine, the parents were curmudgeons in their 50’s. They were old! (At this time, I am pushing aside the fact that I am now THAT age and could very well be considered a curmudgeon myself.) Dad’s mother, a grandmother I never knew, was a seamstress. She taught her son to sew. Naturally, the son’s daughter caught on quickly to the craft. My Christmas gift one year was a sewing machine. I was excited by the freedom it gave me to sew age-appropriate clothes for a young girl in the 70’s, regardless of what mom tried to tell me.
No, mom, I am not going to hem this dress at the knees. That is NOT the style. *rolls eyes in the knowitall fashion of a teenager*
In the week of mom’s 95th birthday, I think of the differences we have held due to our ages and the distinct eras in which we grew into teenagers and young adults. Mom loved Lawrence Welk and Mitch Miller, I had a crush on David Cassidy and Bobby Sherman. Mom listened to polka music, I was sucked in by the evil and too-loud rock and roll. Mom wore her hair short and curly, I sprouted shoulder-length “dog hairs,” as mom called them. (Funny thing, she recently frowned at my too-short hair.) Mom was sent home by the Catholic nuns for wearing a sleeveless shirt, while I spent my teenage summers in a two-piece swim suit that no one gave a second glance. I LOVE birthday cake, mom turns her nose up in disgust and prefers cherry pie or cheesecake.
Over the years, the differences have continued to some degree. Mom has not understood my obsession with cats and motorcycles and the desire to go camping.
Mom: Why do you want to sleep on the ground?
Me: I don’t sleep on the ground, I sleep in a camper.
Mom: A motel is better, it has a bed.
Me: The camper has a bed.
Mom: Ack! Nonsense!
Me: *rolls eyes*
Mom: Why do you have those darn cats?
I get it, mom. We have our differences of opinion and what we see as appropriate. You’ve always made that clear. I hope you know that my dresses are now knee-length because I’m a curmudgeon with cellulite. No, I haven’t changed anything else. Yes, my hair is really short and I want to ride a motorcycle.
I love you too mom.
Life is a memoir. Go over to The Daily Post and check it out.