First lie in at my new flat, and was astonished when I looked out the window and saw not only sun, but clear streets. The snow that has literally paralysed most of the outer countryside has vanished from the city centre. However, I ended up slumming in front of the laptop most of the day watching Animal Cops episodes, only going out to do some shopping. I did end up popping into an ethnic fashion store on my street, and came out with a pretty awesome long grey shirt/jacket thing. And since that’s the most exciting thing I did today, lets have a not-exactly-related-but-more-interesting-than-a-ramble story from my youth.
As I’ve mentioned before, my mother and I had very different views on my taste in fashion. I generally had a quirky and eccentric taste pallet, while hers was more…grounded in reality. As a whole I was happy to let my tastes squander – as much as I liked strange outfits I’d become very much a girl who valued comfort over appearance. I spent my days in t-shirts and sports trousers for sheer ease (plus a quirky necklace of some sort as my one guilty pleasure). In fact, giving my mother’s hatred for my (lack of) fashion sense, there was only one place I felt happy to go all out.
Now my parents were as I’ve said, divorced. Daddy lived a good 3 hour car ride away, and we mostly saw him on holidays. And when he saw us, he would, again, like many, treat us more than usual due to his absence. And that also meant he never complained about how I dressed. Even during what both my parents probably refer to as my crazy years – when I moved out of university and finally had nobody’s disapproval 24/7. But that’s another story – the one I’m telling today is a one set a little bit earlier in life.
One year, when in my early teens, my Dad took me and my brother to Florida. While there, he bought me a very large trial t-shirt for the Jurassic Park ride. It was bright red, had claw marks, and the phrase ‘Scream Your Way To The Top’.
It was huge. Easily 3 sizes too big for me, minimum. I honestly did. Not. Care. I loved it.
My mother? Didn’t.
She tried to make me turn it into a nightie. I refused. Instead I wore it as part of my PE kit. The school didn’t care what kind of t-shirt you brought in so long as you were covered, so they didn’t mind.
A few months later, I was visiting Dad’s again, and while we were in Matalan, and he bought me another large red top. This one actually fit me, though it was still quite long, and had a Pikachu on the front. It was at the height of my Pokemon fevor, so one again, I loved it. My mother, who spent every night praying her daughter would finally begin mental puberty and actually start caring about important girl things like makeup and boys and heels, loathed it. But, since they were in my possession (and not just me gazing at them in a shop), and they were just t-shirts, I refused to listen to her complaints.
Then one weekend, my Jurassic Park t-shirt vanished.
I searched high and low. I’d put it in the wash basket – and mum had taken it with all my coloured clothes to wash. But here were all my coloured clothes, and the t-shirt was not among them.
I searched my brother’s clothes, I even searched my mother and step-father’s clothes, but it was gone. The next day I wore my Pikachu t-shirt to PE class instead.
Next week, it vanished from the wash room too. That’s when I started to smell a rat.
I have never gotten her to admit it, but my mother clearly took her chance to rid her world of the fiendish red t-shirts in that highly vulnerable time when they were out of my sight. Neither t-shirt was ever seen again, and it meant I had to take drastic measures.
In my collection of beloved clothing I also had a black shirt with flames at the bottom. It was a boys shirt and guess what? Mum hated it. I also had a bomber jacket from a Car Boot Sale with a giant eagle on the back that she had a similar opinion of. Both were immediately hidden in my room, and smuggled to my Dad’s house next time we visited.
I adored going to my Dad’s for that. He was my go-to-guy when I wanted clothes I knew mum would never let me have. And after the red-shirts, I begin to accumulate a partial wardrobe for his house. Plus, since he never cared what I wore, what I loved about him, I took it another step up. Whenever we went to visit, mum would pack my bag full of my nice new clothes and things she liked. Then, once she was done and wasn’t looking, I’d slip in, remove everything I didn’t like, and stuff in all the things I did.
I later found out that this probably wasn’t my smartest move. Because although my Dad never complained to me about what I wore, he did complain to my mum about how scruffy I was whenever I visited, which she took as a personal insult. Too bad we’re from such a non-communicative family sometimes.