Innocence Revisited

 

When do you grow up according to your parents? Maybe never.  When I go home to visit, I find I’m 16 again, even though I’m approaching 40.  High school revisited.

But this now, what was then?

The start of maturity can be awkward.

In high school all the girls I knew shopped at Victoria’s Secrets.  Buying expensive underwear was like announcing you were President of your own fan club.  And in high school, you know how important that is…My mother didn’t quite understand the lure of paying 3 times the amount for a pair of cotton underwear with the store name written around and around on the elastic waistband.

“But Mom,” I argued, “It’s a NAME BRAND.”

“Who cares?” she replied, “Who’s going to be looking at your Gloria’s Secret?”

“VICTORIA’S!”

“Oh. Victoria’s”

That winter I came home with a life-size Christmas stocking that my boyfriend filled with every imaginable present I could want. This was the stocking of all stockings!   It included one of my most favorite gifts ever given to me- a pair of Reebok sneakers.  My favorite, because he knew I wanted a pair. My favorite, because he got my size right without asking. What can I say about these practical sneakers except that I felt loved. I re-opened every goodie box to show my mom his generosity.

In my haste and excitement, I opened the Victoria Secret’s box too. “And he got me this…” I said, pulling out the see-through peach lace bodysuit.

 I held it up and I looked at my mother through it.

Me looking at my mother. My mother looking at me.

Both of us just blinking.

7 comments on “Innocence Revisited

  1. renee says:

    love it. thanks lady.

  2. Adam Matusiak says:

    Too funny and good to know… I’m checking my daughter Emily’s stocking this year!

  3. I am laughing out loud. really. Very funny story.

  4. Wow, Jannett. I mean, wow. You pack a lot of meaning into a short space. I’m in love with the image of you and your mother looking at each other through the see-through peach lace bodysuit. There are so many layers of meaning in this story, and in that flimsy garment. This piece resonated. In my memoir, I wrote about how I became who my family thought I was whenever I went home, so that I wondered who I’d be when I went home after my step-mom died. I feel lucky I met you. I sense that reading your words will challenge me to better writing.

    • Jannett Matusiak says:

      Thanks for your kind comments Cara! It’s been a great experience to come up with a moment and then start writing to see what’s behind it all. I feel like the last couple of posts led me to new discoveries. That’s exciting!
      I’m so glad I met you too!

  5. Young says:

    I now have a visual of a teenage version of you wearing nothing but a see-through peach lace bodysuit and a pair of Reebox… that’s just great. How am I going to explain THAT to Barb :-)

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