Monday, July 27, 2009

Butterflies and cow socks

When I was about 7 or 8 I had a favourite pair of socks.

They came in a grab bag of clothes from one of the older girls in the neighbourhood. They were white socks with fuchsia pink cow spots all over them, with a pink band around the top that had a standing up cow and a laying down cow on both side of the sock. Awesome!

(actually through various grab bags I got other pairs of the same socks, some of them were blue though, and so was able to wear my favourite cow socks well into junior high!)

When I was little, my mom, aunt and grandma had a favourite ladies dress shop called Butterflies that they liked to go to. I loved to go too, because it was always a special occasion we were shopping for, and my cousins and I would run around the store and try on hats and laugh at the size of the shoulder pads.

This one time it was just mom and gran and me. I got bored with mom and gran deciding over one outfit, and so wandered off to explore on my own (anyone who has been shopping with me knows I still do this. sorry). They had rearranged the accessories section, and I spent a lot of time checking out the cool new socks they had on display. My new love of the cow socks had made me something of a sock officianado. Plus, they were the only thing that might fit me in the store.

While gran's purchase was rung through, I made one final hopeful pass through the sock aisle. Just as my mom was calling me to hurry up, the shop's owner came up behind me, and slipped something into my coat pocket, and said "That is for being such a good girl in the store."

As I ran to catch up with mom, I put my hand in my pocket, and pulled out a pair of pink and black striped socks.

Of course, the gift of socks was the main topic of conversation all the way home, with mom and gran questioning me as to exactly what the woman had said etc. etc. (they had seen her give me something, so at least they didn't think I had stolen them!) Then, when we got home, she was telling dad the story as we went upstairs to put the shopping away.

All of a sudden, mid-story, she burst out laughing, and said "C! take your shoes off and show me your heels!"

I did tell you they were my fav socks right? The heels were completely worn away.

Mom quickly took stock of the rest of my outfit, and kept on laughing. It was a Saturday. When you are little, you wear grubbies on Saturday so you can play. I was wearing a fourth-hand winter coat that probably needed to be cleaned (perfect for Saturday), pants that were a little too short for me, and penny loafers that showed off the holes and in my socks (and probably made them worse) with every step.

So the owner of the store had seen a well-behaved little waif in holey socks and second-hand clothes, longing only for a funky pair of socks (a wish which was quickly denied her by her mother), while her mother and grandmother (both snappy dressers) shopped for $300 suits. The lady probably felt sorry for me and thought I had a horrible mother.

My mom thought this was hilarious! Then she tried to make me throw out my cow socks.

Ha! That wasn't about to happen! Cow socks trump black and pink stripes any day!

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