Encore: Flaunting the Fortrel

You know how there are some things in our childhood that we are unable to let go of no matter how many years have passed? Here’s one of mine:

I remember the colour of the dress I wanted when I was five years old. It was bubblegum pink in shiny pink satin. Funny thing is I, in my adulthood, own nothing even remotely similar in my wardrobe and never have.

My older sister was the one who wore the pink satin with the delicate, white lace trim.

I was a “tomboy”. I loved my blue jeans. Mom knew this so instead of satin I got a dress in light blue fortrel with white piping and buttons. The “sister” also got the patent black shiny shoes with the glittery silver buckle. I got the brown soft leather shoes with the black stitching and decorative punch holes.

Her shoes tapped as she walked.

Mine shuffled.

I always thought this was unfair. I don’t know why. I thought the pink dress and black shoes were sooooo pretty. Not that I wanted to wear them for myself but I didn’t want my sister to have them either.

I think this dress choice affected me somewhat growing up. I remember going through a plaid shirt and jeans phase all through junior high. It got so that even my dad made the comment “you should buy yourself a shirt. Something with ruffles or lace or something.” I never knew my dad noticed.

I’ve always had a strong attraction towards neutrals. Basic black isn’t just a staple in my wardrobe…it my wardrobe. Basic black is what I feel most like myself in. I’m not saying if Mom had chosen the pink satin for me my closet would presently be filled with florals and pastels. What I do think is that maybe mom knew me better than I did myself. I was blue and brown leather. I think she was trying her best to let our own little identities to come out and show themselves distinct from each other.

I have to admit, however, I do have one shirt in cherry blossom pink that obtrusively hangs in my closet amidst the stoic black articles of clothing.

One of these days I’ll channel my little girl self and wear it in public.


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