Monday, February 17, 2014

Lessons in Fleece

You've been waiting, haven't you?

I took two days off, and there you are, wondering if I'm okay. Wondering how I can keep my mouth shut for so long. Go ahead and admit it. I know you want to know where I am and what I'm doing and why I haven't said a word over the past two days.

Being berated at the hands of a sister can do that to a person.

It's a short story, really.

I hopped in the car on a snowy day to go see my sister for a very quick trip (I took three of the four kids and a friend with me). And the moment I arrive, she tells me that she doesn't like my fleece. Of course, she uttered the derogatory sentence right after saying, "I like your jeans," as if she could slip in the negative comment simply because she had praised me the moment before. (Passive-aggressive behavior, perhaps?) And if that wasn't bad enough, she continued to tell me that my fleece did not please her.

The fleece probably wouldn't please you, either. It's a half-zip pullover with stripes, that hits me at my hips and fits well in the shoulders. Apparently it's the stripes that bother my sister. They are gray, powder blue, neon pink, orange, and yellow. The yellow really got to her; she couldn't look at me without laughing or commenting for most of the day. I found the gem at Goodwill one dull, bleak morning and realized that with that fleece, I'd be walking around in my own spot of sunshine. (I can see you laughing, now, FRN.)

Call me loony, but I like the fleece and it's warm, so even my sister can't make me not wear it. I kept the offending garment on the entire day and even went so far as to wear it to bed, thinking I could make her suffer in the morning, too. I took it off to shower and replaced it with a plain gray fleece, something more appealing to my sister, who always dresses in black.

And I realized this. I don't care what she says about that fleece, and she knows I don't care. She knew I wouldn't be hurt by her words, and I'm not. I'll continue to wear what I like, no matter what anyone says, or despite what anyone says. And later on, in the future, I'll be the old lady in the grocery store line with her long white hair in curls and her lips lined with red; the lady that people look at and say, "Couldn't someone help her with her makeup?" because the outline of the lipstick doesn't completely match up with her lips. I'll see the people smile and because I'll have forgotten all about this interaction, I'll actually think that they are smiling at how nice I look when in reality, they'll be simply smiling, at me, because of my behavior, because they'll know I'm truly off my rocker, but are too nice to ruin the day of the old lady with a smile on her face.

I hope to be that old lady. Which means I'll keep wearing that fleece.


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