Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Family History

Dear Mom,

When you dream of someday becoming a mother and you imagine the traits you may, no, WILL, pass on to your child, they are always good things like "your math smarts and my science smarts" or "my eyes and your ears", and "my nose and Not Yours." Things, however, do not always go as planned.

It would seem that I have passed my Clumsy trait on to the Young Lady. Shortly after noon today, the phone rang. Intermediate School, the Caller I.D. prompts. My heart skips a beat. In a quavering voice, leaving no doubt that tears are imminent, the Young Lady asks me to bring her a change of clothes. She has spilled juice all over herself and cannot go on.

As I drive the required clothing to school, I cannot help but recall what has become known in Family History as "That Day Kim had to wear Susan Templin's Pantyhose" or "The Day Susan Templin Saved My Life".

Yes, that day in ninth grade Home Ec class when I snagged my L'eggs pantyhose (color Suntan) on the sewing machine chair leg. Snagged is really not the word for the absolute massive hole that erupted. All that white flesh shining out from behind nylon suntan-y goodness was unacceptable and a potentially social life altering disaster. The shock and horror has left such an impression that I can remember what I was wearing on that day- the rose and gray plaid skirt and vest I sewed in Home Ec class. And yes, for those who may be wondering, my plaids did match.

I know that just stating the fact that I wore pantyhose in ninth grade and then adding the fact that they were L'eggs pantyhose has pretty accurately placed me in High School in the 70's. And proud of it, sister. Such was our Need to wear Suntan L'eggs pantyhose, that my friend, Susan Templin, had an extra pair in her purse. Just pause and think on that a moment. Fourteen, maybe fifteen years old, carrying a spare pair of pantyhose in her purse, for just an emergency such as this. And she was friend enough to come to my rescue and let me have them.

Big deal. I borrowed a friend's pantyhose.....except that Dear Susan with the emergency L'eggs in her purse was about 14 inches shorter than I was. And she didn't have an emergency pair of pantyhose in her purse in case I needed them. She was carrying a Susan Templin sized pair of emergency pantyhose. A pair that allowed the waist band, with several desperate stretches, to come up exactly as far as my mid thigh, leaving the crotch at my knees. I wonder. How many times did I keep tugging at the waist band and pulling the legs hoping that this time they would miraculously and actually FIT? We all suffer for our beauty, though, and walking like a penguin was far better than all that exposed and blinding white flesh, so, with the crotch at my knees, I waddled through the remainder of my school day. When that last bell rang, I exhaled. I made it. I was almost home.

And then I had to get on the bus. That first step onto the bus never looked so high and required a lifting of the knee. The current Situation would not allow this to happen. With my thighs strapped together by the pantyhose waist band (which was trying its best to roll down my legs), a tremendous amount of arm strength and using a rolling sideways kick, I hoisted myself up those bus steps. One. Step. At. A. Time. Heaven only knows what the bus driver was thinking.

I am sure the image of me hobbling down those bus steps and penguin walking up the driveway will be one you never forget. The quizzical look on your face is one I will never forget. Nor will I forget the gut busting laughter as I pulled up my skirt and in answer to the unspoken question in your eyes announced, "Because I am wearing Susan Templin's pantyhose, that's why!!"

There were many other calamities along the way- and I am really, really sorry to think that the Young Lady's mishap with the juice at school today may only be the beginning.