Clothing…do they make the person? Or do they create memories?…Thanks for the memories Nora.

By: openheartproduction

Jun 29 2012

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“Whatever you choose, however many roads you travel, I hope that yopu choose not to be a lady. I hope you will find some way to break the rules and make a little trouble out there. And I also hope that you will choose the make some trouble on behalf of women.”– Nora Ephron

This week we lost an incredible writer, storyteller, one rockin women…Nora Ephron. I have seen her movies and read her books….but I was blown away with memories, laughter and the tenderness of your play, Love, Loss and What I Wore.

I never have been a fashion maven or clothes horse. I’m a poster child for comfort and “safe” shoes. In my dreams I can work those 6″ stilettos but when I look at them in the real life…I see a broken ankle and incredibly sore feet. My whole view of clothes/fashion/memories changed when I saw this play. The women talked about how their clothes and accessories changed them, molded them, and hold fond memories or in some cases….not so fond memories.

I happened to have 3 sisters, 2 are older…so in a family of 7…  Hand-Me-Down was a common practice. Well I was a late bloomer…no boobs, no waist or my hand-me-downs never quite fit right. I remember wanting a bra SOOO badly but  my mom said..” Do don’t need one” but I WANTED that coveted little piece of stretchy material with 2 straps and one clip to feel like all the other girls. I wanted to lean forward at my desk and have the bra show through my white uniform blouse. It was all about creating that illusion of cool and womanly. I didn’t care if it took me a few more years to actually NEED the damn bra. Oh my another catholic school girl fashion nightmare, Confirmation, 8th grade, the dreaded yet exciting time most of us doned nylons (not pantyhose). That meant wearing my older sisters garter belt. That was all cool… until the day I actually tried to figure out how to get the nylons up my legs without running them, and then securing them in those little garter clips. Ok I was all strapped in, ready to head to church. As soon as I stood up…the garter belt started to slide down my boyish figure. I will just say…it have NO IDEA what happened or what my confirmation was about….all I know is that I battled those nylons and garter belt all day. I was never so happy to get into my comfortable play cloes again.

One other dramatic, traumatic and of course funny story was the day I got to buy my first outfit that wasn’t  something Rita or Mary Anne had worn. I dress up day was coming up and I didn’t have to wear my uniform so my mom gave me her Petersons Dept. store credit card and off I was on the Gaines street bus to  shop. I picked out this awesome jumper…wool, cream and brown wide plaid on the top, a skinny belt at the hip and the skirt part was chocolate brown. Ahhhhh…it fit like a glove…or I was simply excited it FIT. My mom liked it and the next day I wore a white blouse under it and I must say…I was ready to strut me stuff. So I arrive  at Holy Family School, as a confident 7th grader …until….I looked up and saw Becky Nolan (never a big fan of hers) had the EXACT same jumper on! I wanted to punch her in the ovaries. She had a yellow blouse on under hers. I don’t even remember if we exchanged words…just dirty looks. lol.

I have so many wonderful memories of clothes…my mom’s Sunday apron, her white gloves, Grandma Ambrose’s “magic” purse. ( if it was RED lipstick, little jelly packs she took from work to bring us, a pearl handled switch blade and I think I saw some brass knuckles on time too.), Grandma Madden’s matching earrings, and brooches. I never saw her in pants), The navy blue sweater I “borrowed” from my sister Rita but I got caught…that lead to on big ol smackdown on a quiet Sunday morning while Ray and Vera were at church. Needless to say…the whole neighborhood heard a barrage of cussing that would have made a sailor blush..and Tony, Phil and Joe had a prayer vigil going down stairs…praying for my safety…lol, When I came downstairs the victor….Rita never messed with me and gain a little more respect in the smackdown world of Team Ambrose.

So Nora…thanks for this beautiful play and thanks for stirring my memeores of what I wore..Love and Loss. You are a hearo to me and to a generation of women…you put into words what we all felt…and we all had a great belly laugh on the insanity and joy of life.


5 comments on “Clothing…do they make the person? Or do they create memories?…Thanks for the memories Nora.”

  1. I’m the same way Kathleen. I think I can remember every piece of clothing I ever bought. And my kids’ clothes too. And there are memories attached to each piece. I still yearn to have back my orange, brown, and green striped mohair sweater and orange pleated skirt that I bought at Halle’s at Cedar Center. I never owned a garter belt, we were girdle people I guess. Still remember those damn clips digging into my legs. After panty hose were invented I never looked back. Actually, now I only wear tights. Didn’t go to Catholic School, but I still remember the big deal of wearing a white shirt with a bra underneath. I guess some memories are universal!

  2. One of the coolest things about growing up wearing uniforms- were those few days you got to wear real clothes to school… Thanks for the memories… 🙂

  3. Reblogged this on Open Heart Production and commented:

    “Oh we weren’t fashion anything.”- the Ephron sisters.

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