|Me on the left in my new dress, and Gaylene on the right in the hand-me-down outfit. |
My dress is actually off-white, but tinting added later makes it look yellow.
Sunday, March 27, 2016
Easter Fashion Show #SOL16 Day 27
New clothes rarely found their way into my closet growing up. As the younger of two girls, I earned my sister's hand-me-dows. Sometimes a brown paper bag of high-end outfits were given to us.
At Easter things changed. My earliest Easters brought new socks and underwear in my Easter basket.
I remember my father arriving with the big yellow and green baskets, one for me and one for Gaylene. I cried when dad left without leaving the basket and my new socks and chocolate bunny. We were supposed to go to Webb City with him, but mom wasn't at home when he arrived to pick us up, so he took the baskets but not us.
After Gaylene and I moved from Picher, Oklahoma to Webb City, Missouri to live with dad and our stepmother Jean permanently, we started going to church and getting Easter outfits.
Several of those dresses I remember in great detail. One year grandma Cowen bought us pink dresses with matching short capes. We had Easter headpieces that looked like spring ear muffs! Gaylene had no front teeth and two black eyes she received from trying to walk home from school with her eyes closed. She didn't see the board sticking out as she traversed the lumber yard.
In fourth grade I had a cream colored A-line with a green ribbon down the middle and small flowers dotting the dress. It had a high lace neck that now reminds me of pictures of Shakespeare.
That year sticks in my mind because my new dress brought me great joy, and my sister's hand-me-down outfit caused her great pain. Her "new" outfit came from the brown bag of old new clothes; my new dress came from the store.
By fourth grade the hierarchy had begun to change in significant ways for my sister and me. That year she had a fifth grade teacher who assigned each student a number. Gaylene was "Number 3." Nameless to her teacher and struggling academically, I didn't realize the symbolism of that old Easter dress until this moment.