Monday Dare: ‘Merica

Every Monday, I’m picking from the List of Things to Do, Places to Go, Possible Acts that Help, and Possible Fun to Have. It’s a list I made before The Project started, and I’m still adding to it. If you have suggestions, please feel free to throw them my way. I’m calling the list myMonday Dares, as I get overwhelmed just looking at the words “challenge” or “goal.”

This week: Chuckle. 
(Even if the natural disasters in Japan haven’t affected you directly, I think we all need a laugh this week. I’m sharing one of my stories and I’d love for you to share something funny, too. A joke, a story…whatevs.)

A week after moving to ‘Merica, my parents decided to enroll me in kindergarten. They needed a way to get rid of me for a large part of the day, so they decided to pawn me off to the local public school system.

My mom decided I needed a new outfit. Sure, she could make a trip to the Sanger-Harris across the street and pick out a nice American store-bought outfit. Too easy. Instead, she insisted on sewing an outfit herself.

My Uncle Jimmy drove her to the nearest fabric store in town in his flashy Ford Mustang. I came along, but it wasn’t because she wanted my input. I never volunteered, but I was always the designated purse holder. My mom regularly entrusted our only family umbrella to me on rainy days. I was also the designated extra napkin carrier, in case my brother decided to have another one of his nosebleeds. All of these responsibilities gave me an inflated sense of importance at an early age.

Inside the local Hancock fabric store, my mom took her time, walking up and down each aisle, picking up one bolt after another. It was tedious at first, but I soon realized that this might be my chance to practice modeling.

I struck a pose. With my naturally buck teeth from years of sucking on a baby bottle, my frizzy permed hair and a handful of napkins sticking out of my polyester pockets, I wasn’t runway material, but I was dazzling.

My fabric fashion show of one drew a little crowd of Saturday shoppers. They clapped every time I did a twirl. I started modeling the fabric choices of other patrons. I shimmied in organza. I sauntered in taffeta. I handed my mom’s purse back to her. Her load was bringing me down, and this was my shining moment in a new country.

It’s a shame my strutting skills couldn’t keep up with my ambition. While modeling an elderly woman’s pick of chartreuse 100% cotton, I skid on the tail end of the fabric and landed, face first, in a clearance bin of ribbon. One of the stray pins holding together a spool of ribbon poked me in the cheek, and I started howling. The fashion show was over. So was my career as a fabric model.

I was fucked. This would mean that I would actually have to pay attention in school and learn something.

I need a little funny in my week….I’d love it if you’d share something. A joke, a story, whatevs. 

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