The Fabric of our Lives

I had a run in my stockings 25 minutes before the show on Saturday

I ran down the elevator, up the escalator frantically scanning The Bay for the section with nylons.

I scooted around the line asking a sales associate, Filomena, (who wasn’t helping anyone) for help.

She said she would be with me in a moment so I ping ponged past underwear, past socks, finally finding the rectangular display box of hosiery.

I flipped through support tops, nudes, browns, Spanx…

I never wear nylons, my mother wore them and I wasn’t sure if neutral was the best choice with these brown boots, this hippy-orange-brown-blue-flower-power dress…

“Are nylons still in?” I wanted to ask.

Finally I hear a mother’s voice that was not my mother’s and Filomena calls “Oh, there you are Dear.”

I frantically explain. Storytelling show. Starts in 20 minutes. Run in stockings. Can you help? Which to choose?

I had a packet in my hand. $18 hourglass control top (I hate those lines that cut into the gut)

“Oh yes, that’s the perfect tone” she said. “Perfect for the dress and boots” she reassured. Her black sliver domed haircut bobbing, nodding yes.

She walked me back to the cash register. Asked about the show. Where is it? What is it?

She ushered me to a change room and when I came back out she was gone.

I asked the other associates for her, they call, she comes.

“How are they?” I ask.

“Perfect” she beams. I give her a hug. I thank her for helping me in my panic.

As I walk away she calls “You have beautiful legs Dear!”

I am flying away, dress swept by hurry… but I want to call back “I got them from my mother.”

I want to stop and tell her about the dresses she wore, how the hem swept back as she rushed from living room to kitchen, I want to tell her of the nylons, how they were tangled like an octopus when we pulled them out of the wash.

I want to tell her of the mini skirts my mother wore, the blue and white knit sailor mini dress.

I want to tell her of the brown and beige tweed suit that was my grandmothers.   How my mom recycled it into a mini dress with over the shoulder straps and large round wooden buttons on the front.

I want to tell her that my mother gave it to me when I was twenty. I wore it with suede go-go boots… I want to laugh and explain how I felt like a 1970’s love song.

I want to tell her I miss my mother, the tan overcoat, the belt pulled tight around the waist…

But I just say thank you and fly away.

I am off to tell other stories. I will have to save these ones about my mother for another day.






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