Prim and proper.

When I was about 11 years old, Amma found out from someone that The little flower hospital in Angamaly has the best Ophthalmologist in Kerala. Immediately, she wrote to the hospital and managed to get an appointment for me. . The very next day, Amma took me to our family tailor. There was no way we were going to go all the way to Angamaly without me wearing a proper dress. Amma had bought the fabric as a bit piece ( leftover) and it measured less than half a meter. Since you can’t stich a dress with that much of fabric, both Amma and the tailor went through the left over collection of fabric the tailor had to find a matching pieces. In true fashion echu kettiyal muzhachirikkum , the tailor managed to stich a dress that looked like a patchwork quilt. ( deep blue and vadamulla purple). Amma had also borrowed a pair of black shoes from my neighbour ( few sizes too big and Amma stuffed pazhathuni inside, so I can wear it). I also got to wear the gold chain, which was attached to my dress with a lot of safety pin to deter snatch thieves.

The other thing I remember very fondly about that trip to Angamaly was that we had to catch the early morning bus  and had to walk from home to the bus stand. There is a catholic church across the Collectorate and they always played nithya vishuddayam kanya mariyame early in the morning. As I held my mother’s hand and walked, it was very soothing to listen to the song and I felt very attached to my mother and felt grateful that she cared enough to get me the best medical care.

Although, Amma wore her trademark cream blouse with all her sarees, she insisted that we always dressed well when we went somewhere important. When Yaya was a little girl, I used to dress her up in cute little shoes and lacy socks. She looked like a princess.

It was a few months after we arrived in Canada that I took the kids to Abbotsford for a day out. We were eating our breakfast in the MacDonald’s and kids were playing in the play room, That is when I noticed this child wearing mismatched socks. I turned to look at the horrible woman who couldn’t even spend some time to make her child wear matching socks. She looked pretty damn normal. I told myself, there was no way my children will ever wear mismatched socks.

( The other reason I remember this incident very well is it snowed that day and it was the first time baby saw snow. I can never forget the expression on her face and the first thing she did was to stick her tongue out and eat the snow 🙂  )

Anyway, back to socks, Yaya hasn’t worn a matching pair of socks for ages. It is her job to take the socks from the laundry room and she is too lazy to sort them out. She tells me that there is no law that says you can’t wear mismatched socks. I am sure other mothers are looking at me and telling themselves “What a horrible mother she is, she can’t even get her children to wear matching socks”

14 thoughts on “Prim and proper.

  1. I let my son my son wear mismatched socks. That is what he wants to do, and it doesn’t hurt anyone. His favorite is a pair in which one has a lot of footballs and the other one says goal.

    And I have been to that hospital too. Though I don’t remember what I wore. I was always impeccably dressed. For as long as my mother had a say. After that it went downhill.

  2. My son goes to school, with 1 blue and 1 orange or any kind of combos. Sometimes he loses one sock from a pair and then one for each color are left. Then there are days, when sock laundry (I wash only sock in one load, close 50 pairs together) is late, and those are the only clean socks he has. He loves to wear them so much, that he sometimes wears for fun, even when there are tons of matching socks to wear.
    I always make sure that his clothes are clean, and weather appropriate. If I tell him to change something, he will say, I donot care about this stuff mom, every body know that I am a JERK (Junior Educated Rich Kid). I love his confidence and that he know that clothes donot define him. There is also that, he knows that all his needs are fulfilled before he asks, and get any thing he needs. This is not something he has to worry about. Sometimes parents feel that lack of confidence in themselves and try to impose this on kids, calling it dress sense. Even I am like him, there are days, when I am wearing same pants for a week, because in my work, gain respects by delivering fine work, not becoz what you wear.

    • Joan: Do you remember what you wore for your interview? Chances are you were impeccably dressed, not because you didn’t know to do the job, but because you were willing to go the extra mile to get chosen. I deal with stakeholders and I am the best in my job. but I will never go to work without wearing fresh clothes that are well designed and suites my figure, my hair properly styled, with matching shoes/high heels and if my toes are uncovered, then the nail polish is perfect. My earrings match my outfit always. All this is for the same reason why you will not find Obama in a crappy suits.. Your appearance plays a big part in your job. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence in self, it has everything to do with going the extra mile to be perfect. My son is 13 and he owns a Trent Nathan suits, it cost a lot of money and he will not be able to wear it next year, but when he went to have dinner with the Japanese robotics professor, he looked the part and knew how to carry himself.

    • Anju: I don’t remember how many kilo meters away from the hospital this place is, but before you reach Angamaly, the bus takes a sharp left turn and there were rocky outcrops with huge boulders, down the entire slope. I have only been to the hospital twice and I will never forget that landscape

  3. It was ‘crazy day’ at my son’s school yesterday.Students had to dress crazy
    My son’s plan was to wear mismatch socks and shoes with shorts. But as the weather was crazy he changed his mind.He wore a jeans, matching socks and mismatching shoes!
    Many times I have worn mismatching socks with my Ankle boots thinking.. ohh aaru kanana 🙂 Recently I saw my sister tying the socks together and now I do the same.

    • Asha: after the lone socks damaged my previous washing machine, I now put all the socks in to a laundry bag. Yaya is entrusted with getting her socks from the laundry bag and sorting them out. She is too lazy to do such a simple job.

      • Sarah ..I was reading your blog and reading your older posts. You used to be quite careless earlier in your dressing weren’t you? Wearing the clothes that you had 10 years back even now was what you wrote?What made you change? Is it the new job?

        • Reshma: I still wear clothes that are more than 10 years old. Actually, some are more than 20 years old. Most of my work wear are branded and I get them dry cleaned after every use, so they last a long time. I also stick to the same style of clothes and that ensures that it doesn’t go out of fashion and I get my money’s worth and my figure is still the same as it was 20 years ago.
          When I was living in Canada, I was a very poor stay at home mom and I didn’t see the need to dress the part as to what I was before I became dirt poor.
          I also didn’t wear any of my formal wear immediately after giving birth to my kids, because it didn’t fit me and I was determined to get my figure back, rather than upgrade the size.Those times were really hard on my sisters, especially because I wore the same tops ( breast feeding times) every time we went to Hard rock café or the usual pub hunting in Bangsar. ( And no, like I wrote before, I didn’t drink a drop of alcohol during pregnancy and while breast feeding), till I could lose all the weight I gained and get back to wearing my clothes again. My sisters used to send me their old clothes then, because they couldn’t understand why I was so stubborn as to not to buy a new dress/top if the old one didn’t fit. They were convinced I was stingy and was becoming a typical mallu woman, and gave up on living life to the fullest when I became a mom.

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