Once upon a time, there was a young girl in elementary school who could. not. wait. to enter junior high because it would open up all kinds of possibilities, i.e., phys. ed., swimming lessons, home-economics, sewing, cooking, etc. Really. So my "wanna be's" at that young age were to grow up, meet Mr. Wonderful, fall in love, get married, be a homemaker, and have lots of children, this was a very exciting prospect for me.
My first learning experience in home-ec in 1960 was a huge disappointment. First up on the teacher's agenda for us to learn in the "cooking" department was how to make melon balls. I had never seen anybody go to that much trouble to eat melon. At our house, it was sliced according to the number of people present and then we held it in our hands to eat, (always on the back porch for the seed-spitting contest), or we ate chunks of canteloupe in a dish with a fork (the idea being to keep the kitchen clean from sticky fingers). The shaping of melon balls was not my idea of cooking.
Next on the list! We were finally going to begin working with the fabric and pattern we had selected
First instruction: "Girls, unfold your patterns, place the fabric on the table with the pattern on the fabric and pin the pattern to the fabric. We will cut the fabric on the 'straight of the grain.'"
"NEXT: DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT, begin cutting your fabric until I have come around to make sure you have placed your fabric for cutting on the straight of the grain."
Being a youngster who was very easily intimidated by the scary and threatening voice of this teacher, what do you think I did? Do you think I waited for her to come inspect my work to be sure it was done properly? Wouldn't that be the normal thing for an easily intimidated person to do? Of course not! I began to cut because I did not want to wait and I was also afraid of her or maybe I thought she would skip over me. What was I thinking? Apparently, I wasn't thinking at all. Fear is a terrible thing and can cause you to make very dumb choices.
Sure enough, she came my way, and when she saw that I had already proceeded to cut and ... HORRORS!! against the straight of the grain, she lost it. She screamed at me! Scream may be too harsh a word, but the tone of her voice was quite severe and everybody in the entire class heard (of course they heard, seeing as how the room was completely silent except for the shrill voice of the teacher.)
My pain and humiliation were great! And now I can remember no more of that horrible class, nor do I remember whatever happened to the materials. I do recollect that the fabric was turquoise and that the plan for it was to be a simple, straight skirt. (Or "tight skirt" as we called it!)
(And by the way, what goes around usually comes around, as they say. I heard that another young lady in her class experienced a bad moment as this teacher scolded her and literally "threw up" all over the teacher! And no, I am not snickering over that. Teachers have to put up with a lot.)
Whatever happened with the turquoise skirt didn't matter for long, because shortly after that experience we moved across town making it possible for me to start with a blank slate at a new school and a new home-ec teacher. This lovely teacher taught us to bake cupcakes, set table, and basic things my Mom had already taught me. As far as the sewing class, I don't remember finishing anything started there. Sewing and I were not to be companions that year (or any other year because during my sophomore year, I put the zipper in the bottom of the back of the shift dress). Plus, my attitude was pretty stinky about the move my parents had made, and having to leave all my friends behind. It took me about a year to adjust to this move.
I also discovered in junior high that I really wasn't that interested in learning to swim in Phys Ed either. Swimming classes took place during second period. There were no portable hair dryers in the "old days," and so, after swimming in the very embarrassingly revealing, thin tank swimsuits, one had to shower, attempt to dry off with a too-short towel (in front of a lot of other girls), and go to the next class with wet hair.
The tent styles pictured above came out during my senior year in high school. So very cute, however, when my Mom took me shopping that spring, we butted heads over those dresses! Mom had always sewn our clothes and, as we grew older, we also got "store-bought" dresses to mix in with the clothes she made for us each year. I love my Mom, but she just did not understand tent dresses and, if I were to have one, it would have to be worn below my knees because when you bent over in one of those! Woo-hoo! Peek-a-boo. We had a bit of an argument over that one.
Patterns, pincushions, sewing machines ... being struck down with flu the first year I was married found me in a delirious state! Having told my husband that if only I had a sewing machine, I would be able to sew, he promptly went out and purchased one for me. (I told you I was delirious, but I think he must have been too!!) After recovering from the flu, it only seemed fair that I should at least make an effort again to sew. I must say that I did a beautiful job of sewing and ironing the seams, making excellent darts, and lo and behold, a stand-up collar! But alas, I never put it all together and the pieces eventually made their way to the trash. Oh yes, the sewing machine did bring a small profit at a garage sale years later, but I still have my sewing box filled with needles and thread, scissors, and other various and sundry items, and it comes out occasionally when a button needs to be re-fastened. So much for sewing.
As to the other "S": swimming. Swimming lessons became of monumental importance after a trip to South Padre Island one year with DH and the kids. One minute I was standing in water below my knees and the next minute the sand shifted and the current swept me under. Panicking, I honestly believed I was going to drown and, unfortunately, I was bringing down DH and the kids with me as they tried to save me. Thank You, God that did not happen and we all made it safely to shore. You can know that as soon as we returned home, swimming lessons were a top priority!
As I recall these memories about sewing and cooking, I'm really thankful that DH says they are not even on the list of what his expectations are of me as his wife. See? I DID meet Mr. Wonderful!!!
This has become my "wanna be" over the past years.
"Her husband can trust her,
and she will greatly enrich his life."
and she will greatly enrich his life."