Written by Myrtó
Now it’s starting to hurt. Mom doesn’t think much of it, as I would often bother her at night. She wears the navy blue, satin dressing gown, as she’s sat on the velvet sofa till the pain subsides. Another banal game show is playing on the TV in the background.
Have you ever had a piece of clothing that conjures up such strong memories of the past that you can’t help but wear it again and again?
The pain proves more stubborn than before. If only they knew that was a sign for how I’d grow up to be. Mom makes her way to the bed, wrapping the dressing gown around her waist. ‘Oh it’s nothing’, she thinks to herself. She’s in her last trimester, so those coming-and-going pains are expected.
For me it was that navy blue, satin dressing gown that my Mom wore when she was in labour with me. Little did she know that when she bought that satin set of pyjamas- because Mom was too stylish to only buy a single item from a set- that it would become my favourite thing of hers. A little piece of Mom with me always.
These were no ordinary third trimester pains. Mom woke Dad up, who, still too dazed from his sleep, didn’t realise what was happening. ‘I think she’s coming’, she says in a surprisingly calm voice. This would be her second child, so she knew better than to panic. Dad, on the other hand, was still dozing off, while he was trying to pack up the necessary things. ‘Pass me my dressing gown’, she asks him. ‘Really ? Isn’t a satin dressing gown a bit too much for the hospital?’, he replies- too dazed to pack everything, but not dazed enough to give fashion advice. ‘I’m not leaving without it!’.
It wasn’t one of those garments that had always been in my possession. Mom was very fond of it, even years after my birth. It was perfect for any season: warm enough to wear during those snowy winter days up in our house in the village, and light enough for those breezy summer days in grandma’s farm. It was her staple piece, and for many years I could only admire it from afar. But, whenever I pictured my Mom, even now, I picture her wearing this simple, navy blue, satin dressing gown. From wearing it too much, it had a small rip on its right pocket. I didn’t mind it, if anything, I always considered that clothes’ faults were part of their character, it gave them edge, a backstory, something to make you wonder about what that garment has seen and gone through.
Dad hadn’t gotten his driver’s license yet, so they had to get a taxi to the hospital. She could feel that I was knocking on the door, but she refused to give birth in the taxi, so she did the one thing she could at that time- she started controlling her breaths. ‘Breath in for four’, while ‘thinking’ the pain away, ‘breathe out for four’.
Years later, when my sister and I were just about old enough to start appreciating good fashion- even though ever since I was young, I had always wanted to be a fashion designer, so I would draw and create clothing designs from any kind of fabric I could find- one time I made a blanket for my Barbie doll by cutting up the corner of a pillowcase in my room, it’s fair to say Mom wasn’t happy about that- that we thought to look to the one person we admired the most, when it came to fashion, my Mom. We would often raid her closet in search of those fashion pieces we had only seen, and dreamed of, in pictures of her younger self. We would exchange the clothes with one another, make deals and compromises: ‘if you have this, then I’ll take this one.’, we would say to each other. Although, there was one piece of clothing that I knew would be passed on to me, Mom’s navy blue, satin dressing gown. Every time she would take it in her hands, she would smile to herself, as the memory of my birth would rush in her mind.
‘Ok doctor, just give me any drug you’ve got’, she said, ‘Oh honey, it’s way too late for that’, replied the gynaecologist. And that’s when Mom started panicking. She gripped the dressing gown as tight as she could, as to hide her panic to the people around her. It was time.
Then came the first time I had to live by myself and leave my parents behind, my first year in uni. University is one of the biggest changes in anyone’s life, and mine too. I wasn’t ready to live completely independently, I didn’t know what to expect. One thing I knew, however, was that not living with my parents would be tough. So, along with my own stuff, all packed up for my new home, I also took with me a few things and clothes that characterised each one of my parents. For my Mom, the navy blue, satin dressing gown. I took it with me and I wore it every time I felt homesick, I would wear it and feel like home again.
The newest member of the family had arrived. Mom took me in her arms. I was home.
For me, it’s the little things in life that bring up the biggest memories. It can be anything from a song, to a ticket, to a specific smell, to a simple dressing gown. It’s those things that you can’t help but hear again, touch again, smell again, wear again. Because, more often than not, it’s those things that allow us to relive the precious moments of life.
Lost in…Transportation !
Unfortunately the navy blue, satin dressing gown that I have described to you above is currently missing, due to a recent moving-of-houses mishap! However due to the nature of the Wardrobe stories posts, and so that you can put a face to the person telling you this story, I have included below a recent picture of myself.Thank you for taking the time to read this article, and I hope that you too can create your own wardrobe story.