Friday, 24 February 2012

Hand Me Downs Hand Me Downs Hand Me Downs

Earlier this evening, when I picked up Lily over at the neighbor’s house, the subject of hand me downs came up. You see, this family has two girls younger than Lily, and, as they are younger, I pass down Lily’s clothes to them. Because Lily is the neighbor, they love her clothes, just as Lily loves the older girl’s (Jenny) clothes who lives across the street. Some of Lily’s favorite clothes come from Jenny.

Me, on the other hand, I didn’t like hand me downs. Perhaps it was because I was the youngest of four, and it seemed to me that all I ever got until I outgrew everyone else was hand me downs. This was not true, but there are pictures of my oldest sister wearing a pair of jeans, my brother in those jeans, my other sister in those jeans, and, finally, me in those jeans. (g) Honestly, I am surprised those jeans survived the four of us. We played hard. (Creek, mud, trees, etc.) Maybe they were magic jeans, or maybe we grew out of them quicker than we could destroy them. (g) (Things seemed to last longer back them, or maybe that’s just my imagination. Grin)

Anyway, that was not the case for other things, though. One of the many things passed down to me was ski gear. It wasn’t until I was twelve or so that I got my first ski outfit that was just for me. By that time, I was taller than both of my sisters and my brother’s gear wouldn’t fit me. I can’t tell you how excited I was. I still have that outfit and would wear it, and did wear it for a good twenty years until I had Lily. The pants no longer fit me. (sigh) The jacket does, though. However, I still have the same poles that went through my siblings. LOL The poles didn’t really matter, but the skis did.

Twelve was the same year we went skiing up in Sun Valley, Idaho. I was taking a ski class and my skis had again gone through first my oldest sister, then my brother, and finally Janna. As Janna got new skis the year before for Christmas, I got Schell’s old K2’s. I didn’t really mind, but since Janna had new skis, I really wanted some new ones too. (You know how kids are. I was like any other kid. It’s not that I didn’t appreciate what I had. I did. I just thought it was unfair that Janna had new skis, and I didn’t. I was young and preteen. What can I say? Now as an adult, I realize how shallow it was, but then… well, as I said, I was preteen. The world revolved around me, right? LOL)

Anyway, I digress. So, here I am in this ski class. I am a twelve-year-old who looks like eighteen, but is as stupid as a, well, twelve-year-old. And I had a crush on our ski instructor. I don’t remember what he looked like, just that he was hot. All of the girls in the class thought he was. We were skiing down a black diamond mogul run. Everything was going great, and suddenly, my skis delaminated. What does this means? Well, it means the skis were so old that the top layer of the ski detaches from the bottom later of the ski. In short, my bindings that attached my boots to the skis were no longer attached to the skis. The skis continued down the hill without me while I went head first on my back down the hill… or so the instructor said. I don’t remember a thing. Apparently, I blacked out. I also managed to emerge unscathed. Not even a bruise or an ache. (Oh, to have that twelve-year-old body again! Or at least to have the resiliency of the twelve-year-old body.)

As we were quite a ways from the lift, I wasn’t injured, and sliding down the hill on my butt was out of the question (I was a little freaked about the idea after what had just happened) the ski instructor had to carry me down the hill in his arms. (sigh) It was heavenly! I have to say, while upset about my skis, just that alone made it all worth it. That, and all the other girls were green with envy. (g)


Oh, and the best part all of this: I was going to get a brand new pair of skis just for me. You know, because Janna just a got a new pair.

Um, no. No, I wasn’t. Janna was a much better skier than me, so my dad felt that she deserved the new skis, and I could have… wait for it… her hand me downs.

ARGH! I cannot tell you how put upon I felt. My world was going to end. It was so unfair! I don’t think I said much, though, because, you know, one didn’t say much when it came to stuff like that to Dad. Dad didn’t put up with any shit. It was another six years or more before I had my first pair of skis that were specifically for me. I was so excited. LOL

I have to say that, now, I’d gladly take hand me down skis as my skis are, um, older than the ones that delaminated on me and probably aren’t safe to ski on anymore. I am sure if what happened in Sun Valley happened now, I would surely end up with something broken, and I’d be carried down in a stretcher instead of a hunky guy’s arms. (g)

Now, I am grateful for hand me downs. My “newest” pairs of jeans were my moms from 20 years ago. They fit great. Matter of fact, they fit better than the $100 jeans my MIL gave me a few years ago for Christmas in an attempt to find a pair that actually fit me. I hardly wear them now since Charlie threw them in the dryer. They weren’t supposed to be thrown in the dryer and shrunk. O.o I can still wear them, but they slid down to below my waist, give me muffin top, and annoy me.

You know, I think I might have appreciated hand me downs more if they were from say a cool neighbor like what Lily gets instead of my older sister who used to beat the tar out of me. She’d tell me what to do; I’d say, “Make me.” She’d beat me up, but I still wouldn’t do what she wanted. grin Yup, I was stubborn. This went on until I was twelve (Apparently, twelve was significant year in my life. LOL) when I grew taller than her. At which point, we stopped fighting daily and got along… most of the time… and I didn’t get her hand me downs anymore, except for skis, that is. (g)


Faith said...

Never had hand me downs since I'm an only child, but garage sales were my mother's best friend.

Anthology Authors said...

It seems that's all I wore until about ten, but I don't think I cared until I was ten. And i could be wrong. I do remember shopping for new school clothes as a kid, but I dont remember when that started. Janna and I used to get very excited for that.

Our block is great. We just recycle our clothes. The clothes go from one family to the next to the next. LOL It's great!

Anny Cook said...

I grew up wearing clothes from the "missionary barrel" at church. Not so surprising since my Dad was the minister. But believe me, I wasn't necessarily grateful to wear someone else's cast-offs.

At least I wasn't until I was old enough to pick and choose what I wanted to wear. I suspect that's really the key...

Terri Talley Venters said...

Great piece, Marci!

Let me start off track with your black diamond mogul run! Wow! (bowing)

As the oldest and only girl, I never had an issue with hand-me downs. But now I have 2 sons only 20 months apart. When my youngest was born, my husband's younger brother made my promise not to hand down underwear from my oldest to youngest. Eeeewww! Seriously? Who does that? Apparently my mother-in-law did and my brother-in-law is still traumatized over 30 years later.

Anthology Authors said...

That's absolutely true, Anny. Being able to pick your clothes makes a difference.

Terri, I wouldn't want to wear old underwear either, but I am often at a loss as what to do with all of Lily's old ones. It seems such a shame to throw them away.

Janice Seagraves said...

I've never had the experience of hand me downs.

My sister is a year and half younger than me, and when we were growing up, we were too close to the same size to have hand me downs.


Jaime Samms said...

Marci, I'm #8 of 9 kids. I know from hand me downs :D

Anthology Authors said...

You know, Jaime, when I think about it, I really didn't care about having clothes hand me downs. It was the big stuff. And it's funny because I was talking to my mom about it the other day. She felt really bad, but I told her not to. I mean, I was so lucky in so many ways. I had a loving family, we did a lot of things other people didn't (like snow skiing), we lived in a near idyllic place, and I had a great childhood...for the most part. (If you don't include the occasional bullying.) Anyway, she was saying that she had been against it, but it was my dad who did it. Not surprisingly, he had the same thing happen to him as he was the youngest, too. He hated it. As I only have one child, she will never have hand me downs...from a sibling. LOL

Jaime Samms said...

I have an older girl and younger boy, sop hand me downs are few and far between, although when he was younger, the boy would wear the girl's night dresses to bed. He's too cool for that now, though.

They do get stuff from older cousins, but I put a stop to that when my SIL was handing down jeans with holes in the knees and stained t-shirts. I mean, really? That's the kind of clothes you think my kids should go around in? oy!

Anthology Authors said...

From someone who has passed on stained shirts (because Lily is the queen of stains. sigh), I get where your SIL was coming from. You don't want to throw it away if you think someone else can use it. Kids are prone to stains. Matter of fact, it's almost guaranteed if Lily has never worn the shirt before, she will stain it the first time she does. O.o Inevitably, it's something like chocolate. I've started making her change so I can soak the shirt immediately. LOL However, most of the time, the clothes look as if they've just come off the rack. She has some beautiful dresses. Some of them I save for her cousin, who is 2 1/2. Most I send to our neighbor.

Anthology Authors said...

You are lucky, but did you share your clothes with her ever, Janice? I know once we were the same size, it wasn't uncommon for my sister to get into my closet without asking. That did cause fights or five minutes of yelling at the top of our lungs. (g)