June M.

Hand-me-downs, the bane of my existence. All through elementary school I wore hand-me-downs from my cousin, Linda. Every summer I hoped for that shopping trip where I got to buy new clothes that were all my own. When I saw my aunt arrive with a big box my heart would sink. I knew it was not to be. Hand-me-downs again.

As I wore these dresses to school, I was sure that all my friends were whispering behind my back that I had to wear used clothing and that I couldn't afford new clothes. I was sure they had trips to the store where they spent wildly on clothing to get ready for the new school year. To make matters worse, my mother worked at the Belk department store in the Junior Dress department. She was always bringing home dresses for my older sisters but not for me. They were so lucky. I longed for the day when she came home with a bag for me.

When I was in the eighth grade, I finally got my bag. My mother came home with the most wonderful dress I had ever seen. It was burgundy, the “in” color. It had a little white shawl collar with a trim of light blue piping and a light blue sailor bow. It had princess seams with gold buttons down the front seams. It was glorious! I remember the first day I wore it. It was stylish and so was I. I always had more spring in my step when I wore it. It was the first of many lovely dresses that my mother bought for me but it was always my favorite. I don't have a picture of myself in it so I did a little sketch.

OK, I've lamented about the hand-me-downs. In hind sight, I have learned a few things. Linda's clothes were really nice. My mother and my aunt knew quality and style. I look at my class pictures and see that my clothes are quite spectacular. I was probably one of the best dressed in my class but my child head trash wouldn't let me understand that. Even though I complained, I actually liked many of the clothes, I just didn't like to admit it. Most of my classmates probably wore hand-me-downs too. We were all in the same boat, I just couldn't see it then.

To cap all this off, I now hate to shop for clothes. I hate trying on clothes and looking for things to match. If I can't find something within an hour I'm done. Today if I came home and found a box of clothes from my aunt, I would do a happy dance, dig in, and wear them with great joy!