As my best friend from high school dressed her daughter for the prom, we reminisced about our own high school days. We laughed about playing hooky once or twice, and fell out recalling antics in the hallways before and after school.
“I got banned from the band room forever!” my friend said. We laughed like waters gushing from a damn. Days later, we were laughing again remembering other high school treasures. I recalled her older sister proudly making her own prom dress, and that stirred memories of when all of us sewed.
“Remember that polka-dot outfit you made!” my friend, Chee-Chee said, howling with laughter. “Damn polka-dot culottes!
“Girl yeah! I made a light blue set just like it. Those were the pieces for my first professional wardrobe! Remember? I had an internship and had to dress up. Chile please, I put on my white buckle-up sandals, one of those outfits and you couldn’t tell me nothing!”
“And that green dress you made!” she continued.
“Oh girl! Remember I had to make the pattern outta newspaper!”
“Hey. You had to do what you had to do!” she said, laughing.
“We was some resourceful sisters!” I said laughing.
“Remember that time we saw that outfit at the store but I couldn’t afford it? Then a couple weeks later you was like, ‘You got it!” And I told you I made it!”
We had taken “Home Economics” classes in junior high school and high school. There, we had learned to cook and sew. My grandmother had given me a sewing machine. Chee-Chee had used her big sister’s sewing machine. Chee-Chee was a plus-size and found it easier to make the clothes she wanted than to shop for them. I was – uh – economically challenged and found it was cheaper to make clothes than to spend all my summer job earnings on them. But then you could buy a yard of fabric for $1.49 and I could make a skit and top with two yards, some thread, my time and creativity.
“You know how old we sound?” I told my friend as we reminisced about our good old days, declaring them better than these days.
“Embrace it Honey,” she said.
In our 40s, we’re accepting the inevitability of “middle-age” picking off our youth. We agreed on the value of our out-dated home economic classes.
“They don’t even teach home economics anymore,” she said. “Kids don’t learn how to cook!”
“Who needs to cook these days?” I said. “Po something in the microwave and call it a day!”
“That stuff’s no good for you. That’s why everybody’s so fat!” she said.
“I know. Those quick meals don’t really satisfy our taste buds and don’t really nourish our bodies – that’s why we keep eating,” I said.
“That stuff’s got all them hormones,” she said.
“I know. I try to get back to basics as much as I can.”
“You got to,” she said.
“We know what to do, we just gotta do it,” I said.