Besides being a very special day in most churches, Easter is also a very special holiday for most people. And usually Easter means something new to wear.
My older brother’s wife was an expert seamstress. One Easter many years ago she made sport coats for our two oldest boys. They were age 3 and 7 years old and looked really cool in their bright red coats with black long trousers, a white shirt and a black necktie, and they behaved beautifully in church.
As the years passed and the boys grew those sport coats were worn proudly by whichever of our five boys they fit. One little problem, they had to be dry cleaned.
So, they wore the jackets to church Sunday beginning with Easter, and removed them and hung them on a hanger as soon as we got home from church. We could go a long time between visits to the drycleaners, but the jackets were always cleaned the week before Easter.
One year one was cleaned again the day after Easter. One of the boys stood proudly on the church steps talking to anyone who would listen after Mass that Easter Sunday.
“We better go home,” I suggested. He kept on talking. Finally I said, “If we don’t hurry home someone might eat up all your Easter candy.”
He smiled confidently and said, “Don’t worry, Mom. I got all the good stuff in my pockets,” and he opened his jacket pockets to reveal a full assortment of melted chocolate marshmallow candy.
Another time I gathered up a lot of courage and ordered a flowered pants suit for myself. It was time for a change. When the order came I slipped up to our bedroom to try on my new fashion statement. As I recall, it was a sandy beige color with orange and yellow flowers tastefully printed all over it. Well, it was fashionable back then.
As I looked at myself in the mirror, trying to decide if I could live with such a startling change, I heard one of the boys yell to his siblings downstairs. “You won’t believe this, but Mom’s put on a Bozo the Clown suit.”
I had the suit off and ready to return before they all got up to the bedroom to see it.
On one shopping trip I found a necklace of what were called moon beads. They were lovely pastel beads in graduated sizes to form a necklace that I just couldn’t live without, It was one of those things that should go with everything but end up going with nothing.
It took me 10 years to find an outfit they complemented perfectly. That was when I learned to scorn the advice that if you haven’t used it in the past year, get rid of it. I keep things for at least ten years, but half the time I can’t find it when I finally need it
This year I saw a very nice outfit in the catalog. I decided to order it to wear Easter Sunday. It was a navy blue four-piece suit with white pin stripes. I hadn’t worn pin stripes for years, and was glad to see they were coming back. Even better, it was washable. Now who could ask for more than that.
I could. I could wait until it was on sale. Sure enough, the sale notice came. I placed the order. While I was at it, I also ordered a regular navy suit to replace one which finally wore out last spring.
When the order was delivered I couldn’t wait to try it on—in the privacy of our bedroom with the door locked and the house empty.
It’s a good thing I was alone. I didn’t need a young boy’s voice to tell me it had to go back to the store.
As I told the clerk when I returned it, it was a beautiful suit, but unfortunately the white pin stripes went straight up and down, and I don’t.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: This column was first published in the Greenville Advocate on March 27, 2002.