Anyway, as we were detoured through the neighborhoods of a little town, I was shocked to see a couple of children out playing in fifty-degree weather wearing what I thought was inadequate outerwear. "Is that girl barefoot?" I asked, my voice rising higher on each word as I stared out the car window, incredulous and horrified. "And where is her jacket? Better still, where is her mother? And neither one of those girls has on a hat or a headscarf or anything."
Rick turned to look at the two girls--ages probably seven and ten--playing on the sidewalk. One was attempting to ride a skateboard; the other was sitting on a step near the sidewalk talking to her. Both, to me, looked cold. The skateboarder had on a teeshirt and appeared barefoot; the older girl on the step at least had on long sleeves, but her face looked pink to me, and her arms were held close to her, hands dug into pockets.
"No, she's not barefoot. She has on pink slip-on shoes. They're fine. No one is cold but you, Nance. Pretty much ever." He made the right-hand turn away from the girls and we continued on our way.
There was no use arguing. He was right. Even during menopause, looking forward to Hot Flashes for their warmth (which never came), I was always cold when everyone else was warm. Even though I've put on some weight and am no longer brittle and teeny-tiny, I'm almost always cold. And trust me, no one is more annoyed by it than I am.
Beyond that, though, is the now Archaic idea of bundling up your children to go outside, or at the very least, covering their heads and ears. Let me tell you, this is one child who Never, Ever went outside in temperatures under seventy degrees Fahrenheit without a sweatshirt, jacket, or sweater, and The Headscarf. Oh My God. Patsy June was a firm believer in The Headscarf, especially when it came to me, though for the life of me, I cannot tell you why. In spite of The Headscarf (also known as The Babushka), which I was forced to wear, I had, in my childhood, approximately eleventy thousand ear infections. And this number could definitely be on the low side. And was I allowed to wear The Headscarf in The Cute Way, i.e. tied behind my head? Oh, ha ha. It is to laugh. NO! It had to be tied firmly and chokingly in the front, right in front of my throat.
"I bet you looked cute," approximately No One is saying right now. And they would be correct. Imagine a short, chubby dark-haired girl in braids with fat cheeks, thick bangs, and...wait for it!...as of fourth grade, cat-eye glasses, sporting a headscarf to boot. Here is a rough illustration for you of what I looked like for most of my childhood while playing outdoors:
And here is a Photographic Approximation of how I felt I looked as a child, playing outdoors:
|(I know it's the queen, but keep the royal thing out of it.)|
How on earth did I ever, ever make it to Adulthood?
I did, dear Readers; I did. And it has been an Adulthood singularly absent of headscarves.