Thursday, February 20, 2014

Throwback Thursday: The Turtle Story

Throwback Thursday is now a common thing on social media. It consists of an individual sharing a picture from their past. I've decided to take it to the next level. Throwback Thursday will be a new series on the blog where I will share a story from my past. I can't promise it will happen every Thursday, but I can promise it is happening today. 

As a child, my favorite game involved doing anything where I got to pretend I was someone or somewhere else. As a result, whenever we went to Grandma Reeder's house, I highly suggested to the other grandkids that we play dress up. Being the oldest grandchild, I usually got my way and no one disagreed with my suggestion.

Grandma had a huge old trunk filled to the brim with dress up clothes in her basement. It was all mothballs and memories piled in that chest. There were Halloween costumes our parents once wore, 80s prom dresses, letterman jackets from the 50s, dusty cheerleader pom poms and boxing gloves, faded jerseys, the gaudiest show jewelry . . . you name it . . . it was probably in that trunk.

Playing dress up at Grandma's house usually consisted of the kids marching to the basement to pick out costumes while we left the adults upstairs to sit on couches and armchairs to visit. Once each child had their costume on and their alter ego created, we would parade upstairs again to model for our parents.

One might argue that a child outgrows playing dress up once they reach a certain age. Others might say it's when the child runs out of new clothes to dress up in. Or maybe it's a combination of both. I do not know for certain, but I know how it happened for me. This is the story of why I quit playing dress up. In my family, we refer to it simply as "the turtle story". I was about nine or ten years old although each time my mom tells this story, I magically get older.

 Bad photo quality, but dressing up awkwardly has obviously been a daily occurrence for a very long time. I'm fairly certain this photo was taken on the 24th of July when I wanted to dress like a pioneer. I'm sure my LDS ancestors dressed just like this.


I pulled out layer upon layer of material. My fingertips brushed across itchy wool, soft and cool silk, stiff and delicate lace. Every outfit idea I formulated in my brain felt too familiar. Perhaps after several years of playing with these dress up clothes, I had finally reached the point of wearing everything in every possible way it could be worn. I sat on the floor surrounded by articles of clothing, letting the smell of their years fill my nostrils. I closed my eyes and tried to formulate a plan. 

Minutes passed. 

"Kelsey, we're ready to show the grownups," my little brother chimed. 

My eyes popped open to see my brother and cousins in front of me adorned in overcoats, high-heeled shoes, bowler hats, and strings of pearls. My eyes then wandered over to the corner where Grandma did her laundry. I suddenly had a brilliant idea.

"Head upstairs, gang. I'll be right behind. I have a plan," I shouted in my very bossy but very enthusiastic voice. 

As the "gang" lined up and started teetering up the stairs, I skipped over to the dryer. In a rush, I pulled my shirt up over my head and my pants down around my ankles. Then I let my panties drop for good measure. I grabbed the rim of an empty laundry basket, lifted it over my head and set it across my shoulder blades. My costume was complete. This was the best round of dress up I'd ever had. 

I ran over to the carpeted stairs, clinging the laundry basket against my bare skin. Then I got down on all fours and began to crawl upstairs, completely nude, with nothing but a dark green laundry basket to partially cover my small buttocks and back. 

When I reached the top of the stairs, I crawled ever so slowly into the living room, doing my very best to stay in character. The living room suddenly erupted in laughter as I made my grand entrance. I lifted my head and pushed my frizzy dark hair away from my face. My aunts and uncles were rolling across the couch cushions consumed by giggling fits. My mother's eyes were filled with terror and her face burned red with embarrassment. She was nervously laughing. 

"Kelsey! Where are your clothes?" 

Why was everyone laughing at me?*

"Don't you get it," I said defensively. "I'm a turtle."

*I must add that once my grandma controlled her laughter, she told everyone that my turtle costume was actually a very creative idea.    


1 comment:

  1. Hahaha.This is cute. I thought it was a great idea. Unfortunately, and fortunately as children we really dont get too embarassed about being naked.


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