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The Unexchangable Gift Mom Gives

No etiquette breeches here! The story about the woman who wanted to exchange her son’s gift just reminded me of this and it has a little bit of a funny twist!

My closet is fairly full of navy, black, brown and a few deep jewel tones – I’m just not a bright, flashy person!

One Christmas, I opened a gift from my mom – a very nice, but very bright, fuchsia tailored jacket. She very adamantly said that if I didn’t like it, she wanted me to exchange it.   So I tried it on, and it fit well and was really a very nice gift but as I looked at it in the mirror I said something to the effect that, “It’s really nice, but I might go see if they have it in another color. I just don’ t know if this bright pink is ‘me'”.   And as only my dear mother could, she said, “You are absolutely not exchanging that! It looks great on you!”

The rest of the story is that I did keep it, I did wear it and I don’t think I’ve ever owned a piece of clothing that garnered numerous compliments every single time I wore it.  (Good call, Mom!) 1128-12


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  • Bint December 24, 2012, 6:00 am

    Ha ha ha! This sounds like Bridget Jones’ mother, who keeps saying to her, “Now, you’re not going into work looking like a pile of slurry!”

  • Katie December 24, 2012, 6:20 am

    Mom always knows best! Finding this out more and more the older I get!! 🙂

  • Green123 December 24, 2012, 9:02 am

    What a lovely story! Mums are often right – I had long (loooonnngggg!) hair all through my teens and as I began life at university – studying hard and playing lots of sports, it was driving me mad, but I never had the guts to get it cut. My mum offered to take me to a local hairdresser ‘for a change of style’ and convinced me to go for a much shorter, layered cut (an on the shoulder ‘Rachel’ type bob) which was SO much better and suited me so well that I still have a variation on it now, some 1o or so years later!

  • Sarah Jane December 24, 2012, 9:55 am

    So many women limit their options and cheat themselves out of endless possibilities for beautiful and stylish looks that flatter them simply because they are stubborn or afraid to try something new. Hooray for your mom!

  • Angel December 24, 2012, 10:21 am

    So it worked out well! That’s awesome. My mom has done that to me a few times–each time she has been right also. Sometimes it takes an outside opinion to really change your outlook. I don’t have many bright colors in my wardrobe either but have been trying to think outside the box a little over the past few years. Most of the time it works 🙂

  • Aje December 24, 2012, 1:21 pm

    Awww how nice. 🙂

  • Ash December 24, 2012, 2:34 pm

    I can think of only one time my Mom failed in the “always right” category– I was 13 and wanted a new haircut because I was a teenager! and I wanted something new! and we were in a new city! She understood completely and so we went to the hair dresser and on her advice I got a bob. Consequently, I entertained a truly heinous look all through my most-awkward early teen years, complete with round glasses, braces, fat round face and fat round hair. :: sigh ::

  • Lindy December 24, 2012, 6:13 pm

    Listen to your mom!!!

  • NostalgicGal December 25, 2012, 6:11 am

    My mother had a serious grandcanyon sized infatuation with baby pink. However, I look terrible in it. I can carry sunshine yellow and burnt orange, so it’s not that I can’t wear bright colors. Just that I looked horrid in baby pink. It made me look, well, majorly sick. One more note, once I got to highschool we were almost the EXACT same size, and I do mean it, and shared a wardrobe (it did save money but I finally decided as a senior that I wanted to look 17 not in my low forties… anyways that’s other stories)

    Holidays, birthdays, and everything else, she bought me baby pink. I never wore the stuff. (we’re talking in gradeschool I had clued in on this wardrobe blunder). I had my ‘colors’ done with her in attendance and they said pink wasn’t my shade. Finally I had LEFT HOME and came home for that first christmas and yep, she produced ‘the absolutely CUTEST sweater’ in… baby pink. I handed it back to her and said, here, you can have it, I’m not even going to take it with me [major etiquette bad bit, you should ALWAYS be grateful for a gift but in this instance maybe I get just a CRUMB of slack, maybe?]. Nope, not even taking it with.

    Next christmas, horizontal running stripes, vertical knit ribbing (YES) in baby blue… and baby pink. Yes I handed that one back too. I got engaged that holiday and married soon after, and that solved the issue after that. Yeehah.

    So even if I get to get singed over this one, at least, it ended the mound of pink. I love my mom dearly but sometimes they don’t know best. Glad for the OP that it worked out smashingly!

  • Yet Another Laura December 25, 2012, 2:10 pm

    No singes from me. I’m with you on baby pink – or any pastel for that matter. I’m a dark colors/jewel-tone/Winter kind of person and no interest in being a fashion plate. My mother’s favorite color is pink.

    So naturally, I received pink clothing every year, even with her knowing how much I despise the color. I’m glad other people’s moms were right, but mine wasn’t. She’s a sweetheart, but her favorite color is her favorite color.

  • Cat Whisperer December 26, 2012, 2:02 am

    That’s a sweet story. Sometimes “mother does know best.”

    My office partner from many years ago used to tell this story about his youngest daughter. When she was in her late teens, she liked to dress in what I think was characterized as the “shabby chic” style– bluejeans deliberately torn and ragged, a tee shirt of some sort, a denim jacket artistically faded and patched, leather sandals hand-made from India that looked rustic, that sort of thing.

    Her mother used to suggest that she should wear clothes with more “chic” and less “shabby” to them, because people do judge other people by what they wear, but she disdained her mother’s suggestions with some indignation.

    …Until the day when she went into a 7-11 store to get a Slurpee, and was standing outside the store shuffling things around in her pockets to put her change in her pocket, and a lady who was going into the store tried to give her $10, apparently mistaking her for a homeless person and expressing the hope that she could get herself “something nicer to wear at Goodwill or Salvation Army”!

    My office partner told me his daughter had a lot more regard for her mother’s suggestions after that.

  • NostalgicGal December 26, 2012, 4:43 am

    Cat Whisperer, I love it!

    Related, when Flashdance was super hot, had dorm friend who was a dancer and wanted to spend a fortune on the clothes. I was one of the ones that convinced her otherwise, we raided the sale/cheapo rack then I brought my sewing machine and other things and we ‘distressed’ and retro’ed $5 tops into $40+ ‘the look’ and things like that. At least the afternoon of four of us fixing her a wardrobe was fun.

    My mom did know best on some things… I’ll definitely admit that!

  • Cat Whisperer December 27, 2012, 10:56 pm

    NostalgicGal, when I see brand-new blue jeans that have been pre-ripped and made deliberately ragged, or artistically faded to try to simulate the wear patterns of old, broken-in blue jeans, I always feel a sense of disbelief. For starters, the price always astounds me. I’ll admit I’m “old school”: new clothes shouldn’t be ripped and torn! Paying a premium price for something that’s been shredded just seems so wrong to me.

    For another thing, the pre-torn, pre-faded jeans just grate on me, because they don’t look authentic.

    I’ve been called an unrepentant hippie by my daughter. I remember back in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s when denim blue jeans weren’t a fashion item. You bought new jeans and they were dark blue and very stiff, and you had to break them in by wearing them and washing them. You could accelerate the process by washing them over and over at the start, but most of us preferred to wear our jeans when they were new, dark blue and unfaded; the newer, unfaded jeans were worn in more structured settings, where neatness was important. Like school, when dress codes were finally relaxed enough to allow women to wear jeans to school.

    As they wore and faded, your jeans aquired character that just can’t be authentically simulated in new jeans. The knees would fade, the seat would fade, areas where your body bent and put stress on the material faded; the areas around the seams stayed darker.

    When they started to get ragged, in my day a lot of people would do things like embroider patches around the holes, or use embroidery thread to pick out the edges of small holes and make graphic designs with stitchery. And you’d sew embroidered patches on the pockets or knees.

    Over time, a good old pair of jeans would be completely customized and have character that was entirely personal. They were a statement of who you were, right down to the wear they showed, which was really a true reflection of how your body moved, how you wore the jeans, what you did when you wore them. And the customizations of patches and embroidery were a chance to make your own personal artistic statements.

    Add a hand-knotted macrame belt with beads you picked out yourself, and you really did have a unique statement of individuality.

    That just can’t be simulated by the fashion industry. They try, but it looks so fake when I see people wearing it. And of course since the pre-torn, pre-faded jeans are sold by the thousands, they aren’t unique. And they’re impersonal, since the wear patterns they’re manufactured with don’t reflect anything personal about the wearer.

    I guess I am an unrepentant hippie, at least when it comes to denim blue jeans.

  • NostalgicGal December 28, 2012, 12:58 am

    @ Cat Whisperer, I remember those days… and yeah, you did the customizing to make them last and live longer… and what an accident with bleach would do… (I even did macrame back in the ‘old days’ and through the resurgance… I taught a lot that could have been my kids how to do the ‘neat hip hot thing’ and they were surprised…) I remember how hard it was to find big hole beads for macrame back then too.

    and when your jeans finally bit it, you cut them up into about 4″ squares and made yourself a denim quilt. Or whatever size you could get out of the legs, cutting to save some of your fancy patches, and maybe the back pockets…. Oh bellbottoms, those were prized for donating ot the cause.

    Quilting friend here relates one of several years back… the pre-stressed was THE hot item and a granddaughter had saved for months to buy a pair of ‘designer’ jeans; and bought one of these pairs. Mom was doing back to school purge and grabbed the detagged ‘new’ distressed jeans as a pair of old dead ones, and put them in with several pair given to grandma to make a denim quilt out of.

    Granddaughter had a major fit the next week looking for her new jeans to wear to school; and it was finally tracked down that they went to grandma, and a frantic call to grandma, they were already cut, sewn, quilted and finished. At least they hadn’t gotten thrown out.

  • penguintummy December 28, 2012, 8:52 pm

    Sometimes you need a little push out of your comfort zone! Sounds like a fabulous jacket.

  • Kit December 29, 2012, 10:51 am

    That’s why I like people giving me gifts – it helps me to try things I wouldn’t myself have even thought of.

    Although I bet that we all would have heaps of stories when mothers did NOT know best by far! (Yes, I have an outstanding memory myself. ;))

  • Enna January 9, 2013, 1:06 pm

    I’m glad it looked good on the OP and the Mum just wasn’t saying that!