Living with the Frilly Side Up

https://pixabay.com/users/waldhoersolutions-1994171/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=3602666, PixabaySo many times in my youth I felt awkward, in so many ways. But I’ll start with the first indication that for my entire life I’d be …. awkward.

I began wondering why the heck I was “here,” as in in this world, by the age of 3. No one seemed to understand me, even though I figured out language skills early. I’d point to the elves dancing in the bushes outside our small one-story house, and my parents didn’t see them. In fact, they’d shake their head and say, “Pammy.” As if I was doing something wrong! thanks to Amazon for photo of underwearfrilly underwear, frilly, childhood

When I was finally allowed to dress myself, I wore my underwear with the frilly side in the front. Of course. My parents, and their friends, would shake their heads at me, laugh (which was even worse than frown), and say “Pammy…!” I was befuddled. What?! Then my mom tried to explain, “the frills go in the back.”

What good were frills if you couldn’t see them? To this day, and I’m six decades older than that early bewildering time, I still don’t get it.

I’d like to make a story about my awkwardness, but I just feel …. awkward doing so. I imagine most of us, new to this world when we were spanked into it, had a difficult time adjusting. I recently read a post in which a young mother bemoaned all the questions from her young child, like:tooth fairy, fairy story

  • Why does a clock have 12 spots and two “hands”? And why are those lines called “hands”?
  • Why can’t I have dessert first, and why do birds not let you catch them?
  • Why does the pet dog have fur, but not my parents?
  • Why do I have to brush my teeth, when each tooth comes out for the tooth fairy anyway?

I love the questions children ask. They remind me of my own questions. If we can remember our childhood and our view of how crazy the world seemed, we’d be so much wiser. We’ve been cornered and squished into a box with four walls.

As a child, we knew our existence had no stops, starts, firsts, lasts, beginnings or endings. We knew that the air and the thoughts and the beings around us were limitless. Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

So . . . awkward? I felt awkward as I was forced to fit into the box of “normal thinking.” I suppose that’s why I love creative writing so much.  This is one place I’m allowed to release the box and fly back out into the limitless space of imagination and the reality of reality – which is that reality does not exist.

How about you? Do you live with the frilly side up?

91 thoughts on “Living with the Frilly Side Up

  1. Wonderful story! I love the questions children ask! Children are such a blessing to us. They live life in the moment. Imagination is key to a life well lived. And for as long as we live, we will need our imagination; life is always changing and we must create new ways for dealing with things. How beautiful to think outside the box and celebrate life to the fullest.

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  2. How adorable, Pam. I love that you wore your frills in front. We have so many rules about things that don’t really matter, where conforming seems more important than imagination and exploration. Keep being yourself and keep all your frills where you can see them. ❤ ❤ ❤

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    • I just finished The Necromancer’s Daughter, and Aster would definitely agree with me and wear the frills in front. She’s not a frilly person in the sense of wanting attention for herself, but she’s her OWN person who will do things (and wear things) that suit her. She’s a wonderful character, Diana, letting go of (meaningless) rules.

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      • Thanks so much for the lovely reply, Pam. Aster is definitely her own person, though that gets her into trouble at times. 🙂 Yes, let’s continue to let go of meaningless rules, even at our age! A good thing to remember. Hugs, my friend. ❤ ❤

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  3. I definitely do! And yes, why can’t we have the dessert first has been my question… I did start having it first when I was alone at my home! 😀 A question that always haunted me and I never asked: why is moon walking with me and goes wherever I go!

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  4. Derrick mentioned your post as an “Ode to Childhood,” and I agree. However, I also see how you made the shift from awkward to awesome. Being different (aka quirky and vulnerable) serves us as writers well.

    As you know, when I was plain I wanted to be fancy. “Frilly” would have been the ultimate goal for me. Love this, Pam! 😀

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    • You have a magnificent frilly and beautiful soul, Marian. Even when you dressed plainly, you were a shining soul that could not be covered up. Here’s to our quirky and awkward and fancy sides. May they always be front and center. ❤️

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  5. Kids always ask awesome questions.. I don’t remember wearing the frilly side in the front but that is a great question too!! I had frilly pants though! Why do adults always feel the need to suppress the creativity and imagination of children?

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  6. What a fun post — and walk down memory lane. I was just imaginative and knew that I could make hamburgers out of clover, and build an airplane out of a log and a board and it would fly me anywhere. So much for imagination and innocence. I worry today that kids are so structured they don’t have these moments.

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    • I need to remind myself as well as others, Donna. I used to see the elves so clearly when a child. Now I make sure to rise before dawn and sit out on the front porch and watch them dance before “adulting” happens. 🙂

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  7. When I was five years old, the neighbor who had a five-year-old son, worked near the school, so she volunteered to take both of us to kindergarten. According to my mom, the woman complained about me. When I told imaginative stories, she scolded me for lying. I wonder now if that discouraged my flights of imagination. Maybe I would have seen more elves and fairies if I’d stayed away from her. Especially fairies. I love fairies.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, Nicki, what a wicked woman that neighbor was! And unfortunately, as a child, I’m sure she made you feel like something was wrong with you … and your imagination. I think you found it as an adult. Your books and posts are proof of that.

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  8. Creative writing is freedom indeed! (Although I had to learn to get the negative voices of previous teachers and college professors out of my head before I really experienced that. They gave me good grades, but they were VERY clear about what I could and couldn’t write.)

    Liked by 2 people

    • I can’t tell you how many of my creative writing students (all adults) come to me cowering in fright because of how their (well-meaning) teachers made them structure their stories. They even made them write stories that made sense! In my classes, we let ‘er go and come up with the cleverest stories. Pure entertainment and fun, but also great therapy.

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  9. From a very young age I hated being laughed at… which tells me that no way would I have dared to wear my frills out front. Sometimes I wonder if that fear of being laughed at curbed my creativity. And I was a gawky and gangly pre-teen with buck teeth… I was self-conscious enough already (thank goodness I was really good at sports – not too much creativity needed there).
    As to kids and their questions… gotta love ’em!
    Thank goodness we grow up and find where we fit…

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    • That sounds like a fun children’s book! I’m afraid parents wouldn’t like the answer I give the children in my book – because they’d be totally imagination and different from adults’ “reality.” Nancy, you may not like to wear frills, but you have a sweet frilly soul inside. xo

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  10. So interesting about the frilly side of the panties. My oldest memory of those panties are that my walking doll had them. I think they were originally mine, but I gave them to the doll haha. I am sure there were a lot of times I was awkward, but I didn’t feel awkward. I think I had to grow up a little too soon, in fact. But where the awkwardness probably came in was that I found it very difficult to enter a new school or a new group or anywhere by myself.

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  11. I’ve always been a square peg too, but in the opposite way – I demand that reality, even fictional reality, make ‘sense’. I totally with you about writing though; it /is/ freedom. 🙂

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  12. Delightful, and actually very thought-provoking for me. I do think I tend to stay inside the boxes, but this reminds me to wear my Frilly side out more often :-).

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  13. Interesting and engaging content here. Reading about your childhood was a bliss and it is funny that you used to wear an underwear in a frilly manner which is why I guess your parents shook their heads and laughed, we all make silly and funny mistakes when we are of a very tender age, when I was 8 I think, I used to love toys but I wasn’t playing with them I just tried to crack them open as if I was looking for treasures or something, haha😂😂 It was a police car my parent gave it to me. Anyways, back to this blog I can say yes I have seen a frilly side up in my childhood too😊

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