Sighing at some of my clothing and shoes, my
mother’s mantra was always comfort before
beauty. What teen or young woman wants
to heed that advice? Not I when I was young.
Did I learn my lesson during my student days
In Heidelberg? Certainly not. Spike heels.
Unlined leather gloves. Pencil skirts and
sweaters did nothing for warmth. But,
they were stylish at the time. My Birkenstock
years would come later when I was teaching.
Then cashmere layers and long skirts followed
by warm slacks to teach in. My mother
declared during a shopping visit to purchase
a longer skirt for herself that she knew
why I wore longer skirts: they were warmer!
From that point on, she wore longer skirts
or long pants. We laughed as I declared
that comfort before beauty is something
learned later in life. My mother
always wore beautiful, well-crafted clothing.
When I returned to the US after my three
years in Heidelberg, I stepped off the plane
in a fashionable tan corduroy pantsuit which
was all the rage in Europe. She adored it.
She loved it so much that she inherited it from
me after I no longer wanted it. Ditto for a
quality gray wool coat. I benefitted from her
artistic eye and chose quality clothes later.
It was in Heidelberg that I gave up carrying
an umbrella against the rain. After several
mishaps of umbrellas turning inside out, I
opted for hoods on my topcoats and jackets.
With fondness I smile at my mother’s sage
advice over the years. Now I don quality
pantsuits and my trusty Birkenstock
sandals. Comfort with beauty now.