Some families pass down brains and musical talent from one generation to the next. Others pass down angular noses and strong jaw lines. Ours passes down clothing quirks.
When our oldest daughter was a toddler, she had issues with socks. She’d go berserk over socks with seams across the toes.
“What’s wrong with your kid?” another mother would ask.
“Socks,” I would say.
The mother would nod and say, “Corduroy.”
That meant she understood the sock problem because her kid had the same problem with corduroy. Probably couldn’t stand the ridges or the sound it made when it rubbed together.
We shared a duplex with a family whose youngest daughter absolutely refused to wear long sleeves. It could be the middle of winter and she would be wearing sleeveless or a tank top.
One of our grandbabies has issues with pants. She can’t stand it if her pants don’t stay pulled down over her socks. She pulls her pants legs over her socks and then when she bends her knees up, her pants come up. So then she pulls them down, and then they go up, and then she … and there goes a Tuesday.
We can hardly wait until summer to see how she responds to capris. Shorts will be completely out of the question.
When our son was young, he had issues with shoes. He often did a mix and match thing with his tennis shoes. I figured as long as the kid could still walk, it wasn’t a matter of life and death.
His dress shoes he loathed. I looked out the kitchen window one day to see him digging a hole and burying something. He had put his dress shoes in a plastic bag and was sending them to that great shoe rack in the center of the earth.
I was thankful he had bagged the shoes and not thrown them directly into the dirt. A mother takes progress wherever she can find it.
Not too long ago, I picked up a new shirt for the husband. This is something I do every five years or so even though he claims it is completely unnecessary. It was a sharp-looking shirt with small black-and-white checks. He wore the shirt once and said he was never wearing it again because all those checks in his peripheral vision drove him nuts.
As for my quirk, I can’t stand a button-down shirt under a pullover sweater. I will fight, claw and chain saw my way out of such a claustrophobic situation every time. It’s so bad that when I see someone else wearing a button down shirt under a sweater I want to rip it off of them, too.
So far I have restrained myself.
By the way, if your kid has issues with seams on the socks, buy some socks without toe seams in them. It’s not spoiling your kid; it’s a couple of bucks in the interest of mental health.
It only took me 30 years to figure that one out.
Lori Borgman is the author of “My Memory is Shot; All I Retain Now is Water.” Contact her at email@example.com.