I love paisley and I always have. I think paisley adds a touch of class to nearly anything.
Once, when I was a young girl, I was looking through our family photographs when my eye was drawn to one of the few color photographs in the box. I pulled the picture from the box and studied it closely for a long time.
It is a picture of my mother. She is a young woman. She is wearing a paisley dress, cyan blue, the color of a shallow tropical sea. She is seated deep in a chair with her long athletic legs crossed. She is wearing high heels. Her thick wavy auburn hair contrasts with the vibrant blue green dress in the most resplendent way, in a way that makes you want to look from the dress to her hair and back to the dress again. She is looking confidently into the camera with a sultry “I dare you” expression.
The sexy young woman in the picture is clearly my mother. But not. It seemed implausible to me that this paisley wearing woman was the same woman who nightly rescued me from the dark, pulling me into the safety of her bed, curling me into the soft warm curve of her tummy. My mother never wore high heels or fancy clothes, let alone paisley, and she certainly never sat around looking sultry!
At that moment, I realized that my mother had a life before me and beyond me. It was an odd and uncomfortable thought, almost inconceivable, but at the same time… thrilling. And I think it was then, in that moment, that I fell in love with paisley.
My mother is a smart lady. She could have been anything she wanted to be, she could have worn paisley every day. But she chose to have children instead and through us correct the hurts and injustices of her own childhood.
I don’t actually remember seeing my mother wear that paisley dress, but I remember seeing it hang in the back of her closet year after year.
If she had any regrets about the choices she made for her life, she kept them stashed away in the back of her closet along with the paisley dress. And we never knew it.