The Red Dress Club: RemembeRED

Posted on | April 12, 2011 | 5 Comments

Your assignment this week was to write a memoir piece inspired by this picture of a garden hose.


When I was a little girl, I had a yellow bathing suit with polka dots.  It tied up around the back of my neck with little yellow strings and if my mother didn’t get my ponytail up high enough on the back of my head, those strings would weave into the soft, small, curls at the back of my neck.

On Saturday mornings before my brother was born, when my sister and I were still very much little girls, we would put on our bathing suits before breakfast and race down the split-level stairs to the kitchen.  My mother would laugh and shake her head as we ate breakfast perched on folded knees, waiting impatiently for the sun to rise high enough to warm the front lawn.

By mid-morning, we would itch at the strings and straps and pull at the elastic and wonder what we were waiting for. We would eat lunch in anxious anticipation and bounce on our matching pink beds, never napping… not on Saturday.  By the time regulated rest time was over, the hour was upon us.  The sun would be high in the sky and our brown and red pony tails would be drooping low against our necks.  We would race out the front brick steps, flying, all elbows and knees, down to the soft green lawn where my father had placed the most perfect of all creations.   My sister and I would stand and stare in awe and nerves, until with a splutter it erupted, showering and spitting as we shrieked only the girliest of little girl screams.

I can still taste the metallic swish of water against my face and still feel the freedom of chasing my sister over, under, and through the cool loops of water. Our next door neighbor, more a brother than a friend, would hear the laughter and meet us in the front lawn, dragging parents behind to sit with ours and shake their heads.  We would spend the afternoon, sweat intermingled with water, joy racing with freedom, until the evening lights slowly flickered on and the trail of water slowly flickered out.  With deep sighs and dripping hair, we’d say our goodbyes; knowing, always knowing, that the bathing suits would be magically dry and clean by Sunday afternoon.


5 Responses to “The Red Dress Club: RemembeRED”

  1. KLZ
    April 12th, 2011 @ 5:24 pm

    I would like your sister. I think that’s true.

  2. Elaine
    April 12th, 2011 @ 7:16 pm

    Those were just some good times, weren’t they? That’s one part of being a kid that I miss. Summer freedom….

  3. Galit Breen
    April 12th, 2011 @ 9:33 pm

    What a fun, powerful memory! I could taste the anticipation in the air!

    This was my favorite part: “We would spend the afternoon, sweat intermingled with water, joy racing with freedom, until the evening lights slowly flickered on and the trail of water slowly flickered out.” for the beautiful words and imagery to go with them!

  4. Mad Woman behind the Blog
    April 12th, 2011 @ 11:53 pm

    I love the details you chose to highlight. I too had a yellow polka dot bikini as a little girl. Darn if that tie didn’t sometimes catch those short hairs at the back of my neck.
    I can hear those girly shrieks, well told!

  5. Kelli Faherty
    April 14th, 2011 @ 2:58 am

    *sigh* bouncing on beds with your sister, dressed in a bathing suit and anticipating the cool loops of the sprinkler. This was gorgeous.

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