By Jackie King
In Julia Cameron’s book AN ARTIST’S WAY, she speaks of feeding your inner child. My problem is, I’m so busy taking care of my old-girl self, that there’s little time left for outings with some brat that lurks in my psyche. However, yesterday I had to return a purchase to the mall, and after I walked in the sizzling Tulsa heat into life reviving air conditioning, I decided that both me and my inner-child could use a respite. I had just picked up a shirt when this inner-brat whined,
“Why don’t you get something different? I’m sick of beige.”
What? Inner Brat didn’t like beige?
Somewhat unnerved, I put back the Tee and wandered on through the store. Maybe Inner-Child would prefer a nice navy blue? I strolled from sportswear into blouses and stepped within arm’s length of a dressy print top in shades of orange, yellow and brown. The effect was a bit like viewing an abstract painting and I paused a minute.
That one, Brat said.
My civilized (beleaguered?) self, smiled and spoke in a (silent) faux-calm voice said, “Okay, we’ll try it on, but will make us look like a buffalo.” (Brat isn’t the only alter ego who can be snippy.) I looped the blouse over my arm and moved on. Four racks over I spotted a splashy flowered print. I reacted with one word: “Yuck.”
“Try on that one, too,” Brat said.
I thought my child rearing days were over!
Grown-up-lady rolled her eyes. If anything would make us look ridiculous (an important fear to me, but Brat didn’t seem to care) this garment would. But the jacket was unlined, cotton and sported three-quarter sleeves. Very comfortable for summer, and we mature ladies love our comfort. What the heck, might as well try that one on too.
The two of us, brat and woman-of-a-certain age, (not sure who was leading whom), found a dressing room and tried on both items. SHOCKEROO: My older self decided to buy both! Grown up self loved the blouse; Brat insisted on the blazing blazer.
Feeling more than a little daring, I headed toward hats. I was getting into this. If child and grownup joined forces, what might happen next?
Footnote: The above anecdote happened two summers earlier. Whether for better or for worse, I’ve changed my style of clothes. This picture was me wearing my first hat. I now have a dozen!
Has my Inner Child morphed into an Inner Wild-Child?
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