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The Cat Bathing Suit & The Ugly Sneakers

September 6, 2013

Written by Marykate O’Malley, mother of three wonderful children, Gladwyne, PA

You know how people have experiences by which they measure all other experiences? My measure is a teal leopard print cat bathing suit with a ruffle around the waist (you know, for decoration). It was the mid 80’s, I was 10 and felt like the coolest cat that summer with the green eyes that pierced the center of the whiskered face right in the middle of my stomach. I loved that bathing suit. And it was teal. And leopard print. And had a cat’s face. And a ruffle around the waste. And I want to cry I feel so sad for myself when I think that I wore it.

And now, I have a son who loves neon. And I just bought him sneakers that are so ugly it makes me want to cry. They are red and white and black and to me look a cross between bowling shoes and golf shoes. But he loves them – ran to them in the store – had to wear them out of the store and to the car. I see him looking down and admiring them. I see in his eyes adoration and a glimmer of what it feels like to possess something you truly love.



Which makes me think of the cat bathing suit. And how I rocked it.

And I look at the ugly sneakers. And his smiling face. And I smile too.

What is your “measure” item from way back when?




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1 Comment »

  1. Anne Schennendorf

      on September 16, 2013 9:23 pm

    I am dying laughing!!!! I remember that bathingsuit and in my little 8 year it was the coolest. Ever. At the time it was utter style. I had that suit too. Pink? I had a shirt, a hand-me-down from a girl up the street I will never forget. It was pink and it had horizontal ruffles across the front. In between the ruffles was rows of purple and pink hearts. Smitten. In my old age I have realized a truth about children- the gaudier the better. That is a child’s style. It seems pretty universal- from city to burbs, I am sorry to tell you, the 80′s is back, and so is neon. My guys favorite sneakers, packed lovingly in the back seat in route with us to Philly are awful. They are bright blue and red splattered in Lighting McQueen and light up. No cute little bucks for me. 😉 When I look at those ugly things I remember- a step towards independence. Also, it helpful to buy online so the stylish ones are never spotted by adorable toddler eyes. 😉


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