Monday, May 10, 2010

Ric Rac

I'm in the mood for some ric rac.  My Grandma H. used to make me all kinds of clothing as a child and it was always embellished with ric rac.  I fucking despised that ric rac back then and everything it fucking stood for.  Homemade clothes sans designer labels like Jordache and missing things like PANT LEGS and NEVER made out of denim.  "Here Agnes!  I made you a dress - it's got a red/white gingham turtle on the skirt with RIC RAC trim."  YAY!  I wanted JEANS.  Tight jeans with fancy shit on the pockets.  But jeans were for farmers and we weren't farmers.  That's what she told me.  "Only POOR farmers wear jeans.  RICH farmers don't even wear jeans.  I was a RICH farmer and I never wore jeans, EVER!"

Who knew.  But I knew I hated that fucking turtle applique on that blue dress.  But as I recall, she also made one for one of my friends so that we could dress like twins, so there was some comfort in knowing that there were now going to be two of us zipping around town looking like dipshits in our homemade fucking dresses because turtles are fucking cooler than any design on ANY pair of Jordache jeans ever made. 

Somedays she would run out of ric rac while she was sewing.  I know, right?  How the hell do you run out of ric rac?  Like me, you probably have the same yard of ric rac you bought 20 years for some project and have been hauling it around all these years never finding a use for it.  But she managed to run out of ric rac quite often.  Damned near daily during the summer months when I was there so she could fashion me a new school wardrobe for the fall.  (Because every 5th grader wants an 8 piece ensemble constructed from 4 different fabric patterns that you can mix and match and make into 178 different outfits and because no other 5th grader would ever fucking catch on to your act). 

So there I'd be, all watching some old black and white movie, ironing my grandpa's underwear and handkerchiefs and I'd hear her, "AGNES!!!  Get in the car - we need to go to Alco and get some ric rac."  Well, this would have been fine, but she was usually drinking scotch by 11 a.m. and pretty saucy by the time she ran out of ric rac at 3 p.m.  But off we'd go in her car.  Barreling down the narrow street in her big ass luxury car, never once letting the car actually switch gears.  As soon as she'd hear that engine start to rev up and right before it got ready to switch gears, she'd slam her foot on the brake.  The engine would simmer down and she'd stomp on the gas again.  Revving it up to just about....NO... BRAKE.  No switching gears for you car.  You are under my command and you will stay in this one gear all the way to Alco.  And so it went.  Day after day.  Summer after summer.  One asinine ric rac trimmed outfit after another.  God how I despised that shit. 

Last year my mom made me an apron and when she asked me how I wanted it to look - I told her.  "Black and white gingham, with hot pink ric rac - BIG ric rac - the kind that is HUGE" - and that's EXACTLY how my mom made that apron.  And I love it.  And everytime I put it on, I'm reminded of my beloved grandmother and her love for ric rac.  And also of her inability to properly operate a vehicle.  But most of all - how I once hated the shit and now I yearn for it. 

Look at it  it's GORGEOUSLY versatile.  I must go buy some right away!!!

1 comment:

  1. Um... I didn't even know what Ric Rac was until your post. In fact, I hadn't ever heard the term until just then.

    Then again, I don't come from a home of crafty people like you all are.