As a child, I’ve definitely experienced wearing in my older cousins hand-me-downs, and I still have a really elegant dress that’s originally belong to one of my cousin’s. I didn’t ‘need’ it nor I will, it was always there along the past 15 years because I think it is timeless and precious and most importantly it was always ‘my’ choice either to accept taking it in the first place or not.
One day I was looking over my mother’s in-law engagement photos & I came across this one, where she wore a long-sleeved lightly-golden maxi dress, she looked like a classical movie star, and honestly I couldn’t help it. Knowing that I am an expressive person in nature, I praised how gorgeous she looked wearing that dress and having her hair done in a very simple yet elegant up-do. A red flower on her golden-brown hair complemented the way she looked. “Simply stunning!” I said.
She then, insisted that “I have to have it!” she said. and I would never turn such an offer down. “She had it sewed for her own engagement, she looked striking, and she’s enjoying a pretty long marriage life” I thought to myself. I’ve always believed that happiness can be ‘inherited’ just by wearing/having what once marked a happy event – like this one.
What helped resonating this kind of belief in me was once a middle-aged lady, who looked simple, elegant and just charming by offering me and my-back then- fiance (and now is my husband) her, and her husbands’ wedding rings, to wear them for the period of our engagement party till we get our own done and re-sized. She justified her offer saying “We had a quite successful and happy 30 years of marriage life” and calmly smiled.
Aromatic recipes, great cooking books, some hard-to-buy kitchen machines a gold-ruby jewelry set, and a passionate loving heart are only a few things my mom handed-me-down (If I can put it this way!)
But what really kept me thinking for the past couple of years was; how does it feel -not having the choice- but to dress in someone else’s hand-me-downs?!!
An insistent question that popped to my mind, the day I came across one of Cairo’s largest second-hand clothes market. It gave me my first short story idea (that was never finished) “The leather Jacket that changed his Life”!