birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

'It’s All in The Presentation, Darling.'

I honestly do not know what I was thinking. What self-preserving 12-year old girl strays so far from the pack? And at school no less! But there I was at Morgan Junior High School, in my small, rural hometown, wearing my childhood's most memorable outfit.

It was 1973; the era of kaftans. I probably don't need to say more, but oh my, there is more. My kaftan was over sized, shapeless, and in a bold African print. In hindsight, I must have looked like a short, pale, Bedouin. My grandmother sewed it for me, but it’s not her fault I wore it to school – I loved it. I thought it was cool and sophisticated, I felt emboldened. Which is probably why I decided to do my hair in the style that, four years later, would make even Princess Leia the butt of jokes. That’s right, a big bun over each ear.

I was too young to know about accessories or wear make-up, so there was no jewelry or enhancements to provide an overall look. And I wore tennis shoes because that was my shoe of choice for every outfit when I was 12. I remember this day so vividly, I can hear the squeaky, creaking sound that the school’s old, dark stairs made as we passed between floors.

But here’s the funny thing, I do not remember ridicule or embarrassment. I owned that outfit. When kids asked, “What are you wearing?!” My answer started with the rhetorical question, “I know! Isn’t it cool?” And then I went on to explain about kaftans and how they were “all the rage.” And whether it was contagious enthusiasm, or fear of appearing unsophisticated, they nodded vigorously in agreement.

'It’s all in the presentation, darling.'

Put It In Writing

Velour Was my Friend