Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Easter Bonnet



This is another shot from the road leading down to Freeport landing in a neighboring county. Although the content is rather boring, the color was what attracted me. Green! I can't believe how much green there is. After 3,698 straight days of cold, dreary, gray, rainy, blustery, drab, dull when is she going to stop? weather thank you , it's so refreshing to see green again. Oh, also there are some farm animals of some sort - sheep? goats? both?--off in the distance but since I have problems with details and processing multiple things simultaneously, I really wasn't concerned with them. Just the colors.

Now, speaking of putting a lid on something (such as my rambling thoughts), let's turn to the topic of Easter bonnets.


When I was a child Easter meant two things: candy and painful outfits.

The Chesapeake Bay Children were not big on fashion; none of us were girly girls. As tomboys we were more comfortable in a tree than in a dress. Shoes and clean fingernails were usually optional, if not downright scarce.

Although Easter meant candy, which was good, that candy came with a price tag: the mandatory Easter outfit. One of the main reasons I disliked church at the time, and I'm ashamed to say that I did, had to do with the dress requirement. Over time, I've changed my opinion of church somewhat, but not about wearing a dress. Thankfully dress codes have eased some, but at the time there was no flexibility. We were forced into frilly, ill-fitting, ridiculous, uncomfortable dresses paired with white tights that would never stay up; red--yes, I said red--patent leather shoes; and finally the last indignity: the Easter bonnet.

Don't get me wrong--I loved hats. I still love hats. Just not dressy hats. But the Easter bonnet wasn't a hat, it was a monstrosity that screamed to the world, "My mother made me wear this and I'm traumatized beyond words. If I become a convicted felon one day, you can blame this bonnet."

Perhaps something on the simpler side would have suited me better, but putting a frilly, ribboned hat on my head was like slapping a pair of bib overalls and a baseball cap on Queen Elizabeth. You may as well ask her to chew on a piece of straw while you're at it. They just don't belong together. At all. Ever.

And so it was with me and the Easter bonnet.

There are a few Polaroid snapshots of the Chesapeake Bay Girls at Easter, and in each one Baby Sis is smiling; Middle Sis looks pained; and I am visibly unhappy with a scowl the size of the St. Louis arch plastered on my face.

The reason Baby Sister was smiling? She was the only one who didn't have to wear an Easter bonnet, for reasons still unclear and unfair. I'm pretty sure she was laughing at us.

Just like everybody else. Except our mother, our grandmother and every other female over the age of 40 in a 50-mile radius frolicking around the church parking lot with flowery dresses and flowing ribbons and curly-que hair and patent leather shoes.

The Chesapeake Bay Girls: Bonnets R Not Us.

I feel like climbing a tree. And chewing a piece of straw.

20 comments:

Maria in NJ said...

Delurking to say "Where are those polaroids? We (at least I thin it's we) want to witness the faces. Over the weekend I found a box of old photos and also confirmed why on occasion I feel a need for therapy. Thanks for sharing your part of the world, it is quite amusing. And, great greens!

Maria in NJ said...

Oh yeah, and YIPEE! I am first!

Recipes for theLife said...

Nice shot of the green.

You definitely had a colorful childhood.It makes an interesting read...(grin).Especially the part about Easter bonnets

Annie said...

Gosh, I can't believe you were being forced to wear Easter bonnets as children. Though come to think of it, I thought I was one of the first to go hat-less to church as a teenager.
And my daughter was one of the first to go to church in shorts (shock horror)..leading a youth group and all...it was much easier for them to go wearing whatever than trying to tell them what to wear! They also went in bare feet when we lived in Darwin. (Australia, tropics, hot, casual)
Yes, I love the green also. At last I can now see why you are all hankering after the warmer sunnier greener weather!

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Maria - Hello, I'm so glad you delurked, wasn't aware that I had any lurkers other than a few Mathews folks who, in spite of my repeated requests, won't comment. I promise if I can locate the polaroids, I'll post a shot but I probably won't be able to start looking until the weekend due to work and sports schedules. Yes, the old photo boxes can be traumatic, can't they? Will keep therapists in business for years to come.

Recipes - Thanks, and yes, very colorful childhood. It was all good though. Mostly. Well, except for being forced to wear red patent leather shoes and Easter bonnets and such.

Annie - I'm so glad that, at least around here, the dress code has been eased somewhat. Some churches even have the rough equivalent of a "come as you are" service, which I know is troublesome to some of the older folks but any way you can get people in the door ought to be good, and that wearing a dress thing just didn't make me want to run racing through the church doors. Shorts to church - your daughter was quite the trendsetter.

Oh, and speaking of lurkers I found out yesterday I have a great aunt who reads...Hello, Great Aunt and Uncle! Please write up some stories for me so I can share them. Just because it's called Life in Mathews doesn't mean we can't talk about growing up in Gloucester.

Have a great Tuesday, everyone. I am off to make my 50-mile-one-way commute and haven't had a lick of coffee yet. Be back tonight.

Mental P Mama said...

Well, I'm no professional, but it appears to me that Baby Sis was the favorite. And I loved my "packing leather" shoes. They were the best!

TSannie said...

I hated the damn bonnets as well. Deep abiding hatred...and what's up with that baby sis of yours not having to wear one?? I think you should go buy her a bonnet and you and your mid. sis should INSIST she wear it this Sunday. It's payback time!

Grandma J said...

When I grew up you had to wear dresses to school, so the Easter outfit was just a dressier version of our daily school clothes. We always had to wear hats to church, so once again just a fancier version.

That green field is refreshing looking. I especially love the sheep and cattle hanging out .

Daryl said...

We didnt wear Easter bonnets, we are Jews so instead we got TONI HOME PERMS for Passover ... with my hair after a perm there isnt a hat that fits ... I think I would have preferred the hat to the perm ... but I feel your pain none the less...

Life with Kaishon said...

I can't wait to have a little girl someday so I can put her in bonnets galore : ). I am thinking of buying Kaish a sears sucker suit this year. I don't know why. I just think that sounds like a nice choice for Easter : ). He will NEVER go for it, but I might try : ). Hope your easter is happy and bonnet free!

Meg @ Soup Is Not A Finger Food said...

Everybody join me:
SCAN AND POST!
SCAN AND POST!
SCAN AND POST!

I am sure I have some Easter dress photos around here that I can manufacture into a blog post for the weekend...

Things are greening up around here, too. I'm anxiously awaiting the hum of lawnmowers and the smell of freshly cut grass.

Breezeway said...

Hated Easter bonnets and particularly the dreaded Easter family picture that documented for all to see just how miserable we all were! We have year after year of pics of my scowling "Easter face" in front of the azaleas. Always had to take pictures there!

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

MPM - Baby Sis got away with murder. That's right, I said it. By the time she came along CB Mother was way too tired to deal with anything. "Packing leather" shoes reminds me that I actually had to look up/make sure that the proper phrase was patent leather because I think we twisted it into something else too.

TSA - I really love the way you think.

GJ - Dresses to school would have been awful, although honestly I did have to wear them for 1st through 6th grades. Hated it.

Daryl - Ah, the dreaded ,horrible, awful Toni home perm, had forgotten all about that. How truly awful. I mean really. Awful. I think I might have preferred a bonnet, and that's sayin' something.

R/LWK - I think your son would look precious in one of those suits, and I hope you do have a girl some day, they are wonderful. Of course mine would not be caught anywhere near an Easter bonnet, or a dress. She gets it honestly.

Meg - that lawn mower of yours will be out in no time. Mine made its maiden voyage into the yard this weekend. All I could smell was wild onions though. Would it surprise you to know that I don't know how to scan a photo? Even though I am reasonably sure I have a scanner. Stop laughing, I mean it. Well you know - you've seen me in action. It's pitiful. Perhaps you can help me out at Blog Fest.

I'll try and locate those polaroids this weekend and have my son, 13, tell me how to get it onto the screen.

Signed,
Chesapeake Gray Woman, as in ready for the nursing home as it relates to techology.

Breezeway - Long time no hear. Ah yes, the obligatory shot in front of the azaleas. They're getting read to pop here--the azaleas, that is, not the flash bulbs. Speaking of pop, I might pop by the house sometime soon to get more pictures. That assumes that we won't have another monsoon.

foolery said...

I just woke up . . . why are you barefoot in church and chewing on Queen Elizabeth?

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Foolery - You win the award for funniest comment. I'll give you your T-shirt in July.

soupisnotafingerfood said...

Send those photos to scanmyphotos.com or whatever the website is and let an expert fret over them. They'll hand you a nice CD full of randomly-named files. It's awesome.

Wild onions? We called it wild garlic, but whatever it is, you can see it taking over the part of our yard right next to the road. Need to get the grounds crew right on that. I mean the husband.

Anonymous said...

I too was forced to wear the horrible bonnets & hats with the elastic string that cut through your chin, that my brother would pull & smack against my face when my mother was not looking ! Oh and under the bonnet were the replica curls similar to that worn by Mary Olson from Little House on the Prairie (I still have bad dreams from this LOL !) My mother would put those green hard prickly curlers in my head with the pointy stick things that jabbed my scalp & left dents in my head for days !!My mother would then pull out the hair dryer in a box, oh yea, with the shower cap looking thing that I would have to put on my head to mash all the curlers & stick things deeper in my scalp that would dry the Dipity Doo globbed on & the air would be so hot that it made my face look like I had a bad sun burn from the heat it blowed out !!! I would have gladly worn red shoes to avoid this horrible torture !!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I too was forced to wear the horrible bonnets & hats with the elastic string that cut through your chin, that my brother would pull & smack against my face when my mother was not looking ! Oh and under the bonnet were the replica curls similar to that worn by Mary Olson from Little House on the Prairie (I still have bad dreams from this LOL !) My mother would put those green hard prickly curlers in my head with the pointy stick things that jabbed my scalp & left dents in my head for days !!My mother would then pull out the hair dryer in a box, oh yea, with the shower cap looking thing that I would have to put on my head to mash all the curlers & stick things deeper in my scalp that would dry the Dipity Doo globbed on & the air would be so hot that it made my face look like I had a bad sun burn from the heat it blowed out !!! I would have gladly worn red shoes to avoid this horrible torture !!!!!!!!!
Horn Harbor Girl

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Horn Harbor Girl: You have just described my entire hair experience growing up! Exactly. I swear. Even down to the painful curlers and that *#^*ing hair dryer with the hose. Those daggone hats with the string under the chin-oh they were just awful.

What a fantastic memory you have.

p.s. I am always accepting guest contributions if you want to write something and send it to me....

Anonymous said...

Me and my twin sister were always dressed up cute and little girlish for easter by our mom and grandma.We were made to wear poofy,pastel colored,midthigh length dresses with matching bonnets,lace anklets or tights and matching mary janes.Under our dresses we had to wear a cloth diaper and pastel rubberpants that matched our dresses and sis and i hated wearing them.we tolerated the bonnets,but we felt so babyish with the diaper and rubberpants under our dresses.the diaper rubbed between our legs and irritated us and the rubberpants were toddler size and fit us tight and the leg openings left a red ring around our leg joints.In the late afternoon,we were allowed to take the diaper off,but had to wear the rubberpants under our dresses until bedtime.As we got older,grandma made our diaper larger and we had teen size rubberpants over it.the last time we wore the outfits was when we were 15 and got teased by some boys at church and after that we wore just regular dresses for easter.