I hate clothes.
I hate choosing what to wear. I hate doing laundry. Most of all, I hate shopping. I always have.
I can browse a department store for about 10 minutes before I run for the parking lot. There’s just too much to consider when buying a single pair of pants — forget an entire outfit.
The only thing worse than shopping for clothes is shopping for shoes. Slipping on those little flesh-colored booties while a salesperson kneels next to my ugly runner’s feet nearly gives me a panic attack.
So when I was invited to a rehearsal for “Love, Loss, and What I Wore,” the last thing I expected was to enjoy it. Love and loss? Sounds good. What I wore? No way.
But as I listened to the five women in the cast present their monologues, I found that nearly every vignette in Nora and Delia Ephron’s script resonated with me. I may cringe at the idea of shopping, but that wasn’t what the show was about.
The play reminded me that, like it or not, I, too, remember my life in terms of clothing. It’s not that we women are superficial — far from it — it’s just that, as the actresses pointed out, clothes are linked to our senses, and our senses are linked to our memories.
There’s the pair of socks decorated with pug dogs (yes, pug dogs) that triggers the memory of the morning my aunt died. My mom had bought the awful socks with the intent of giving them to her sister that morning. When I walked into Mom’s room carrying them, she burst into tears, and I knew the news wasn’t good. Until that day, I never would have thought anything covered in pug dogs could move me so much.
Or there’s the black satin prom dress embroidered with small blue flowers. My stepfather drove me all the way to Louisville so I could attend my friend’s high school prom, but I stormed out in anger about five minutes after the dance began. It was a long, silent car ride back to Paducah. The dress still hangs in my closet, a pretty reminder to control my temper.
The directors at Market House Theatre were spot-on in their choice of a Mothers’ Day special, and I hope to someday have a chance to see the full show. I would have loved to bring my mother to the production.
She was never known for her sense of style, either.
Contact Laurel Black, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8641 or follow @LaurelFBlack on Twitter.