My mother always told me that my best color was brown. She bought me brown sweaters and brown corduroy pants and a brown leather jacket.
I always believed her — why wouldn’t I? She is my mother.
In her honor, and because I trusted her, I wore a lot of brown. I also wore dark green — the dark swampy brown/green kind because she said I looked good in that too.
Only lately have I been reconsidering this.
My mother recently left the country, and when she and my father sold off or gave away the contents of their million dollar house(s), my mother bequeathed me two things:
1) a collection of photographs Of Me, still in their frames, that my parents had around their house
2) various love letters I had written to my mother over the years.
It made me sad to think that my mother couldn’t fit my letters in her bag. It made me sad that she returned my photographs.
But then — I started thinking about the advice she had given me. (Wear Brown).
And the fact is, I don’t really look good in brown — I mean, who does?
And the fact is, it made me look at the other gifts my mother gave me over the years:
1) her mother’s emerald ring, when my mother discovered that the emerald had been stolen and replaced with glass.
2) a bunch of $5 and $10 and $15 throwaway jewelry.
3) Lots of brown clothes, and hand me downs (how I cherished those, I loved her so much).
What people give you — it does matter. It matters because it shows what they think of you, what they think you deserve.