my wristlet wallet was different.
circa 1968/1969 and EVERYone – literally everyone – at least in MY mind – had a wristlet wallet. long rectangular leather wallets on a wriststrap, they opened to reveal a couple places for pictures and change and dollar bills. a clutch, the style was s.p.e.c.i.f.i.c. they were s.p.e.c.i.f.i.c.
christmas rolled around and i, in great anticipation, opened my presents. untucking the used tissue paper, i got excited to catch a glimpse. the box revealed a wristlet wallet.
wrong. it was wrong. it was faux leather. it was not rectangular. it had different compartments, a different strap. not specific. it was different. i was a misfit.
my 1970 construction boots were different too. so were my earth shoes, an off-brand. i wore pants from the boy’s department – my sweet momma thought they fit my – whatwasslimbackthen – body better. and my white cable-knit v-neck sweater with maroon and navy stripes at the v was – waitforit – a boy’s handmedown. i ate cucumber sandwiches wrapped in waxed paper and tucked into repurposed hallmark card store bags with pleasesayitisn’tso sandwich bags of chips – not individual commercial bags – and wore homemade crocheted ponchos with fringe. different. i took organ lessons as well as piano and i loved to sit in my maple tree, writing. i had a cb home-based radio on which i spent hours chatting with crunch, merely a few miles away. i had nieces and a nephew way before anyone else and i loved mathletes. different.
i guess my sweet momma was getting me ready for the world, after all. the wristlet wallet – though a disappointment at age 12 – was just the tip of the iceberg.
as i go about throwing on jeans and a black top – what other color IS there anyway? – i wonder whatever became of that wallet. i wouldn’t mind using that right now. i look around at the repurposed stuff in our house and, though my momma hasn’t been here in over fifteen years, i know she’d be nodding her head in approval.
i suppose she knew what she was doing back then.
“different,” she encouraged. “be different.”
2022. i’m good with it.