It’s on cold days like these when I remember the days of my childhood …
And that time my mom decided to get me a snowsuit.
Picture it: Scarborough, 1981.
My mom went shopping around for a durable, decently-priced snowsuit in which to clothe me during the harsh winter months.
And she found one which fit all her criteria. So much so, she didn’t even blink twice at the colour.
It was brown. Not reddish-brown. Not dark brown. Just. Brown.
Looking back, I can completely understand the adult’s point of view. I mean, if you get a really good snowsuit built to last, why care what colour it is?
Well, if you’re a four-year-old boy, no biggie. Slap that bad boy on and you’re ready for some play in the snow.
But if you’re a four-year-old girl, well … it kind of causes problems.
Once I was at the supermarket grocery shopping with my mom, in the brown snowsuit. We were in the produce section, and I guess I’d wandered too close to one of the fruit or veggie displays.
The next thing I know, the produce guy says to me, “Buster, be careful. You don’t want to knock over the display.”
According to my mom, I didn’t say anything. I just looked at him. And I was probably frowning.
Another time, I was with my mom at the doctor’s for an appointment. It was Christmas time, and there was a huge tree set up in one corner of the waiting room. The place was full of patients waiting their turn.
According to what my mom told me, I’d wandered over to the tree to take a look at the decorations.
The receptionist apparently turned and said to me, “Sonny, don’t touch the tree. You might break the ornaments.”
That did it. She had gone too far for this pre-schooler.
“My name is not Sonny,” I replied. “My name is Diane.”
The receptionist just ignored me. Me being four, I figured she just didn’t hear me. So I repeated myself.
Still, nothing. She didn’t even look my way.
According to my mom, I continued to try and correct her … getting up on my tiptoes to get her attention over the big desk. And still, the woman ignored me.
But everyone else in the waiting room was paying full attention at the scene I was making.
My mom – seeing my plight and how rude the woman was being – said, “Honey, why don’t you show her your pretty braids?”
And that was all the ammunition I needed.
I apparently clomped over to the receptionist’s desk, ripped off my toque and yelled in a shrill, four-year-old voice:
“MY NAME IS NOT SONNY!” I squealed, my tiny, multi-coloured, barretted plaits shaking. “MY NAME IS DIANE!”
Apparently my mom nearly lost it and was trying so hard not to laugh.
And the receptionist finally noticed.
“Okay, Diane,” she replied sheepishly. “Don’t touch the tree.”
It’s memories like these that make me miss that sassy little four-year-old who didn’t take shit from anyone.
I should try and summon her up one of these days.