I’m toying with the idea of a memoir eventually, just for myself. Rather than scratch little memories in notebooks that will get lost, they’re going here.
When I was a freshman in college I needed a special dress for something. I was going to go to the mall to look when my mother stopped me.
“You should go to Syms instead,” she said. “They have better prices.”
“Ugh. I hate shopping at Syms. It’s crowded and messy, and the communal changing room freaks me out.”
(If you don’t know, Syms was department warehouse store where they got last-season retail branded clothes and sold them at large discounts. Every day was new inventory and the longer something sat, the lower its price was. The whole store was two overwhelming floors, each the size of a city block.)
“I think you a fool, Amber. You’re wasting money.”
“No.” I said, feeling a confidence that surprised me, “I don’t think it’s foolish. I think the shopping experience at the mall is worth the money.”
I still wondered if she was right – when your mother tells you you are something, you tend to believe it at least partially, even if it’s false – but I was pretty sure I knew what I was talking about. And I did. To this day I don’t shop in large, poorly organized stores looking for a bargain. It’s unnecessarily taxing on my soul and not worth the dollars saved.
This was the first time I consciously remember “knowing thyself.”