I was in the 6th or 7th grade, so it must have been sometime the early 1970s. At the time, bell bottoms were the newest, “coolest” fashion trend out there.
I don’t remember the reason why, but three of my close friends and I decided to form a club. And for some reason, one of the criteria for membership in this “club” was you had to wear bell bottom pants. Thankfully these were very good friends of mine, because they let me in even though I did not own a pair. That didn’t mean that I didn’t want a pair of bell bottoms—badly.
Back in the day, my mom only went shopping twice a year for clothes—once in the spring and once in the fall—to the same big department store. Except for birthdays or Christmas, you got what you got.
Plus, I went to a Catholic school where we wore uniforms every single day. So even if we bought more clothes, no one there had a large wardrobe. I mentioned the club to my mom, as well as the clothing requirements. But I assured her that I was okay without the requisite bell bottoms. And she just nodded okay and went on with her day.
This next part I remember like it was yesterday. I am not sure how many days later, but I came up the stairs into the kitchen, most likely from school, and there, sitting on my designated kitchen chair was a brand spanking new pair of blue and white checked bell bottoms. To this day—forty-plus years later—I can still see them folded over that chair, just waiting for me.
I was in heaven. It was one of those rare times in life when I was truly surprised and relieved. I was now a legitimate member of the club.