Thank you for Hand Me Ups

I was a freakishly tall kid.

In the 6th grade I was 5’6.

Another girl, Vicky (her parents were from Scandinavia) and I were the tallest kids in elementary school.

We had to be friends as a defense against the social and emotional cannibalism of average sized children.

And if that ain’t tragic enough, my family was poor (yeah, yeah, we were so poor we couldn’t even pay attention… whatever).

I wore second hand clothing that was generously given to my family by neighbors whose kids had outgrown them.

Okay, did I mention I was freakishly tall?

Okay, Did I mention the words outgrown by other kids—who were not freakishly tall?

My new pants were always Capri’s (and not on purpose, and not the style in the mid to late sixties).

There is nothing more awkward than orange bell bottom Capri’s on a gangly kid with huge feet and bright red hair.

Go ahead, think about it for 3 seconds.

Yep, a frolicking, trippin’-over-her-own-feet, orange Q-tip in huge penny-loafers-without-the pennies-on-account-of-we spent-the-pennies-on-paying attention.

No hand me downs for me.

Everything was a hand me UP.

Hand me up means something completely different to me today.

A hand me up is like an upgrade.

Your couch is ugly, your friend moves and gives your her nicer couch. That is a hand me up.

I have received so many sweet hand me ups from friends who thought it would make my life groovier than orange bell bottoms.

From passed on furniture to pay-it-forward surprises to amazing recycled jewelry and inherited art supplies.

I am very thankful for hand me ups.


~ by leakelley on February 8, 2010.

2 Responses to “Thank you for Hand Me Ups”

  1. I like the idea of hand me ups… perhaps I can initiate its essence in my sessions.

  2. I know of such tall girls, friends of my daughters, and it must be hard. But I hope it’s a payoff as an adult, to be tall and strong.

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