Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The Butterfly Hours Memoir Project: ENVELOPE

For 2019 I'm running a year-long series on my blog in which I share my responses to the writing assignment prompts found in THE BUTTERLY HOURS by Patty Dann.

I welcome you to join me, if you like! I've divided the prompts by month, and the plan is to respond to 3 (or so) a week. For some of these I may write poems, for others prose. The important thing is to mine my memory. Who knows where this exploration will lead?
In January I wrote about: apron, bar, basketball, bed, bicycle, birthday, boat, broom, button, cake, car.

In February: chair, chlorine, church, concert, cookbook, couch, dancing, desk, dessert, dining room table, diploma.

Here are March's prompts: divorce, door, dream, emergency room, envelope, eyebrows, first apartment, first job, food, game, garden.


Best Envelope in a Book I've Read So Far.
Photo by Rae Tian on Unsplash
Mostly I associate envelopes with happy mail. Whatever home I've lived in, walking out to the mailbox has always been one of my favorite parts of the day. Sending and receiving handwritten, heartfelt notes is definitely one of my primary love languages. However, not all mail is good.

One not-so-happy envelope I remember distinctly was the one my mother gave me after she caught me at school wearing different clothes than the ones I'd left home in. My mom is a seamstress, and when I was in 6th grade, I was suddenly aware of how un-cool my homemade dresses were. I wanted other clothes, ones that made me feel like I fit in. So, a friend loaned me some jeans and a cute top, and each morning I would change into them on the bus. (It's not hard to change discreetly when you wear a skirt and a tank top!) 

Imagine my surprise when I was on the monkey bars during recess and I saw my mom coming down the sidewalk?? She was there to check out my brother, who was sick. I remember how exposed I felt up there on the monkey bars, and the way my mother's lips were pressed together as she passed by. She didn't say anything at that moment, but I knew I was busted. I had all the rest of the school day to think about it and imagine what terrors awaited me at home. 

When I finally got there, what I found was an envelope on my bed. It contained a four page letter from my mom expressing her disappointment in me – maybe not a big deal to some, but it was pretty devastating to a pleaser like me!

1 comment:

  1. This one brought up two connections for me. Saving those thoughts for a possible slice this month. Envelope, such an interesting word and so filled with possibility for writing.


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