Sunday, July 6, 2014

A Sue Memory: The Cabbage Patch Kid Pants

For my 10th birthday, my Grandma bought me something I'm sure she thought I would love: a pair of Cabbage Patch Kid pants.  It made sense, Cabbage Patch Kids were all the rage at that time, and I had a little bald preemie boy I had named William.  I bought him real baby clothes at garage sales.  I played with William all the time, carefully choosing his outfits and laying him down for naps.

Me at age 10: mullet and sweater vest?  Sure.
Cabbage Patch Kid Pants?  Oh hell no.
There was just one major problem. I was WAY too old for a pair of Cabbage Patch Kid pants.  I thanked Grandma for the pants, and when I got home I stuffed the bright blue, baby-head embroidered horrors into a bottom drawer.  I had no intention of being caught dead in those horrendous freak-pants.  I got a chill when I imagined what the kids at school would say if I walked in wearing BABY PANTS.

The next Spring I was playing outside at recess.  The recess ladies warned us that there was a lot of mud around, so to be careful.  I had no time to heed their warnings, however, because I was deep into an intense game of freeze tag.  Julie came running at me, and there was no way I was going to let her tag me, so I ran down the big hill.  The big hill with the gigantic mud puddle at the bottom.  I lost control of my feet. I slid, quickly and limbs flailing, into the mud puddle.

I was drenched in mud.  The recess lady sent me into the office to call home to get new clothes.  I called my house, on the off chance that my mom might be home.  Sue answered.  She had graduated from high school by this time and was sometimes home during the day.

"Sue, will you please bring me a clean outfit up to school?"  I asked.  "I'm all muddy."

"Sure, I'll be there in a few minutes."  She answered.

Whew.  Problem solved.

I waited in the office.  Sue walked in a few minutes later and handed me a bag with some clothes, then she was gone.  I trotted off to the girls' bathroom to change before the lunch recess bell rang.

I opened the bag.  A red shirt.  Fine.  Some socks.  Perfect.  OH MY GOD SHE BROUGHT ME THE CABBAGE PATCH KID PANTS!  Oh no.  I was going to die.  I was going to fall over and die right there on the girls' bathroom floor.  Why?  Why would she do this to me?  What had I done to deserve this? I felt hate. I burned with rage and embarrassment. My life was over.

I put on the pants.  What else could I do?  Fortunately I had a jacket with me that was only mildly muddy and I tied it around my waist to try to conceal as much of the pants as possible.  I felt the eyes of the entire school on my baby pants.

I kept a low profile for the rest of the day.  I barely spoke and was so relived when the day was over that I ran to the bus.  Then I ran home from the bus stop.  I was going to give that sister of mine a talking to.

I burst in the door, crying now.  "Sue!" I yelled.  "Why did you make me wear these horrible Cabbage Patch Kid Pants!  You know I'm too old for these pants!  I hate them!  Why are you so mean?"

"Huh?"  She responded, "You needed pants. Those were the only ones I could find. Calm down, you crabby bubba!"

Oh.  She had no idea I hated the pants.  I checked my room.  There were no other clean pants.  Oh.

I changed into a pair of dirty jeans and stuffed the offensive pants into a shoe box in the back corner of my closet.  We never spoke of the pants again.

Except that when we were adults, I would sometimes out of the blue yell, "WHY DID YOU MAKE ME WEAR THOSE CABBAGE PATCH KID PANTS?"

She would yell back, "I DIDN'T KNOW YOU HATED THEM!"

And we would laugh our butts off.


  1. Well, I just read through your entire blog. It's so great! Your writing and your entire outlook are inspiring. I'm thinking of starting a writer's group if you're interested. Love to you and your amazing family!!! <3

  2. What an amazing relationship you and Sue have !!!!!!! I am so blessed with everything that you share about it. I feel more and more that I know her because of your sharing. BTW you look so much like Natalie in that picture! : )