At a very early age I remember dressing up my dolls in as many outfits I could. I especially liked the bigger dolls, whereas I was able to use newborn baby clothes that my mother had been collecting over the years. I guess every little girl did that. But, I think not everyone's girlish habits continued, like it did for me.
I was now in the 4th grade and dolls didn't interest me all that much anymore. I remember I had gone to my mother and said that I would dress Jimmy, my two year old brother from now on. Coming from a large family my mother was so happy to hear that I would be in charge of washing, ironing, and folding Jimmy's clothes. And he sure did have a lot of clothes. My mother is the type of person that recycles clothes from one child to the next. I really didn't know what I was getting into at that point. I had just liked the idea of having to coordinate his shirts with his pants. Even if the clothes were a little outdated, at least he looked neat and most importantly, matched.
Well that episode didn't last long. I remember just giving up after I had all his clothes well organized in his drawers and I had been dressing Jimmy everyday for a couple of weeks. I didn't realize that it would be a lot of work. I was always trying to keep him clean all day long so that I wouldn't have to scrub his clothes down like my mother usually did. And since Jimmy was only two, he didn't like the fact of having to wear his shoes all day, his shirt, and his socks. He would take them off whenever he felt like it and always misplace them.
At age nine I went to Mexico for my summer vacation. I visited many of my relatives and noticed that all the females had a special talent. They all made different things at home. Some made special crafts, some knitted quilts, and others made clothes. I was very much interested in learning how to do some of the things my aunts and cousins were making, so I joined them in several occasions. When I came back home from my vacation, I immediately begged my parents for a sewing machine.
My wish was granted. I was a proud owner of a brand new sewing machine. And now it was time for me to go to work. I had asked my mother to give me all the ripped clothes she had of the family and I would sew them up. Since my mother didn't know how to sew, she would give my poor grandmother big bags of torn clothing for her to mend, which would take her forever since she did that manually. Being the tailor for the family is all I really concentrated on for next couple of years.
At age twelve I started buying monthly issues of the Mademoiselle magazine. I remember seeing so many other similar fashion magazines, but I wanted to stay consistent and buy the same name always. I also couldn't afford to buy more than one issue at a time. I saw that magazine as a valuable source of beauty information. So I made sure that I read every single page, word for word, including the ads. I was a real sucker then, because I truly believed...