My mother, to be funny, used to call me Audrey Heartburn every time I was told I looked like Audrey, realizing after 30 years of therapy, it was because she was jealous of the comparison.
It’s no wonder one has self-esteem issues, having a mother as a competitor.
To be truthful, Audrey Hepburn was much better looking than I ever was, and did copy her style, even now since, after all these years, the waif look still works.
Women ask where I got my black ballet flats and Capri pants that end above the ankle. T-shirts that are just plain cotton. French sailor pullovers that have been around forever beneath a slim black blazer you can buy at any Gap.
Can’t leave out that little black dress worn with only pearls.
Classic clothes that still impress as if they’re brand new.
But back to the Italian Cruella DeVille. She’d say things like, who do you think you are dressing like Sabrina, before confiscating my tights and turtleneck saying she had no idea what happened to them.
I started hiding things under the mattress and behind my bureau trying to outsmart her, alas, a losing battle. And if I accused her, she’d slap then punish me, the trap I’d fall into time and time again.
When I was finally on my own, it took a while before I felt my beloved belongings were safe, afraid someone would climb through the window leaving, wearing my shoes.
Lila, a shrink I had, was the one who cured me of my sartorial paranoia saying, if I securely shut the windows and locked the door, my wardrobe would be fine.
In hindsight, I was a kid out on my own way too soon, without stable ground to stand on. If asked, how I managed to survive and even flourish at times, I’d say, it was due to my innate sense of humor, carrying me like a life raft.
To this day, you’d find an item or two, along with a little cash, under my box springs, because well, when you’re Audrey Heartburn, you just can’t be too careful. There’s the real thing, then there’s me.