When I was in the ninth grade, I lost my naïveté. It wasn’t in the way you might be imagining, nothing sordid, and not even particularly scarring.
Rewind to the New Ulm Junior High School cafeteria, circa 1972; in the somewhat dingy basement of a large, classic, early 1900s school building. I actually remember the place quite fondly.
Apparently I wasn’t the first, but I was probably the best. The rectangular lunch table was surrounded. “You’ve got to try this.” I sat down. I was to draw circles around a quarter (with a pencil, DUH!!) on a piece of paper, then SLOWLY roll the quarter down my face, all the way to my chin and try to drop it into one of the circles. Quarter didn’t land into the circle? Draw more circles. Try again. Try rolling the quarter to the righter, or the left. Draw more circles. The suggestions were endless. The crowd around the table grew.
You got it. It took me much longer. I don’t know how long, but I remember the horror I felt when I finally wised up. I ran to the nearest bathroom and looked at my face in the mirror; a labyrinth of lead tracks.
I know it was a silly game, with no ill intended, but it taught me a lot; first to be wary, perhaps even a bit distrustful. Eventually, with some maturity and experience thrown in, an ability to distinguish the legitimate from the illegitimate; to recognize what’s genuine.
In January I received an offer, via Etsy, to send my creations to an photographer in Texas. I was happy she had found my Etsy shop. I had long been wanting to get my clothes photographed on real kids. As an introductory offer, this person was offering to photograph, FOR NOTHING, my clothes. All I had to do was send them to her. If I liked her work, I would pay for any photography that followed. It almost sounded too good to be true. I was busy anyway, so letting it simmer happened naturally. I did check her Facebook page from time to time, and by the time I actually got around to finishing up a box of clothes to send off, I felt pretty good about shipping away my blood, sweat and tears. By then I also had a gut feeling that AtTUTUde By Kashmira Ali was the real deal.
And even if they do nothing to help my fledgling business, these photos will always serve as a reminder to me of the beautify of the human spirit. Thank you Kashmira. I can’t wait to see more.