When I was in high school, my mother had some function or other coming up that she had to attend and needed help to finish her outfit in time. I was supposed to sew the blouse, a purple satin thing with cuffs (it was the sixties). I was a terrible procrastinator at the time (and for years afterward) (and maybe still) so I kept putting off sewing on it until it was the actual day of the party. In a rush at the last minute, I simply sewed her into it by sewing the buttons on the cuffs while she was wearing the garment to hold the cuffs closed. I was supposed to finish up the blouse for her later, but life kept getting in the way. That blouse went with me from high school to college to marriage, from apartment to apartment to house, from state to state, its message of guilt ever present. I was probably the only one who remembered it and my failure to finish it.
Then one day, I decided to free myself from the guilt, took the blouse and just threw it away. It was very liberating and of course, my mom never minded because she only needed it for that one night, and even though it really wasn’t finished, it looked like it was and that was all that mattered.