My mother used to have a secret place in the top drawer of her dresser. Next to the regular panties, hose and socks were the priceless garments she treasured more than anything, her Victoria Secret. In the late 80s to later 90s there wasn’t a website you could just easily purchase from, nor were magazines distributed as freely as spam mail. No, Victoria Secret was the top of the line, the epitome of femininity. It in some way defined you secretly underneath your everyday clothes. My Mother had a special place for them because they were quite expensive, at least to us as we were quite poor, and more than her abundant jewelry did she treasure them.
I grew up dreaming of the day I could wear Victoria Secret also. I would imagine my boyfriend/fiance/husband handing me a pink and white box with matching tissue paper inside that held the most beautiful (or sexy) piece of lingerie (or clothing) that was ever stitched together. Sometimes I would sneak in and peek at my Mother’s just to hold the garments in my hands. I never was embarrassed that they were bras or panties or teddies, etc. I never saw them for their use. They were cherished raiment’s. Of course I’d get into a whole whirlwind of trouble once she discovered I happened upon her drawer, but it was always worth it. It fed my fantasies of the pink and white box. It was perhaps the equivalent of another girl’s dream of Tiffany’s, my Obsession with Victoria.
I didn’t graduate from high-school so I never had a Prom of my own. I had a baby instead and knew the struggles that had been laid out before me, the paths tread by the women that had walked that road before. I gave up on a lot of my daydreams and set myself to work my hands until they metaphorically bled for the sake of my child. Then one day my boyfriend at the time had asked me to his Prom. I had nothing to wear, I was lucky to own any clothes at all… most of which were years and years old. But I was the first girl in my family to be asked to Prom, a real Prom and my Mom took me in. She bought me a dress at 579 and the owner said I was the only person who had dared to purchase it because it was only in a size 0. It was amazingly beautiful. After we bought the dress she had walked me over to another store in the mall. I’d never been inside it’s clear and pink shaded windows and for moments as we approached it took everything in me not to cry, “I’m here! I’m here!” She bought me the most expensive panty hose I’ve ever had. They felt like the caress of fine silk. More than the dress, the shoes, the elaborate hair they spent hours doing, the jewelry, the dinner, my date… the Prom itself… more than any of the memories from that night I was so blessed to have happened to me… I remember the moment my Mom took me to Victoria Secret. It was our first woman to woman moment.
I’ve never gotten a pink and white striped gift, but my Mom had taken me there for my wedding lingerie just as she had taken me there for Prom. There is something divinely special about these shared moments with her that I have never found the right words to genuinely express. I thought that the garments were what was so priceless and treasured about Victoria Secret, but it wasn’t. It was the moment, the shared moment, between the giver and the receiver. In these cases between my Mother and me.
I keep my Victoria Secret in a special place also. I keep these memories in my heart.