Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Like Mother, Like Daughter

When I was little, I fretted that I was too much like my father and not enough like my mom. People were always telling me how I looked like him, took after him in talents of singing and art. Since he was not a part of my life, I resented it. I practiced my mom's facial expressions in the mirror, worked endlessly to become a lefty, like her. It overwhelmed me with guilt, thinking that maybe I was more like my dad, a mere stranger who tugged at my heartstrings.

I look nothing like my mom, an ever prominent and influential figure in my life. Blonde hair, blue eyes and tanned skin conflict with own dark hair, brown eyes and pale complexion. Her confidence and aptitude for business are absent from my self-conscious, scatter brained persona. Despite my tireless, kindergarten effort, I am right-handed. I have straight little eyelashes from my half-Japanese father and the name of his Japanese mother. There is little on the outside that can be tied to my mother. But her resilience, wit, compassion, love of animals and all things old, tattered, antique, vintage - these are the gifts from my mother.

Literal gifts from my mom: vintage beret, vintage floral dress. h&m mustard tights, vintage boots, vintage Neiman Marcus coat, vintage wicker purse (from my mom's best friend...kindred spirits!) and thrifted belt. 

The irony is that my sister Amanda, who might as well be a clone of my mother, has little affection for vintage clothing or antique treasures. Neither does Nicole, although Tessa seems to appreciate it more than the others. It couldn't make me happier, because my mom spoils me with vintage dresses, hats, shoes, jewelry, linens, furniture and odds and ends that my sisters would turn their noses up to. Every once in awhile, I'll get an amazing care package full of tons of vintage goodies. 

This vintage beret was one of those goodies.

Now, for the details of this outfit:


Click the pictures to see in its entirety. 

Now that you know what my mom and I share in common, please share with us your bonds with your loved ones. I'd love to read them!

-Keiko Lynn


  1. I rarely talk about my family because we are so wholly functional that I hate to sound like a familial braggart. But since you asked, I will take the time to write a novella.

    My brother and sister are 9 and 12 years older than me, respectively. They encouraged my taste in music to be what it is (I was practically shunned for my brief Blink-182 obsession!). My wit and my occasionally abnormal lexicon grows from attempts when I was younger to speak more grown up. They were hardly grown ups, but I perceived the words they used to be very old, with every sentence have at least one 8-letter word. My brother taught me that it is more important to have fun at something than be the best at something. My sister impressed that one should always surround themselves with books.

    My dad is a graphic designer here in Orlando. I followed him into advertising, although given current economic woes, advertising shops don't appear to be hiring! (I'm sure you can relate to professional woes.) So, uh, I will be following in his footsteps soon, hopefully. ANYWAY, he has shown me that sanity is preserved by having lots of artistic pursuits broken up by bike rides and canoeing.

    I am, admittedly, most like my mom. Granted, she's the only person in the family without blue eyes, and sure, she can hardly draw stick figures, but she is creative in her own ways. I got my decorating sense from her, as well as my desire to save cents. We are both gregarious when the social situation calls for it, and reserved when a friend just needs a listening ear. She taught my siblings and I the importance of self-education and research. I can hardly imagine being closer or more indebted to anyone else.

    Clearly I wasn't kidding when I said I'd write a novella! I enjoyed what you wrote a lot, too, I should add. OK, shutting up, now!

  2. my mom and i battled it out in middle school, became best friends in high school and have drifted apart more since I have moved out.

    I love her with all of my heart, but she is getting a little crazy and hard to handle sometimes.

    What's weird, is when I think of my family, she is the only person I think of.

  3. This is such a beautiful post Keiko.

    I've been a devoted follower of your lj since god-knows-when, and I was wondering if you could add my blog (which is newish like yours) on your list of recommendations?
    Thanks so much!
    - Robbin

  4. I think the most obvious bond is between my sister and I. The people at the grocery store, the corner store, the movie store and random strangers notice it. We live across the street from one another (she watches me walk home from her balcony late at night), we hang out all the time, and we even work for the same company and have offices next to each other. I know one of us is going to move eventually, and I don't know what I'll do then. It's been awesome the last 3 years living so close, always having a play partner. Always having someone who will dye my hair, or trade clothes with me, or walk to work with me. I'll miss that when the day comes.

  5. Hmm, I hope to one day look like my mother when I grow up. She's 60 but her skin looks so fresh and glowing all the time. She's the most beautiful woman I know. Everyone thinks she's 40.

    Off topic: You know whose blog you will probably like?Liebemarlene @blogspot. I am an avid follower of both your blogs and you both have a love for vintage.

  6. Bea - I have her on my list of recommended links! Small world! I started reading her blog somewhat recently.

  7. Oops, that was me - I was signed in under the other blog.

    Elizabeth - is your dad freelance or does he work for a firm? I wonder if he and my friend Jeremy have crossed paths. And about having a functional family - that's something to be proud of. I think it's wonderful. I can't say we're a functional family, but we're interesting and pretty tight-knit, so it works out.

  8. Preto,

    I will definitely add you to the list:)

    Shannon - you and your twin live across the street from one another? I bet that confuses people. haha

  9. That's amazing that you and your mum share that - it's a very rare and special thing.
    I'd have to say that I share a very similar bond with my bestest friend. We have entire conversations with just one look and always are looking out for each other. I think that's what really makes up a good bond, to be able to trust the other person with your life and so much more.
    -Mehreen Qudosi

  10. My dad's in an agency, but assuming I'm thinking of the same Jeremy, they work at different places. Betsy knows Jeremy, or knows a Jeremy. If your Jeremy is tall, then I think we're on the same page. Orlando's a small town, when it comes down to it; I wouldn't doubt that Jeremy and my dad did cross paths, particularly if J. ever applied to work at Fry Hammond Barr.

    I swear I struggled to make that comment halfway interesting, but it's 230 a.m. and I screen printed all day. So worn out. Happy Thanksgiving!

  11. Elizabeth:

    Yes, Jeremy is pretty tall (I think he's 6'4"), so we're probably talking about the same person. I remember he knew Betsy (she worked at the Enzian, right?)

    Plus, he's a handsome devil and a talented one at that, so I feel like everyone in Orlando knows him. I feel quite inadequate whenever we're in public. haha.

  12. Keiko,
    I would just like to say that this post is sooooo very WELL expressed! beautiful....& speaking of beautiful.....THIS YOU ARE!!!! stunning!

    thanks for Sharing!

  13. Once in a while. Before we worked for the same company (a market research firm) I worked for Ticketmaster as a supervisor a block away from her work, and sometimes my employees would see her and start talking to her like she was me or vice versa. Sometimes our boyfriends get confused, especially since she cut her hair the same length as mine.

  14. Dang, yes, we know/vaguely know all the same people. I've even danced with Kim, so I don't know how I've missed you so many times! I swear, next time you're in town, I'm dragging you out to the MAC store. I have enough money to invest in better-than-decent make up, now.

  15. Elizabeth:

    One of my very dear friends, Roland, works at MAC at millenia. He is the sweetest and most beautiful person ever, and very helpful. If you make it there before I'm in town, look for him and have him help you - he's the beautiful Filipino boy with the glowing aura;)

    I'm going to try to make a day (or two day) trip to Orlando over the holidays, so I will keep in touch.

  16. this post freaked me out a little because my middle name is keiko and my mom's name is lynn anddd i have daddy issues.

  17. This was truly a beautiful post. It almost made me cry but even though I didn't, I was definitely hit in the heart. This post has so much meaning to you than we, your readers, could ever know. I'm happy that you and your mom share such a tight bond :)