3144. I recall my first experience of the awareness of the difference in taste manifested in the interior decoration of my relative’s homes. My Aunt and Uncle lived in duplex in the ground floor apartment. In the driveway was parked their 1957 DeSoto. Neither the fact that my uncle drove a DeSoto, or that they lived in an apartment made any impression on me at all.
The DeSoto, and the duplex must have, for me, fallen into the normal
variation in things, but in the bathroom there was a shower curtain. The
shower curtain was gray, and had a large pink flamingo on it. I can
remember very distinctly thinking to myself, “My mother would never put
up a shower curtain like this in our bathroom.”
If, at Christmas, somebody gave my mother a pink flamingo shower
curtain she would have seemed to be very pleased with it, but later she
would have thrown it into the trash. But that is not exactly correct
because, since my mother was always worried about money, she would have
set it aside to sell for fifty-cents in a tag sale.
3147. But my mother, and my aunt and uncle with the duplex and the DeSoto were from the same background and economic situation. They were all children of the great depression, and were consequently branded with obsessive frugality and pessimism, the result of too many dinners consisting of only potatoes.