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The Difficulty of Falling in Love at the Age of Eleven and in Shorts

2023-12-04T09:37:49.531Z

Highlights: The Difficulty of Falling in Love at the Age of Eleven and in Shorts. Postcards from Baradero, in the 60's. Fights between the author and his mother. And a risky proposition in the town square. The streets of Paris had exploded imagining a different future for humanity. But my mother, who didn't seem to have noticed any of these modernities, made me take off my jeans (we didn't call him jeans yet) and forced me to put on my shorts to go to the square.


Postcards from Baradero, in the 60's. Fights between the author and his mother. And a risky proposition in the town square.


The streets of Paris had exploded imagining a different future for humanity, it had been very recently that Racing had been crowned world champion in Montevideo from that eternal goal by Chango Cárdenas, in just a few months two men were going to jump as if nothing had happened on the surface of the moon, there were already hippies everywhere and contraceptive pills but my mother, who didn't seem to have noticed any of these modernities, shouted me into the room, made me take off my jeans (we didn't call him jeans yet) and forced me to put on my shorts to go to the square.

It was Sunday. The sacred Sunday night in Baradero.

He had arranged to meet Vicente and Roque to go around the square. Mitre Square. The only square. At that time, in mid-January of nineteen sixty-nine, in my town on Sundays people walked around the square. A two-way walk: some marched one way and others the other. That allowed me, for example, to cross paths with Claudia a couple of times, in front of the Social Club and in front of the Sportman bar. The round also allowed me to smile at her and for her to smile at me, for us to look at each other, to look at each other again, and for both of our faces to fill with red. All in duplicate on each lap.

A few days before that Sunday, through Camila, I had proposed to Claudia that she be my girlfriend. And she had accepted. Although, of course, we hadn't talked about it with each other, we hadn't even seen each other too much.

I was screaming at my mother, in tears, who was eleven and a half years old.

But not twelve, she repeated as she forced me to change my trousers; that at twelve I could wear the long one, that at eleven and a half I still couldn't, that I was very small.

I was the same.

With my awful light green trench coat shorts pinned, the pants go out.

Full of embarrassment and knowing in advance that seeing me arrive in those pants was not going to please Vicente or Roque, the two friends with whom I had arranged and who were a couple of years older than me. However, the desire to cross paths with Claudia in the square was absolutely unpostponable: I wiped away my tears and went.

And something else about the pants.

When I was growing up, trousers were something only used by boys. Women don't. No way. That custom changed, precisely, just in those years: one fine day, shortly before the stellar irruption of miniskirts, women also began to wear pants. In the many senses that the phrase hides. Including, of course, the most visible and most ordinary of those senses.

To my town square, of course, the fashion arrived.

Federico Jeanmaire is the author of "The Gang of Poles" and several other books. On Instagram: @federicojeanmaire



Source: clarin

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