As a teenager I was interested in and keen on many things that were not thought to be appropriate for my gender and age. One of those, as you have read before, was flying. Another was tall ships. The majesty of those very tall ships with the multiple sails just fired my imagination. Reading about them, and about history was always very exciting for me.
You are not surprised then that for my 16th birthday I requested that lovely china cup and saucer that depicted the tall ship. And here you see it. It evokes the memory of great change.
You see I am a twin. I am an identical twin. This was a problem for my parents, and consequently they saw us as ONE of their children. Even though we are genetically identical, we have quite different personalities and have quite different interests. This confronted my parents with an enormous difficulty when gift giving time came. Their two-in-one children requested different gifts. How could that possibly be overcome? They had a budget for each of their children, and this two-in-one phenomenon was difficult to fit in. The solution was inevitably to get us something that neither of us had requested but that was at least identical and within budget.
It was confusing as a child to understand why we always had to be disappointed and then being told that we should be grateful for our gifts. This conflict caused a lot of stress and a lot of anxiety. It was not only applied to gifts, but to everything, clothes, hobbies and everything that shapes a child's life.
So, when our 16th birthday approached and my twin asked for a lacy petticoat, I could not bear the thought of having to put up with that. I put in my request, with little believe that it would be granted, but at least I would not have to put up with a lacy petticoat.
But miracles do happen! On the morning of our birthday, without any exciting expectation, we were given our gifts. Overwhelming amazement greeted me, when I saw my twin rejoice in a lacy petticoat and I was holding an amazing china cup depicting a tall ship.
It has been used, and it has a small chip in the rim to proof that, but it is very, very treasured.