When I was about twelve, my mother decided she wanted to be a clown. She had had stationery for years with that quote from e. e. cummings at the top: "damn everything but the circus." (I'm sure that's where I got the idea for my circus songs.)
But she wanted to create her own clown persona. She took a 6 week class at the center for adult education, and came home with fancy, professional grease make up and her own clown face, her own clown name, (Stoney Baloney) a harpo marx wig and a bowler hat. Sure enough, her friend Nancy made her her very own polka dotted clown suit.
For years, whenever there was a parade in her small town in Maine, she would suit up and trail behind the school bus or the marching band, blowing bubbles for the kids that lined the street. They would follow her and play along.
This humor and whimsy is with her even now. Some days she will insist on being called Stoney Baloney.
Today I brought her some blue jeans. (Every time I see her she begs me to get her jeans like mine)
She put them on, so nervous that they might not fit. I told her it was no big deal, we could certainly take them back if they were the wrong size:
mom: "I bet you want to take me back too sometimes."
me: "No, never. I'm keeping you."
mom: "Yeah, you have to keep me because I fit."
peas in a pod.