My Aunt: a Narrative Reflection

Left-brained, factual, logical description

My aunt is a grey haired lady of 53 who lives with my uncle in a big four-bedroom house in Redstone. She is taller than most women at nearly six foot, and has remained quite slim. She has a large nose and intelligent, pale blue eyes, and she wears reading glasses around her neck on a gold chain. Her un-dyed grey hair has not been styled for years, but she ties it back with a neat clip. She works in the local school as a counsellor, and until recently she would cycle the six miles to get there.

Right-brained, intuitive, creative desciption

I have never met anyone who is as confident as my aunt. She is an extrovert and expresses her opinions with strength and conviction. She is completely individual, certainly eccentric, and simply does not care what other people think. One evening last summer we went to the theatre, and decided to take the bus back home. My aunt cut past the crowd of people waiting at the bus stop and peered into the adjacent rubbish bin to pull out a newspaper. She said with a big smile to everyone, “I am a print-aholic. I must be reading something. Look at this newspaper, it’s hardly been opened!”

She is not in the least bothered by fashion, but she has a large wardrobe of interesting clothes, bought mainly from charity shops. She chooses autumnal tones and earthy shades, and interesting textures like crushed velvet and tweed. My uncle buys her jewellery made from gemstones, coral and amber, which she wears if she remembers to get it out of the box. Some of her clothes could be decades old. One evening, we went out for a meal, and the dark green silk blouse that she was wearing suddenly shredded across her back as she stretched across the table to reach for the bread. She and my uncle just laughed.

In writing this I start to wonder what the children at school think of her. I can’t imagine how she works as a counsellor with teenagers. Do they laugh at her behind her back? Do they mock her for her weird, unfashionable clothes? But thinking of her calm manner, unfazed by anything, and her bright intelligent eyes, I’m beginning to see what a wonderful role model she is, teaching the children to confidently tread their own path.

Reflections

I was a bit bored with the factual/statistical description and moved on to the creative bit as soon as possible. I found I wanted to exaggerate and make her even more eccentric than she is. I wanted to make fun of her, laugh at her a little bit, probably because I get embarrassed by her old clothes when they fall apart, or when she digs into rubbish bins. I projected my need to laugh at her onto the students. The realisation that she could be a role model rather than a figure of fun was quite an eye-opener for me.

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