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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Edited by: Sahana Inuganti

I opened the car door and was going to sit down when my aunt interrupted me; she told me to sit on the right side. It was a weird request lacking context; I just made a face and listened to her. As soon as we were seated, she told me that she always sits on the left side. I had never noticed this detail before and googled why passengers should sit on the left side of the car. I had never made this observation in eighteen years of knowing her and wanted to find out the reason behind this decision on my own accord. A bunch of articles about the relationship between seating and passenger death in car accidents came up; there was no mention of sides, just that sitting on the rear seat is often safer than sitting on the front seat. 

I searched a bit more and nothing came up. I asked her later and the reason surprised me, I never even considered a personal story behind something so inconsequential. She grew up in Kuwait which was a left-handed driving country; she used to sit behind her father— my grandfather when he used to drive. This habit has stayed with her, she doesn’t feel comfortable sitting anywhere else. I asked her if she was reminded of him every time she sat on the left side. She smiled and answered “Sometimes, when someone sits on my side. On most days you forget the origins of your habits or the objects you possess and take their presence for granted. Although, it’s good to be reminded from time to time— who doesn’t love nostalgia?”

I became nostalgic and went through all of my possessions and those owned by my family. I was glad that even if I didn’t have a preference for a particular side of the car, at least I had a preference for certain objects. So here’s a deep dive into the two objects I cherish the most and the history behind them. 

  1. Portrait of a woman*3 

A few years ago, my aunt bought a painting which she then hung in her dining room. I had no say in the choice of the painting and didn’t make too much of it for a long time. (I know I have really bad observational skills and desperately need to improve my abilities, please send some advice— thank you) 

I have always liked the painting, ever since I saw it for the first time. It has strokes of bright colours and isn’t very abstract; it is a painting of three women with a chaotic background. Over time, I started associating the women in the painting with the women in my life — my sisters and I. The three of us have been inseparable since birth; they are the only constant I’ve had since my childhood and I cannot see a life without them. 

I want this painting to be a constant too and witness more fights and conversations over the dinner table, just in a different location over time (hopefully, the dining table in my house). My sisters— if you are reading this, I love you but please remember that I am the rightful inheritor of this painting.  I have even written an article on it now— the odds are in my favour. 

  1. Shorty-skirty 

Shorty-skirty is not a legitimate word, but it is a legitimate clothing item. The actual term for it is a divided skirt— a pair of shorts which look like a skirt on the outside. We found it in a bag filled with my mom’s childhood clothes and she gave it to me. Honestly, it is hideous— it consists of a chequered design in four different colours namely— red, blue, green and black. The cherry on the cake is the childlike embroidery on the front side of stars, flags and tic tac toe games. 

My family members hate it, except my mother. My aunt asks me to change as soon as she spots me wearing it. My father threatens to tear it off from time to time and my sister comments that someone from the fashion industry would suffer a heart attack if they see that garment. My mother loves it and nicknamed it shorty-skirty, it just gives the skirt a fun vibe. I love wearing it, it is super comfortable and makes my mom happy. I’ve gotten it with me to college and sometimes wear it when I’m alone in the room. I don’t like wearing it very often because it invariably reminds me of home, comfort and my family— everything I live away from.

I am a self appointed food critic, enthusiastic event planner and certified packer. I love dogs, mismatched clothes and the colour yellow.
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