my girlie-girls...and halloween
Anyone who knew me as a child knows that I despised anything girly. One time, I believe it was kindergarten, my mother put me in a dress. I tried to talk her out of making me wear it. My mom stood strong. And, just so you know, when I was five it's possible that I was more of a talker then than I am now with a couple of cocktails in me. It was a battle of the wills. One in which my mother was winning -- and I say winning because I was still wearing the dress and despite my threats I was still going to school in it -- until it came time for me to leave for school.
"I'm not going."
"Yes. You. Are."
And she put me out on the front porch and closed the door.
OK, anyone who knew me then knows the one thing I hated as much -- maybe even more than -- dresses were tears. I stood out on that porch and WAILED. I wailed for what seemed like hours. I think my mother was probably trying her version of the sleep training technique: standing on the other side of the door, pulling out her hair, and telling herself "DO NOT OPEN THAT DOOR OR YOU'LL NEVER EVER GET HER IN A DRESS!"
Well, I won! And it was a major victory. Not only did I get to go upstairs and put on my favorite Sears dungarees and my favorite green t-shirt, I didn't have to walk to school.
Cut to 32 years later. And I am the mother of twin girls who love, who relish, who derive giddy pleasure from all things girly. There's no arm-twisting or bargaining here. Not only do my monkeys dress up: they layer it on.
Zoe wears either a hat or a wedding veil we picked up at the 99 cent store, sunglasses, ONE earring, a scarf, a toule skirt under an old slip that's pulled up just above her "breast milks", and (the topper) a cute knit monkey purse which she wears dangling on her back (as she likes to say, "I've got my monkey on my back"). Occasionally, she'll top it off with a smear of lip gloss which is everywhere but on her lips. Her look is half eccentric old lady and half homeless tramp.
Ella is singularly focused. She likes to be "boo-tee-full". She has several outfits which she feels fit the bill. And she changes into them in 45 minute intervals. Her outfits are more traditional. A dress (she has five or six), a pair of the "high heels" (my mom got them a kid-sized selection of moulded-plastic fancy shoes that would make Imelda Marcos proud!), an accessory (necklace or scarf), and then chooses a handbag out of the basket. Or, she'll dress down: a grass skirt (made out of shredded green plastic) with nothing underneath. Let me tell you, those little cheeks never looked so cute!
Then they parade around the house - dancing, singing, telling stories -- and put on their own vaudeville show. Yea, they're hams.
OK, so those are my girlie girls. Who, I say with hope and pride, can execute an NFL-caliber open field tackle.
Do you remember, before the girls were born, how adamantly opposed we were to Disney & Barbie & all those big-name marketing-driven, pollute-the-minds-of-our-children products? Well, all I can say is: we tried.
When asked, "What do you want to be for Halloween?" Without one iota of hesitation here's their responses.
And, yes, we paraded right over to Party City and plopped down $11.99 a piece for a Cinderella and a Tinkerbell costume. So yea we forked over our hard-earned dollars to those corporate corrupters so our children can pretend to be Cinderella and Tinkerbell. And, me, the kid who hated dresses, will be proudly parading my girly-girls around the neighborhood.