Tuesday, April 8, 2008

When Do I Get to Dress Up Again?

My cousin Michelle went to her Senior Prom this weekend. She ran around all of Saturday getting her hair and makeup specially done, then she donned this beautiful dress. Her date Casey had a matching tux. Isn't she beautiful and isn't he darling and doesn't this picture make you want to go back to high school and go to a formal dance again?

Now, I did not have the best of high school experiences and I'm generally not one who yearns to go back and relive those years. In fact I was only ever invited to one formal dance (Marilyn, I am very grateful to you for twisting his arm, despite what happened later.) But I remember the fun of fantasizing about fancy dresses and hairdos, and the excitement of spending an entire day getting ready for a very spiffy date. Then when high school was over it turned into dreaming up the perfect wedding dress. And bridesmaid's dresses. And wedding reception decorations. Et cetera.

Shortly after I was married, it hit me: that was pretty much it for playing fancy dress-up. I guess if you're lucky you might get to be matron of honor at someone's wedding, or if your husband moves in certain circles there might be some kind of formal dinner, but for me I don't foresee anything like that. The next formal event I see myself getting dressed to the nines for is the wedding of one of my children, probably 20 years from now when my hair is salt-and-pepper and I will be wearing a suit, not a darling dress like Michelle's.

So it's probably over for me. However, I am finding new things to fantasize about. Do you see that dirt in the background of the photo, next to Casey's elbow? That is the section of Glenda's backyard that the Badger ran a tiller over the very morning of the day this photo was taken. Glenda and I are going to grow a very large vegetable garden in her yard this summer and I am dreaming about all the succulent organic produce I am going to harvest from that spot in just a few months. My sixteen-year-old self would think that was appallingly prosaic. I would give her a little lecture on the beauty and miraculousness of vegetables and tell her to go re-read Unclaimed Treasures by Patricia MacLachlan because gardens are just as extraordinary as Going to Prom. She would not believe me, but I hope she would heed the advice to enjoy the ball-gown times in your life before they're gone.
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Becca said...

The only fancy dress I ever wore was my wedding dress. It cost less than $250-brand new. I could care less about fancy dresses. I did want to go to prom, but I ended up going to a luau at church instead (it was only for grown-ups, so I felt good about that, even though I was only 17). It was definately better that way. But your cousin does look nice.

Annalea said...

Oh, I don't think the days of dressing up need to be over. ;o) Why couldn't you and the Badger simply arrange a fancy dress up date? Anniversaries are wonderful times to dress to the nines . . . after all, isn't a successful marriage something far more worth celebrating than Prom?

Or arrange with some friends to go on a fancy date to a restaurant. If the men aren't going in for tuxes, they can wear their best Sunday clothes.

Here's to celebrating things that are waaaaaay better than Prom! ;o)