Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ribbons and Lace and Flounces

Once upon a time, when I was pregnant with my second child, I began making dresses, lots of frilly, beribboned, and flounced dresses. I had lots of material, a gift from my mother, and plenty of time, and so I cut and sewed and accessorized the dresses with buttons, ribbons, and embroidery. I even made a christening gown and embroidered the beautiful sleek satin. I couldn't wait for the baby to be born so I would have a little girl to dress and teach how to dress, even though I was fairly certain, with me as her mother, she would be more interested in climbing trees and building forts than frilly dresses.

On April 10, 1975, the baby was born after a fairly unexpected labor. I still had 6 weeks to go before my due date, but the amniotic sac had ripped and I was leaking fluid. Good thing that was the reason because I thought I had lost control of my detrusor muscles and was wetting myself all the time. No, it was amniotic fluid.

Several hours later I was presented with a beautiful baby with golden hair and deep blue eyes who just happened to have a perfect little penis. He was pretty enough to be a girl, but there was no doubt he was a boy and my husband was quite adamant about me putting him in the dresses I had made over all those months, even just to try them on and see how they looked. The sweater sets would also have to go into a box with the dresses until the next time I was pregnant.

The box ended up in some relatives hands who had been able to give birth to girls. I ended up with 3 boys, all of whom are very masculine males with no interest in dressing up in girls' clothes. A dream unfulfilled -- a girl wearing dresses not my sons wearing dresses.

Now I have a lovely little 2-year-old granddaughter and I've been contemplating dresses again. Frilly dresses with lace and flounces and ribbons and flourishes for Easter. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. It's just about something pretty for her for Easter. I'm looking at suits for her twin brother, Connor, too. I'm an equal opportunity grandma, but I must admit I do enjoy looking at the dresses and the little accessories and frilly underpants (although she is still in diapers) and everything girly that I never wore when I was old enough to voice my own preferences. I was a tomboy and dresses get caught on branches while climbing trees, get dirty when belly crawling in the dirt while playing soldiers or pirates, and tend to stand out when hiding in the falling dusk while playing hide-and-seek with the boys. 

I did have several dresses and I liked wearing them, almost as much as I enjoyed designing them for clients in later days. I never had the slim and svelte figure to wear the dresses I loved to look at and handle. I had a more Brigitte Bardot or Sophia Loren figure and that wasn't quite as sexy and attractive once Twiggy made the scene and everything was straight up and down; the love beads wouldn't swing the right way. Reminded me of Julie Andrews in Thoroughly Modern Millie when she got into flapper gear. I was not about to strap down my breasts either. (Julie Andrews again, this time in Victor/Victoria when she complained her breasts would end up two flat wallets because she had to strap them down to be Victor, although they were quite upstanding when she bared them in SOB. They looked quite perky -- or that was a body double with perky breasts. Nice points.)

Anyway, getting back to my situation with my granddaughter, I find that old feeling welling up inside me that wants to dress Sierra in frills and lace and flounces and ribbons and bows and soft cashmere shrugs to go with sleeveless dresses (always prepared for any weather in style). I'll probably not get her any dresses and just send a card since I cannot afford to buy dresses for my other granddaughters: Alanna, Victoria, Addison, Savannah, or Nonny. It wouldn't be fair to buy for one and not for the others and there's also the issue of buying suits for Aidan, Ian, and Jordan if I buy a suit for Connor. I guess I'll leave it up to the parents and concentrate on the funny, cute, and beautiful Easter cards I bought and have already addressed and stamped ready to go out next week in celebration of Easter, and yet I keep looking at dresses and dreaming of how they will look on my newest granddaughter.

Maybe a hat. I can afford to buy them all Easter hats with frills and lace and flounces and ribbons and bows. And maybe a discreet feather or two in pastel colors. No, hats lead to dresses and that's out.

There's always chocolate.

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