Luanne wrote about her encounter with delegates to a Comicon event and wondered if she would have more fun if she nurtured her inner Geek and played dress-up more often. She asked, “Are you a geek or are you cool?”
In my comment to her, I said that I’m a lukewarm geek. I have to be in the right mood to dress up in costume. Even then, my effort is minimal: a token item or two – a hat and some other prop. Example: for a morale-boosting event at Bell Canada, I dressed as a spaghetti western. I wore a cowboy hat and carried a fistful of pasta. When I walked, I made spur noises, slow and menacing-like. “Ka-CHING. Ka-CHING.”
It annoyed the hell out of my co-workers.
Like Luanne, as a child I loved to play dress-up. The clothing I played with, however, was not from my mother’s closet. I turned up my nose at Mom’s sensible shoes and her floral skirt and gingham print robe. I was drawn to the costumes from my friend Lisa’s dress-up trunk. Inside were her mother’s cast-offs: clothing every colour of the rainbow, complete with sequins and lace and yards and yards of tulle.
Lisa shared most of her play clothes, but she refused to let me wear one particular cocktail dress. It was gorgeous. A shade of emerald-green to make you weep. Every time we played together, I asked to wear the green gown. Lisa was steadfast. Nope, not happening.
My dreams were dashed. What dreams, you ask? Ah. The dreams to dress like a model found on the cover of a Tampax carton.
You see, I was smitten by the mid-century models found in magazine ads and on the packaging of sanitary napkins. Whenever the family went grocery shopping I wandered away to the toiletries aisle. There I stood, transfixed. I stared at the exquisite creatures on the Modess packages until Mom finally dragged me away. It was a good day when she needed to replenish her supply, because I got to carry the box home.
Oh, how desperately I wanted whatever it was those models had. It was something beyond words, but something that the marketing execs from Madison Ave knew only too well. Wearing that green cocktail dress would fulfill that want.
Lisa’s answer never changed. If there were temper tantrums or threats of “breaking up”, I don’t recall. I think I simply grew bored with asking. Besides, I got to wear a cute turquoise number as consolation.
But I’ve never forgotten that emerald dress.
The last time I saw Lisa, she was as glamorous as her mom. I, too, take after my mother – mend and make do. The phrase, “Maggie Wilson as fashion plate” will only ever appear in this very sentence. Unlike my mom, however, I steer clear of fashion magazines and tune out advertising.
As regards monthly toiletries, if you really want to know the outcome in THAT department, I suggest you read the first several comments on this post.
Categories: Personal Growth