A few weekends ago, L and I went on a walk and stumbled upon one of the neighborhood parks in our area. There was a child's birthday party going on, and so we took a seat and watched the kids interact and play. If you have never done this, I highly recommend it. Sometimes there is nothing more entertaining.
There was a group of four or five-year-olds on top of the slide shouting at each other and screaming as they made their way down. One of them, a girl with a short bowl cut, had on a yellow spring dress that was obviously uncomfortable on her. She tugged and pulled and lifted her dress so many times that you would think she was trying to get rid of a bee buzzing underneath it.
'Come on!' one of the kids shouted at her from bottom of the slide. 'Come down!'
'I can't!' she cried. 'This stupid dress! I hate dresses!'
Man, I thought to myself. I hear you my little friend. I hear you.
I wouldn't call myself a tomboy (I'd have to be better at sports for that), but I am certainly not a girly-girl. I have next to no fashion sense, which I blame on ten years of Catholic school uniforms, and my taste in shoes is... well, you remember.
So yesterday morning, when it was brought to my attention that it would be nice if I wore a dress to an upcoming event, I panicked. I imagined having to wear a strapless bra, about as comfortable for me as a root canal. Then I imagined having to show the two foot white columns that technically pass for my legs. And then, the eptiome of all I am against, the very essence of what is wrong with our society's expectation of female beauty: high heels.
No! I wanted to say, just like the girl on top of the slide. I hate dresses!
Begrudgingly, I went shopping yesterday afternoon. My intent was to buy work clothes, but I ended up with a dress to wear to the event. I will have to wear a strapless bra (damn), show my legs (double damn), and high heels (triple damn). But dammit all, I'm going to do it.
So a woman in her thirties looks at that girl standing on top of the slide, fidgeting with the expectations this world has put upon her and says, 'Sometimes... some people... are worth the trouble.'
Then she teaches her how to sit on her dress, pull the hem up under her legs with both hands, and slide anyway.