Friday, October 17, 2008
Sequins in Bulldog Purple
My daughter has a new sequined and organza ruffled purple dress. I know it sounds garish, or Barney-ish, but it's not. It's beautiful, and even prettier because she paid half. She's planning to wear it to her first college formal, the first week in December, on the arm of her new college boyfriend. (Let's hope the boyfriend lasts as long as the dress. We all know how that can go.) At Truman State University, purple is the color of their Bulldog mascot. It's fitting, I think, that for her first college formal, she's wearing Bulldog purple sequins.
We got the dress today on an unexpected afternoon shopping trip. She drove into town, with the boyfriend, to get her beloved retainer fitted. She stepped on her retainer a few weeks ago and had a new one made; the fitting was the last step. So, while she was in town and boyfriend was getting a haircut, we fit in some shopping time for a few "necessities." Should sequins have been on that list? I think not, but it was fun. Better than fun. It was wonderful.
I am getting used to the idea of my daughter being at college. Truth be told, I have done pretty well with the whole transition, and you readers already know. I'm getting to sleep before 2 am these nights, and I like it. She's happy. She's loving her life, and making plans. I'm thrilled for her, and have had no problem filling the daily time that was taken up by child #1 with either child #2 or a host of other work or activity. But, out of the many things I do miss about my daughter, there is one special activity that we shared, I realized this afternoon, that I have been longing to do with her. No, it's not gardening, or arts and crafts, or volunteering, or exercising. I have to confess. It's shopping.
I want you to know, I'm not talking about over-the-top, eye-glazing spending frenzy. I'm talking about Marshalls, and TJMaxx, and Target. Okay, sometimes Express, because they have really good sales. But the best shopping, by far, is the shopping for formals. I love going shopping for dances, and I always have. Maybe it's because some of my favorite memories of time spent with my mom were shopping trips for dances. Maybe it's because there's such an air of possibility in these shopping trips; this could be the best dance ever. The date could be perfect, the night could be perfect- the dress should be perfect, too. Fit for a queen, or a princess at the very least. There's a Cinderella quality to preparing for a formal, minus the singing birds and sewing chipmunks, that just can't be replicated when shopping for jeans and sweaters. No, shopping for dances is my specialty; my area of expertise. And, very often, the downfall of my checkbook.
We have a closet full of dresses. We started our dress collection in seventh grade with Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, which were so much fun they made our United Methodist daughter want to convert, and we haven't stopped since. Six years later, of course, those dresses are long gone. They have been replaced. We McKones may not live in the lap of luxury, but by God, we've got a lending library of dresses. Formal, semi-formal, sequined or just sleek, long, short, we've got 'em all. Not super-expensive, but super-fun and always available. It is my goal that every dress be worn at least twice. Four or five times- I'm a happy camper. Let's use them up, ladies, that's what they're here for. And when we're done with them, if they haven't been lost into someone else's closet, it's on to charity. Plenty of use left! During Prom and Homecoming seasons during high school we often had sessions in which my daughter's friends would come and try on the dresses they'd most like to borrow- first come, first served. It's a good idea, and my daughter has borrowed quite a few (thank God) through the years, too.
I wondered what would happen when my daughter left for college. I hoped she'd have formals to attend; she does. I'd hoped she and her friends would trade and share dresses; they will. But, they have to have a few starter dresses, don't they? Seeds for the formal garden, so to speak? We had a lovely afternoon of getting the necessities: sorority required black skirt, new cardigan, shampoo. But, we also merged into the world of college dances with a sparkly, swingy Bulldog purple dress that I'm quite sure will make an appearance at every dance Truman State holds this year on one girl or another. Like sands through the hour glass, so the tradition continues.
We are doing are part to keep the economy strong, one sequin at a time.