All Dressed and Ready?

Friday night Harrison and his girlfriend Bianca attended the Junior Class semi-formal.  They both looked fabulous.  While they each, with the aid of their mothers, had to put some time and effort into their outfits, I think it is safe to say that Bianca and her mother spent a good deal time more than did Harrison and his mother.   I hope I am not talking out of turn when I share that they logged several hours scouring a fifty mile radius for the perfect dress which, truthfully,  sounds about right to me. The first perfect dress was ordered in a size unavailable in the store (aside: in my world, there should not be a size 0 – which is what she needed – available anywhere!)  however, when it arrived in the correct size (yep, you read it right: a size 0) it was no longer perfect.  I believe the word Bianca used was “horrible”.  After the brief period of hysteria wore down, the second perfect dress presented itself on a rack at Lord & Taylor and was indeed perfect. (In fairness, Bianca could wear the garment bag in which the dress arrived and look fantastic but she opted to wear the emerald colored off-one-shoulder number instead.)  I have to assume (and this is pure speculation) that there may have been a little bit of drama leading up to the big night. Having been a 17-year-old girl I know how these things go.  And, if you don’t believe me, just ask my mother.  Anyway…

Harrison’s preparation was far simpler, but not without effort.  He had a perfectly good suit hanging in his closet, but given the fact we purchased it for him for his Bar Mitzvah, we were fairly certain that it wasn’t going to fit.  Off we went to the BOGO suit sale at a nearby men’s store.  Knowing full well that Harrison would not need more than one suit, we took Rich along and he got one, too.  As with all such sales, you pay for the higher priced of the two, get a second suit that no one really needs and, voila, you have a bargain.  Too bad Rich’s choice happened to be the only $600 suit in the store.  (Aside: when the clerk totaled the bill, Rich made a grumbling remark about Harrison not needing a $600 suit.  Um…oh, snap.)  While there, Jessie and I (armed with an iPhone picture of Bianca’s dress) pulled about thirty ties in search of one that wouldn’t be “matchy” but also wouldn’t clash before concluding that the right one simply wasn’t there.  Note to self: find some time to go to Nordstrom and, yet again, make a clothing purchase for someone other than yourself.  (Silver lining: it wasn’t going to be a sparkly or pink purchase!)

I ultimately did find the perfect tie (and made the mistake of looking at the price tag after deciding it was just right…drat) and we were done.  All that remained was for me to remember to pick up the post-tailored suit before the big night.   The mother of the boy (me) did not have to endure any drama, sizing issues, sore feet or hunt for accessories.  Similarly, there was no need for hair, finger and/or  toe appointments.  It is a role I have played for many years and have always found (secret) comfort in the knowledge that these events would, , from a wardrobe perspective, anyway, go fairly smoothly on my end.

And then I remembered.  The days of grabbing Harrison’s outgrown dress clothes for George (n.c.i.) are, at least for the foreseeable future, over.  Gone, too, are the frantic (yet always successful) searches in the closet (often just moments before we need to leave) hoping to unearth one of the many Gap button-downs which were worn for all school pictures, holiday meals and state occasions over the past ten years.  (So much so, in fact, that there are times I look back at pictures and am unable to discern which kid it is since they both wore the same shirts, just several years apart.)  Those huge plastic bins which I dutifully packed away in the basement stocked with Harrison’s outgrown bathing suits,  snow pants, hats, and jackets based upon the assumption that they will fit his younger sibling based solely on their birthdays being just two weeks (oh, and seven years) apart?    Yeah, that, it turns out, was a waste of time.  And the days of relying on the three guys in the house needing just enough time to shower, shit and shave before needing to don said dress clothes has been reduced by one.

So now, just off the high of seeing Harrison, Bianca (and their terrific friends) conquer another of their many rites of passage, I turn to my second born and wonder how much time, drama and effort I will need to have at the ready by the time her Jr. Semi comes along. And I won’t bother saving Harrison’s suit.

Oh, and this post would not be complete without a beautiful visual:

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12 thoughts on “All Dressed and Ready?

  1. What a blessing to have such a beautiful son and a beautiful daughter. I hope you do get to see her in gorgeous style for her Jr Prom. And when you do, remember first that you are awesome parents to have raised such a lovely young girl and that, second, she is going to the prom dressed as herself, her real self, unlike so many other trans folks before. Because you loved her and because she was listened to and because you enabled her to be herself. Words cannot express how amazing it was when my wife (A transgirl herself) got dressed up to go out to an occassion and I saw, for the first time, the beautiful woman and not the shy, uncomfortable and bumbling man who I had gone to a family wedding with just a few months before. Kudos to you and may it bring all your family much joy in the coming years.

      • Thanks for being so gracious. Having now read much more of your blog I realize that all us trans and trans-hangers on are handing you advice 24/7! I didn’t mean to add to your burden but instead to cheer you on and to celebrate the love and acceptance that abounds at your house. Having walked the trans path you are walking now I know it has its ups and downs and stumbles. But most of all it is a journey of celebration – celebration of love, choice, acceptance and most of all of life! It is so wonderful to meet another person who is joyously embracing the journey that I got all over excited. 🙂 Much love and joy to you and yours, Rosie.

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