When I was little girl, I loved playing dress up.
My best friend Allison's mother had a trunk full of old dresses. "From the 50's," was how Al described them, with beaded tops and flouncy skirts and lots and lots of crinoline. The movie Grease was big then and Al and I would wriggle into our dresses, add jewelry, long gloves and hobbly high heeled shoes, put the Grease soundtrack on, and dance around the house like fools. We had a pretty good routine going, where I'd run at full speed toward Al and she'd catch me and swing me to one side and then the other.
I haven't thought about playing dress up in years and if you asked me even last week what I thought was fun about it, I'm not sure I would've been able to verbalize it. Let's just say that I am not the type of person who likes to dress up.
I'm more of a pajamas/yoga pants/sweat pants type of girl. I rarely wear jewelry. I never wear heeled shoes.
Which is why I was surprised to find myself, last Saturday night, dressed up in a 1950's style dress and hobbling around in three inch heels. In public.
I blame my writer friend Natalie D. Richards for this.
We were wanting to set up a weekend writing retreat somewhere and Natalie needed to take new author photos for her upcoming book and her cousin Andi is a photographer with a studio in Marietta, Ohio, and we decided that was as good of a destination as any.
Maybe I should mention that Andi's studio is called Hot Tomato and she specializes in boudoir photography.
Hot Tomato reminded me of Allison's mother's trunk. Times 100.
In addition to the rows and rows of dresses, there was lots of jewelry
And many many shoes
I don't know what came over me but one minute I was walking through the studio wearing my grungy jeans and sneakers, and the next thing I knew someone was throwing a red and white polka dot dress over my shoulders and I was stepping into the highest heeled shoes I've ever worn in my life.
"This is crazy," I said to Natalie, who was twirling around in a black poofy dress and trying on different necklaces. "I haven't dressed up like this since I was eleven or twelve years old."
Natalie handed me a string of red beads. "Look at you," she said. "Having fun."
Well, yeah. I had to admit I kinda was.
It seemed a shame to change back into my old clothes and this was, after all, a writing retreat where one of my goals was to work on a joyful fun happy scene, and what better way to write about joy and fun and happiness than to drape red beads around my neck and wrap a fur over my shoulders and hobble as gracefully as I could manage out to dinner with my lovely friend?