Reflections on loving God, being Catholic, being a woman, being ill, loving life and anything else that comes to mind.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

More Riffing On a Theme

I am about five. Actually, I'm an adult woman and sometimes I even present myself as a sophisticated, refined, beautiful one. But most days there's not a great deal of difference between five-year old me and five-plus times five-year old me. I have a drawer filled with baseball caps. Another is filled with neat little t-shirts. I wear comfy pants or full skirts so I can tuck my feet up or sit sprawled out. Most of my shoes are flats. Many of them are beautiful but could as easily be a child's dress shoes as an adult's. Even my hair is little-girl fine and when allowed to air dry forms itself into a mass of little-girl ringlets. Recently, as I waited to meet a friend for lunch, I saw my reflection in a plate glass window and realized all I needed was a lunch box to complete the ensemble. (My friend offered to get me one for my birthday but I declined.)

Watching 50s and 60s classic TV takes me to a time when girls grew into womanhood. Wearing stockings was a rite of passage as was wearing lipstick (lip gloss did not exist). The clothing women in the '50s and '60s wore was not suitable for a little girl not because it was risqué but rather because it was mature and not appropriate for rushing about with flying hair and skinned knees. Something happened to girls so that they were not only interested in boys but also interested in taking their places alongside other adult women; girls wanted to be women like their mothers and dressing like them was an integral part of the something that happened.

I am only now beginning to experience the desire to take my place in the world as a woman. Partly, that includes dressing as a woman because I am one. Whereas I have always loved fashion, I have done so as if I am dressing paper dolls and I am the doll. It's a most interesting place to be: I have put together a wardrobe of beautiful clothes and shoes. I can go to that closet and put together an outfit for nearly any occasion. People often compliment me on what I am wearing. I have worked in fashion, am an expert seamstress and have even designed clothing for myself and others. And frequently, (in fact, as often as I can get away with it) I dress as if I am a child. Donna Reed and June Cleaver always look like women, even wearing old clothing to clean the attic. I often look like a kid even when I'm dressed for a formal occasion.

I would like there to be a difference between the way I present myself today and the way I did when I was five. It seems fitting. I don't know what I will look like - attractive, I hope. And though I love vintage pieces, I don't want to become a costumed throwback to the '50s or '60s. But I do want to grow up; it's time I became a woman.

UPDATE: 17 August 2009 By the way, this is my first embedded picture. It's so exciting (hugging myself with joy). (See, I really am five.)


Carol said...


Well, I'm 8; and almost 50 chronological years beyond that, I don't care. I'm 8. Unfortunately, I dress like a reformed harlot -- it's as close to Harriet Nelson as I ever care to get, but I've a church friend who dresses (and accessorizes) to the 9's.. Should you do that, enjoy it. Everyone else will, too.

christmasghost said...

Oh I am so glad that I found your blog [and thanks for the news tip!]because you and I must have been separated at birth!
I long for the days when people were still decent and weren't laboring under the stupid idea that the only "valid news" was squalid and depressing.
Have you ever watched the "Hazel" TV series? You just must....when politics gets to me [yes, dirty little secret, mean old me]I put on Hazel and just watch episode after episode. I also read the old [from the 30's] Nancy Drew books...
I guess underneath it all we women are all about 8 in our heads most of the time. Otherwise we wouldn't be able to muster up all the hope and faith it takes to sometimes put one foot in front of the other and do everything we have to....
I am emailing you because I think I may have some ideas for you too!