Back when I was a college freshman I took a trip with my main gay, J. My first time in the big city. I was so excited and more than ready to take NYC by her cheeks and kiss her on the lips. Dressed as glamour mechanics (right?) in matching grease monkey jumpsuits, painted makeup, red bandanas and silver lace up boots, we boarded the plane. What was everyone looking at? We looked good! On our first night there I learned never to trust anyone named Neko near your open nostrils (close call) and we met the most amazing drag queen I've ever met named Jaqueline who taught me how to properly eat a bagel with cream cheese. She shrieked as though being killed when she saw me get the butter knife out to spread the cheese. "Oh honey, no no no no no. Give that to me. Let me show you. Like a sandwich." I loved her.
But mostly I learned that I was a brave girl. I ruled NYC for four days and five nights dressed as a psycho soccer baby or in my shimmering silver mini dress. I came home with not a single picture from that maiden voyage to the city I love. Not one. We were too busy eating up the scenery dressed in our finest club gear, slipping into club after club and pretending like we lived there. But what I did come home with was an electric blue see through polyurethane jacket. That I opened a credit card for. And spent way too much on. But when you are on Christopher St. for the first time in your life, it's magical. Between sex shops and shops about sex and peep shows and bondage stores, you just might discover a shop filled with polyurethane clothing (and cages) calling to your 21 year old self like a siren in the night. That jacket was a dream.
The jacket never really worked back in my home town. It was a city jacket. It was never meant for small town America. It was hot and made me sweat bullets every time I put it on. It made an appearance at a few clubs but mostly it stayed in my closet as a reminder of four days in my life where I felt larger than life.
The jacket has been lost for years. It lives only in my memory now. And when I think about it, it glows. I miss it.
I have been trying to regain my fanciness. I am taking baby steps. I cut my hair. I shower many times a week and I have been trying to put on a little make up recently too. I've started to make some shopping trips to build up a wardrobe that includes more than t shirts and yoga pants. It's slow going and I have to be very frugal as money is tight but I'm determined to keep on. And when I walked into the local discount clothing store recently, I had a moment. Turning the sunglasses display, I saw them. I think a light may have shone down on them. Enormous and electric blue. Instantly I thought of the jacket. I hadn't thought of her in a very long time. My heart leapt for minute and I knew I had to have them. The $3.99 price tag didn't hurt. I put them on and instantly felt fancy. And a pang of sadness. I missed feeling like this. It has been a long time. Becoming a mom is my greatest dream come true. But I cannot lose sight of that fancy girl in New York City. Because she is also me. We are both me.
So that night I wore my new sunglasses out to dinner with Daddy, Pants and Plum. Both kids stared at me with eyes of wonder as if to say, "Whoa mom, what's up with your face?". I'd peer out from behind the glasses and say "Hi!" to remind them that their mama was behind the giant blue orbs. Sitting down to dinner, I push the glasses up to my head. Mr. Pants stares at them for a while. Hops down. Saunters over and begins jabbering to me in Pantsinese. Clearly English words were failing him in light of this amazing discovery he had made. Slowly his hand reaches up to my new sunglasses. "ud-go?", he says as he cautiously takes them from atop my head. "ud-go?", he says again as he gingerly slips them onto his own face, hops down and heads back to his seat. The mom in me loving him like crazy for finishing his dinner with my gigantic glasses on. The mom in me can't fault the kid for wanting some fanciness too. And the fancy girl in me making a plan to head back to that store to buy up the other four pairs of those glasses. So that both parts of me can breathe easy.
Have you found a way to feel fancy after having kids? Are you still searching?