>Only when absolutely inescapably necessary, like for State Occasions or crochet conferences, will you ever see me totally dressed up. I mean in a dress, with the obligatory high-heels, jewelry, accessories and make-up. Heck, most days it is rare to find me in anything but pjs. Shoes? What are shoes? Reading a few of the comments made here by my alleged friends, I feel I must defend my right to choose not to wear dresses. I can explain.
You assume I’m about to blame my mom, right? Isn’t she The Mother Who Longed for a Girly-girl and got me, the kid who ripped the bows out of her hair? Nah. I survived my childhood. The true dress-up trauma came later, much later.
For a few years during the late 80’s/early 90’s I sang in a semi-professional oldies band. No, silly, that doesn’t mean WE were oldies (although I suppose we were all more mature than your typical garage band), but that we performed oldies music. We specialized in the sounds of 50’s doo-wop and 60’s girl groups, rendering nearly note for note recreations of some of the greatest hit recordings of the era. It was bizarre fun; it was horrible torture.
Not only did we four ladies, the Dialtones, have to sing (and dance) like the Ronettes, Chiffons, Supremes, Shangri-las, Vandellas, Marvelettes, Crystals, Angels and Shirelles (to name a few) but we had to wear costumes in a style typical of girl groups of the 60’s. To our costume designer that meant over-the-top matching outfits, with different looks for every set which meant three or four costume changes a performance.
Here’s a little gallery of what I endured for my “art”, including a pink satin baby-doll number with beaded and sequined appliques, a tiny black sequined dress that I had to be sewn into, a leather skirt and chain belt (our “bad girl” look). Mercifully not shown was a tight leopard-print outfit with layers of fringe. Every gig meant five or six hours in extreme stage make-up, stuffed in an array of silly dresses, teetering on different pairs of stiletto-heeled pumps while shimmying as though I were being held captive in a go-go cage.
So, yes, I know what it’s like to be a Barbie doll. Been there, suffered wrecked ankles, won’t go again.