I'm technically a Jew, if you're late to this party. So I had no idea little girls do a full-out veil for their communions until I received this kids' catalog yesterday and flipped through it, looking for sundresses that I could still fit into. This is some next level bridal dress-up:
These pictures made me realize that I never played bride as a kid. I occasionally played wife, which was the game where I yelled at my friend's brother Lloyd about how he wasn't holding up his end of the housekeeping in our Little Tikes studio cottage. The romance in that situation wasn't about the dream of finding another person to share my life with. It was about daily drudgery. Like, I couldn't believe that I had so many dishes to do and Lloyd had only brought home two plastic eggs from the market and now we were obviously going to starve and die, and that was exciting. My fondness for that game developed into my understanding that a real relationship is about nonstop arguing, a fantasy I couldn't shake until about three years ago.
But I just never dressed up as a bride as far as I can remember. Every single one of my dress-up outfits was about pretending to be a slut, a real free-spirited lady about town. I'd be like, "Hey, yeah, hold your horses Tyler [imaginary discothèque partner], let me just throw on this sequin bikini top and these Body Glove shorts with some heels and let's go tear this town a brand new asshole!" And then I'd pretend-meet another love interest [non-existent] on the dance floor [my twin bed, brass frame] and we'd go home together, making out in front of Tyler's face. From religiously watching an 80's Saturday night dance show whenever my parents left me with a babysitter, my fantasy of adult life had begun to shape around the belief that I was just killing time until I could go perform erotic routines on L.A. club dance floors, flash a ton of side boob, and fool around with a revolving stable of male dancers, but only ones who had spectacular city light views from their all-glass bedrooms. That was what I was really looking forward to about getting old.
I mean, take a look at what I chose to wear on my Bat Mitzvah place cards. I was twelve by this point, so dress-up was something that had become appropriate only on Halloween or in celebration of Jewish womanhood, but I remember wishing that this top showed a little more cleave and wishing that I could make that tail into a miniskirt for school. (I also remember being really happy that I owned a matching scrunchie). (P.S. I wrote that rhyme on the right. You could already see I was going to be a huge fucking writer.)
So it's still upsetting to me that when I did finally hit club-going age, I discovered that there was really nowhere I wanted to be less than a club and that I had little to no desire to visit the "Tylers'" houses - and more than that, really no patience for strangers and really no sense of adventure. I earnestly tried to get into the life for a second somewhere around 2002, frequenting Club A.D., described in this way on "ClubZone":
"A giant, medieval castle/cathedral-style dance den with three bars, a smoking patio and waterfall...Sexy Ladies, NBA Stars, music and Film stars, and the Top DJ's every week. The dress code is strickly enforced for guys, no jerseys, jeans or athletic gear. Ladies just look sexy."
And it's hard for me to accept that I don't remember seeing a waterfall because I genuinely love a water feature. But I appreciated the invitation to "just look sexy," and yes, absolutely, I did put on some of the outfits I'd been mentally pulling together since I was seven. I brought out the tropical green halter dress and I left the bra at home. I took my see-through white tank for a spin with velour pants that had a barely vagina-level rise. On some nights I even heated up my old crimping iron, just to get back in that magical headspace when all the world was waiting for me to come seduce it with a high kick.
It's disappointing when you realize that a fantasy you had of a future existence has no correlation to your true leanings. To who you are. I felt exactly this way when I pictured myself as a social butterfly at college and then realized my first night there that all I wanted to do was take advantage of the high-speed Internet (we'd had dial-up in my childhood house) and nap. I used to love to pretend to do the dishes and now I let them pile up until Brent's forced into doing something about it. But before I get too melancholy that the whole dream slipped away, I'm able to remind myself that I never feel better, clothing-wise, than when I'm in a little sundress that allows for a significant amount of side boob. In fact, that's exactly what I was looking for as I flipped through the catalog, a dress just slightly too small for an adult.