Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I am SO NOT a Southern Belle

When I was a little kid, my mother dressed me as a flower for Halloween. I was only about five, but I still remember it more vividly than any other costume I’ve ever had. She took a green leotard and sewed red felt petals all around the collar. I wore green tights and dainty little ballet slippers, and the other mothers “ooohed and aaahed,” when she proudly showed off, “Her little flower.”

I hated that costume.

I was not a flower. She tried valiantly to make me one, buying me pretty dresses and making the floufy little things with her own two hands. She even wrestled me into wearing a few of them, but they never stayed pretty for long. I had two older brothers and I wanted to play ball, jump off the roof into the pool, and play with their star wars toys – and not just the Princess Lea ones, either. I was not a flower.

The slippers had no traction and the only good thing about them was that I could get them off quick as lightning and pummel my brothers with them for laughing at me... and they didn’t leave marks – ha. I can remember that Halloween because I had to stand and be admired while desperately itching to get down the block to the house that gave out the full size Snickers bars before all the good loot was gone.

When my daughter was in Kindergarten, I made her costume, too. She was the Lollipop Princess from Candyland. I made her a yellow jumper and painted lollipops all around the trim, and added the three lollipop buttons to the top. I made her a crown from Styrofoam wreaths wrapped in yellow ribbon and hot glued real lollipops on top.

My daughter has very thick wavy hair, so it took about an hour to pin it all up and I sprayed it all pink... she looked adorable for school... Oddly enough, she didn’t want to wear that costume the next night for the costume party at the Parish. She insisted on being a cowboy. At the time I was sure she didn’t want to spend all that time on the hair... it wasn’t until this year that I caught the connection...

A few weeks ago, we were looking online to get ideas for her costume. She didn’t like anything. She’s eleven and at her age the costumes are, sad to say, either trampy or stupid. Zooming along, I caught sight of a “southern belle” costume, designed like Scarlett’s dress from the barbeque... the white with green trim thing... and I clicked on it, opening up the picture to full screen and “oooohing and aaaahing”... to which my daughter replied:

“I am SO NOT a southern belle!”

She rolled her eyes and walked away and by the next day she decided she wanted to be a hobo... okay, I’m a little hard-headed and I still wasn’t getting it. I mean, fine, I get the not wanting to be girly... yeah, I’m there with ya...

So yesterday, I get a sheet from the school about all of the things that are unacceptable for Halloween. And I’m still a little worried about the hobo thing because I’m not sure how it’ll look and wouldn’t she rather have store bought than thrown together? And yes, I’m a hard-head...

Me: You know, the school has all of these rules about what’s acceptable for your costume. Are you sure we can’t just go buy you one?

Daughter: What kind of rules?

Me: You know, nothing with weapons or drugs or alcohol...

Daughter: I’m not going as a drunk. What, do they have something against poor people?


So you see my dilemma here? My eleven year old is obviously smarter than I am... I swear, she clears my perspective and teaches me something new all the time... I’m helping her find a flannel this afternoon... I wonder which jeans to fill up with patches.

19 comments:

Stephen Parrish said...

This post is sorely lacking PICTURES. Otherwise, fine job. Keep up the good work.

Merry Monteleone said...

Hi Stephen,

I'll ask my mom if she has any of me as a flower... though all of our pictures were out of focus, as I recall... my mother wasn't that good with a camera.

I have a ton of the little lollipop princess but I'm a little skittish about posting any of my kids on an open blog. I'd be happy to email you a few, though.

Precie said...

I dig this! That might be my October motto..."I am SO NOT a Southern Belle!"

'cause really I'm NOT.

Precie said...

And good for your girl highlighting the intricacies behind depictions of the homeless! SMART GIRL!

Merry Monteleone said...

Hey Precie,

I'm SO not, either...

She's a bright one. When she was nine she mused about why there are no girls in major league baseball:

"'probly some stupid boy made up that rule...grrrr"

Travis Erwin said...

Reading this I smiled all the way through. I too blogged about costumes today, but unlike you I posted pics. Where's my pat on the back Stephen?

Colleen_Katana said...

Aww, she IS smart! Watch out...that one may end up in politics one day

Merry Monteleone said...

Hey Travis.

Great minds think alike! I'm on my way over to see what you've posted :-)

Hi Colleen,

Ironically, she's recently decided that she wants to be a politician! She says she'll be the first politician that doesn't lie... a good thing all around, but it probably won't get her the votes :-)

sex scenes at starbucks said...

I'm not girly either, nor is my daughter. It's funny how my prom queen mom so tried to turn me into one. But alas, I'm cursed with artistic open-mindedness and a more masculine sensibility...And I too have two older bros.

I recall Mom wanted me to wear a crinoline under my wedding dress.

Rushing over to visit Travis now...

I refused.

Merry Monteleone said...

Hey SS@S,

That seems the norm among my female friends, too, most of us were tomboys, or at least not so into the foofy fashion stuff.

My daughter's gorgeous, and she couldn't care less. She'd rather look goofy or silly and get a laugh than be impeccable. I hope it stays that way.

Ello said...

That's a priceless story! I am SO NOT a Southern Belle either! I am so high fiving your daughter when I see her!

See I have the opposite problem, I have 3 girls who want me to sew pretty things for them even though I'm a tomboy that can't sew for shit!!!!

Precie said...

Merry--Any word from the WOW contest? Nothing to report here. Except that I hate waiting.

Merry Monteleone said...

Hi Ello,

Ah, yes, yours should get to be a huge problem when they start fighting to the death over clothes :-)

And any time you're near Chicago, let me know!!! that would be great fun!

Hi Precie,

No word yet. Do they notify you if you haven't placed, or is it just a matter of notifying the winners?

Precie said...

I'm not sure. Sigh.

Merry Monteleone said...

Hey Precie,

Don't sigh yet. They said in the email that they asked the agent judge to have her decisions by the third week of October - which ends tomorrow. They might not be following up with submissions until next week.

At least that's what I'm going with :-)

Precie said...

You have a much more optimistic view of life than I do. ;)

Merry Monteleone said...

Precie,

Nah, but I fake it good :-)

jerseygirl89 said...

I LOVE those comments. She sounds like such a cool kid. And here I am stressing that the almost four year old will be nothing but a princess. And last year? Also princess. And the year before? Also princess. It was only the year that she was 11 months old that she wasn't a princess. And that's only because I didn't give her an option that year.

Merry Monteleone said...

Hey Jersey,

Princesses are 'cool' until about first grade... For me, I gave her a round about choice but I think I more or less picked the costumes until later...

This year - hobo (all her choice)

fourth grade - pirate wench (had to buy the stupid costume two sizes too big because there's no way my 10 year old was going anywhere in a half shirt - what idiot designs these things?)

third grade - witch (also her choice, the only reason her face wasn't green was because her face broke out from the makeup)

second grade - police woman... she would have picked police man because she hated the dress, but they were out in her size.

first grade - fairy princess, my mother made the dress and her hair was in many different braids and sparkly... my choice obviously, she switched to the standby cowboy thing for the school party because she hates sparkly.

All kids are a little different - I wouldn't have liked the sparkly thing, either, I'm still trying to figure out why I was lobbying so hard for her to be girly...