Chloe in a New Light

Chloe is a jeans teen.  She loves her jeans. She only wears jeans, except in the summer when she wears shorts. She used to like to primp, but that was when she was seven and shopping for her was an absolute nightmare.  I will never forget spending almost five hours at the mall in a tearful (she wasn’t the only one crying) quest to find a dress she’d actually be willing to wear.  I firmly believe that the trauma of trying to find “fancy” clothes she liked in 2007 turned her against dresses and skirts for the next six years.

In the words of the inimitable Bob Dylan, however, the “times they are a-changin’.” Chloe attended her first bat mitzvah last weekend.  And while she could have worn a nice pants outfit (I have to dig up the photo of me at my bat mitzvah, where I wore a very trendy pair of purple velvet knickers. I kid you not.), she expressed a willingness to shop for a dress.  With the memory of the shopping debacle six years ago still very much making me tremble with dread to this day, we went to the mall, this time with my mom, and less than an hour after arriving, she found the perfect dress. On sale.  I was gobsmacked. No drama, no tantrums (which she is still wont to throw from time to time, albeit without hysterical tears), no eye rolling.  Just smiles.

The dress hung on the door to her armoire for several weeks as the big day approached. The night before the party, she finally shaved six months’ worth of winter growth from her legs and armpits (she was very proud of the hirsute look she had cultivated under her jeans and shirts) and donned the dress for the first time on Saturday morning.  She put up her hair (also without any fuss, a non-event that was about as shocking in its non-eventness as the painless dress shopping last month), borrowed my red shoes and was ready to go.  And she was only a few minutes late.


I couldn’t believe how lovely she looked. All grown up. Happy. Animated. Relaxed. And I suddenly had a vision of her five years from now, when she’ll be graduating from high school. It’s hard to believe that six years have passed since she made me question her sanity (and my own) with the dress shopping. It’s even harder to believe that only a short five years from now she’ll be ready to leave the house for college. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, where in the hell does the time go?

After the party, Chloe admitted to enjoying playing dress-up and even expressed a desire to be invited to another bat/bar mitzvah so she would have the opportunity to wear the dress again.  The following day, she ordered a skirt. Of her own volition. This represents a milestone in her fashion evolution, as the only skirts she’s ever owned have been foisted on her by me.

While I am the last person to play into stereotypes about how my daughters should dress (this blog is called “Pink Me Not” for a reason), I must admit that I am a wee bit giddy at the prospect of Chloe occasionally wearing something other than jeans. It’s about freakin’ time.

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