Easter was a big deal when I was a little girl. My mother and I always bought new dresses for Easter, my father would buy us corsages, and we’d all go off to church. Sometimes I even had a hat and gloves. Afterwards, we’d get together with some of my cousins and have lunch and an Easter egg hunt. It was all great fun.
My mother always picked out my clothes, including my Easter dresses. One year, when I was 8 or 9 years old, I decided I should have some say in the matter. We were shopping at a local store (not one of the better ones) when I spotted my idea of the perfect dress. It was light blue with white polka dots. The bodice and full skirt had darker blue bands on them, and there were little red roses appliqued along each of the bands. I think it had other geegaws and adornments also. As Easter dresses go, it was a Porter Wagoner suit. But to my young eyes, it was the most gorgeous thing I’d ever seen, worthy of any Disney princess. My mother gave in and bought it, over her objections and conservative instincts.
We always attended an outdoor sunrise service, and I was forced every year to wear a coat or sweater at my mother’s insistence. At the other end of the warm weather season, she always wanted me to wear a jacket over my Halloween costume because she always thought it would be cold. I objected to both.
Coat-clad, I sat through the outdoor service, fretting that my peacock of a dress remained covered. When we arrived at church, I gladly revealed it. I was beaming, although the thought makes me cringe today. I ran around telling everyone, “Look at my new dress!” My mother pointed out to all who heard that I had picked it out. At the time, I thought she was proud of me for doing so. Now I realize she was distancing herself from the fashion abomination, absolving herself of guilt.
Fortunately, our tastes change as we grow. Today I got up and put on a bright sweater to contrast with the sky’s dingy gray. I didn’t worry about whether I had the fanciest outfit ever. But I did pick the sweater out myself.