I wrote a while ago about the damage I did to my daughter, Dinora’s, prom dress eight or nine years ago. I miscalculated my ability to hem such a delicate item (ON the day of the prom when she told me it was too long to go with her shoes…after weeks of my asking….) The hem was crooked and the dress was gathered in places it should be gathered! I was saved from the humiliation of being a terrible mother by a local taylor who miraculously fixed my mistake, leaving her prom dress in pristine condition.
Well, my youngest daughter, Marie, who is deaf, is going to a prom next month. This is the daughter who has always preferred to wear male clothing, even men’s bathing suits! Her theory is, if she dresses like a boy, no one will think she is a girl, so no men will “bother” her… She, of course, does not realize that at sixteen years old, she has developed in such a way that men’s clothing can no longer disguise the fact that she is a girl.
Marie had a talk with her counselor, and she actually decided she wants to wear a prom dress, which would be the first DRESS she ever wore. She was mortified at the thought of a short dress, but warmed to the idea of a full length gown. So, last weekend I took her shopping for a prom dress, every mother’s dream activity to do with her growing daughter. Again, my dream activity quickly turned to a nightmare, but then I was again saved from disaster.
The day started out fine as we went to the mall. Marie led the way to a major store she knows I have a credit card to. (Thus my laments that I “have no money” would be moot to her.) The gowns were dazzling bright with sequins and frills, but not enough fabric to cover Marie’s “growing” body. She ran from rack to rack, picking out modest gowns to try on. Looking at the size 11s, I knew she was not going to fit into them. In the dressing room, she kept asking me to help her zip them up. I tried to explain to her they were too small, but she accused me of not helping her enough! We had an argument in the dressing room and she flew out in anger. We walked the length of the mall with her seething inwardly, when she spotted JC Penney, another store to which I have a credit card. We found the prom gown section, and BLESS this store…they had gowns all the way up to size 19/20. Marie, in her glory amongst the choices, found what she thought to be the perfect gown and they had it in her size. It was white with rhinestones and layers of ruffles and her eyes glowed happily as she tried it on. She looked like a bride and my eyes filled up with tears. I thought of the despair we felt as she left the previous store without a dress, and the joy we both felt as she found a dress to fit her. I say thank you to those stores who have clothes of all sizes for teenagers, especially JC Penney’s, which enabled one sixteen year old girl who is deaf to move one step closer to her date at the prom.