Easter

There’s only one reason I loved Easter as a kid—it meant getting a new dress. I was a girly girl. I liked my dresses to be twirl-worthy—the frillier the better. Going Easter dress shopping with my mother was a thrilling experience. Unlike back-to-school shopping, where practicality and uniform requirements dominated, Easter dress shopping was all about the frivolous and the beautiful.

I would enter the shop full of anticipation. The store was modest in size, but teeming with lace and frill and flower-patterned fabric. Dresses, each individually wrapped in plastic hung tightly packed onto floor racks. Even more dresses—the fanciers ones, I suspect—were mounted on the walls, their layers of tulle lavishly pressed together like flower petals. There was barely any room for people in the store, as the space was completely overrun with clothes.

Inevitably I would pick a dress in a pretty shade of pastel pink, blue, or lavender. Some years I chose a flower pattern, others I opted for smocking. But every year my ultimate goal was the same: to find the fullest skirt, capable of the most impressive lift upon twirling.

Come Easter Sunday, I felt like royalty. I would be wearing my new dress for the first time, having kept it safe until its debut under its plastic skin from the store. If my feet had grown recently, my new dress would be paired with brand-new patent leather shoes, rubbed with just a dab of baby oil to make them even more shiny. I’d carry a matching patent leather purse, empty except for some change to put in the church offering, one of my dad’s handkerchiefs, and a tube of strawberry-scented ChapStick. My hair would be adorned with ribbons and barrettes to match my dress. Also on my head would be one of the hats my grandmother in Grenada had crocheted for me—a hat my father would spend hours starching in the backyard.

My only Easter Sunday discomfort was wearing stockings. I hated them. They made my legs itch, and they were so difficult to get on. And once on, they never fit quite right, but always sort of hung between my legs like the webbing on the feet of a frog. They were almost as uncomfortable as the long church service I’d have to sit through. But I was happy to endure both for the pleasure of getting dressed up like a princess, twirling in my ample skirt, and feeling my most beautiful.

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3 thoughts on “Easter

  1. I was jus reminiscing about Easter dress shopping the other day. I loved my pastel dress, white patent leather shoes and straw hat with matching ribbon. My mom used to put my thin poker-straight hair in sponge curlers overnight so that I would have “Shirley Temple” curls in the morning.

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  2. Easter dresses were the bane of my childhood existence. I just hated them and the fact that for my first years I was wearing some kind of matching or coordinating dress/outfit as my older sister. Even now I look at the pictures and cringe. I wish there had been some girly girl in me then. If that were the case, there might be some traces of femininity left in me other than my insatiable appetite for romance novels…the clean ones of course.

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  3. Pingback: Family Meals | Write Away

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