This particular Halloween is one of my earliest memories. I can even remember the smell of my mom’s Aqua-net hairspray in that bathroom. Wasn’t she gorgeous?



I’ve fallen down into that pit before and I ain’t doing it again.

I remember going to the mall with my parents and trick or treating at all the stores. This was the time when adults started to realize that letting your kids loose and running amok in neighborhoods after dark might not the bestest idea. Plus, pretty sure it was around this time some nut ball put a needle in an apple or arsenic in a candy bar or something panic worthy made the news. Thanks to public pandemonium, mall/store trick or treating was the cool thing to do that year.

One of my memory blips is walking through the mall that night. I had bells on the front of my shoes, and makeup on my face, and people kept saying, “Aw, look at her.” And let me tell you people, I felt fancy with a capitol F. I felt pretty and awesome. I had bells, and red lips and I commanded attention like Cher at a drag festival. I was important and beautiful and beloved and the prettiest clown of all time. And totally vain. Because you better believe nobody can do vain like a three year old little girl who feels fancy.

I was thinking about that particular state of emotional being the other day as I watched Jane dance around the living room in a stained t-shirt, overlapping Princess dress, jelly stained mouth and ratty hair. She was Queen Elsa, at least in her own mind, and she sang and twirled and swung her arms around like a princess and nobody, I repeat, NOBODY, could make her feel any less than perfect and fancy.

Most of the time I end up wearing something I consider passable, fixing my hair in a way that’s okay, and if perchance I end up having to break into a run I think to myself, “Sorry, surrounding Richter scales and all those having to read said Richter scales.” The fancy feelings give way to pragmatism and at times a little too much self deprecation.

So this past weekend I went shopping. I splurged and got a pair of black leggings*, and a sweater. Blingy red lips and bells on shoes it wasn’t, but I wore them and covered up my dark circles and felt a little bit fancy.

Not a lot.

But a little.

It’s harder and harder as the years go by to regain that fanciness. That confidence. That “I don’t care if I’ve got circles under my eyes and chippy fingernail polish, I’m wearing pre-pregnancy jeans and I win all the wins today and I’m beautiful people. BEAUTIFUL.”

But we all still deserve it.

Everybody should get to feel fancy.

*Those leggings will be worn with long sweaters or under short dresses. I am of the firm belief that if leggings were meant to be worn as pants, they would be called pants. And that’s my opinion. And I feel fancy about it.



  1. Crystal says:

    Halloween of 1974. Timothy O’Bryan was intentionally killed by his own father with poisoned Halloween candy. The other stories of razors in apples, etc., are urban legends based of this one horrific event.

    I hope Jane has a wonderful time trick or treating.


  2. Emily G says:

    Amen to the leggings…..those people who wear them without adequate coverage make you wonder-do they not own a mirror? And good for you for buying yourself something nice to feel “fancy”…..all women need to feel that way as much as possible!


  3. Bridget says:

    two things. you look like your mother, and she shines with happiness in that pic šŸ™‚ second. When you get to be in your 50s you will get back the fancy free feelings because at that point you really quit caring what others think and start to just show yourself while you are being yourself. Does that make sense?


  4. melissa says:

    I get what you’re saying, and in my case it was a lack of reinforcement from my parents. They weren’t cruel just unable to give a compliment, so I never felt pretty. Thankfully my husband is encouraging, but what’s planted at an earlier date is hard to get past, isn’t it? You can look gorgeous, but don’t quite believe it, even if it’s true. (bang head against table)


  5. Katie says:

    AMEN about leggings not being pants! Somebody should put out a PSA about that! I’m sure my husband gets tired of me getting all twitchy and shouting THOSE AREN’T PANTS!!! everytime I see somebody’s everything out in public.


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