Pink Tulle Skirt

Pink Tulle Skirt 

Kim Delmar Cory

            I was a 63-year-old woman with a brand new unworn pink tulle skirt hanging in 
        her closet. It is a size 1X. 
        I bought it for the same reason one can never have too many twinkle lights. 
            Twinkle lights make me smile no matter how horrendous a day I've experienced. If my 
        car died on the expressway at night in the snow, if my credit card was hacked and 
        illegally charged with thousands of dollars worth of merchandise, or, perhaps worst of 
        all, if the last chocolate donut disappeared from the lunch room 
        twinkle lights will 
        clear a path to a higher happier ground.
            Twinkle lights are a comfort zone for me. 
        A pink tulle skirt is not. 
        Yet my inner little girl had decreed I needed one. 
        Not exactly bucket list fare, but if not now, when? 
        As a tomboy who reveled in championing tetherball until puberty, I never took 
        dance lessons. I always envied my daughter's preteen dance costumes, the delicate floaty 
        ballet skirt, the full-on pink tulle tutu. 

            So why did I order this skirt of mysterious purpose online? Because ordering 
        online instead of buying in a store precluded me from trying it on and deciding it made 
        me look like a flower prop in an elementary school play. Distorted reality can be a 
        companionable concept when ordering clothes online. The sizeable clump of clothes 
        hanging to the far left of my closet speaks to this truth.

            Despite an initial burst of elation when my frothy pink tulle skirt sprang open 
        from its brown UPS package like a courting peacock's plumage, I wondered out loud, 
        “Where will I ever wear such a skirt?”? Let me clarify that it is not a tutu, but a knee 
        length tulle skirt. I work in an office with mostly younger people.
        My limited social life boasts dining with my husband at our neighborhood pub where wearing a fleece sporting a logo is considered overdressed.

            Yes, there is the occasional birthday and anniversary celebration. 
        But... I refused to wear it with friends or family. Basically anyone I knew. Or 
        might ever see again. 
        I couldn't look at myself in the mirror wearing it, afraid I would hate it. Or at least 
        hate myself in it. I couldn't for the life of me figure what to wear as a top. Sweater? 
        Blouse? Tucked in? Tails out? Should I just relegate it to the far left of my closet with its 
        kindred clothing?

            Had I bought into societal premises? 
        Plus-sized women are supposed to wear simple, undramatic and preferably dark 
        clothes. Women-of-a-certain-age should dress age-appropriate'. Below the knee skirts. 
        Baggy-butted jeans. No décolletage (wrinkles, darling).

            My pretty pink tulle skirt accompanied me to a national out-of-state work 
        conference. No clue why I packed it. Really, to a conference for work? Didn't it speak 
        more to 'whimsy' than ‘let's-get-down-to-business?"
        My skirt hung on the outside of my hotel room closet door mocking me. 
        "You brought me, Sissy Girl. Now what?" She seemed to say.

            And there it was. In red bold type across the top of the week's agenda; the 
        conference sponsors were hosting a 6-8 p.m. “meet-and-greet' with horsdeurves and live 
        "Buckle up, Buttercup!" I said to my skirt. “We're going out!" 
        My gorgeous tulle skirt was complemented by a white V-neck (décolletage', oh 
        my) T-shirt and a well-worn blue jean jacket. Pink sandals completed my ensemble.
            My stomach clenched as I garnered enough pluck to glance at my reflection in the 
        full length mirror. And recognized me! The sassy 'I-don't-give-a-rat’s-ass-what-you-think-because 
        I-feel-and-look-amazing me' of decades ago, the me of this moment.
            People talked over and swayed to the live band music at the meet-and-greet. The 
        generous buffet and well-stocked bar enticed. Café tables and chairs were scattered 
        throughout the dimly lit, barn-sized ballroom. 
        I talked, I ate, I drank. I threw my head back and laughed.
            I shimmered and sparkled in my pink tulle skirt just like the twinkle lights that 
        permeated the room-draped along tables and band stand, hanging from the ceiling in 
        snowflake-like display, sprinkled across the walls. 

        But who needs twinkle lights when you have a pink tulle skirt? 
        Rock on.