Getting through the Daze

How are you getting through these scary times — times that find us wrestling with an evil virus and significant (and necessary) political unrest and calls to action? If I ponder too long on the surreal times we are living in my brain starts to warp. My unconscious reaction (I’ve just realized it, so now it’s conscious ;.)) has been to return to a favorite playtime from my childhood: dress-up. Back in the mid to late 70s, my mom provided me and my brother a wonderful brown box called the “dress-up box.” This sturdy box had an odd waxy exterior to it, with a lid that was easy to pull off and on. When afternoons dragged in the summer or winter months, out came the dress-up box. It was here that my current love of vintage nightgowns was born. Of the many treasures in the dress-up box, one was a silky bottle-green nightgown that had a wispy layer of sheer material over the skirt and a lace bodice. Of course, it was way too long and I’d stumble down the hallway, tripping over the slippery material with the straps falling off my little shoulders, but oh did I love this nightgown! I was QUEEN! Other treasures that my brother and a selection of young friends and faux-cousins all put on at some point included an Army shirt, red pointy heels that were meant for no human to actually walk in, some of Dad’s cast-off oxfords, a kimono, yellow house dress, many plastic necklaces, and variety of costume jewelry in loud and cheerful colors.

It seems I’ve returned to this childhood practice to brighten up my mornings as I get ready for work. I’ve pretty much given up lipstick, my favorite makeup, since masks rub it off and there doesn’t seem to be a point to wearing it, as when I do see people I’m masked. I’m trying to learn how to do eye shadow, but part of me doesn’t care. But since I’m an avid thrifter, my closet has now evolved into the dress-up box of latter years. Today I took a picture of my outfit, giggling with delight at my semi-Betty Draper look: a vintage green & white flower dress with plastic embellishments on the neckline ($3), wonderful mules from Italy ($4) that I’ll only wear for half the day (I brought my flats), and pearl earrings from a wedding I was in long ago. Who will see me? Not many people – probably just my colleague who is in the office next to me, offices that are above a stairwell flanked by locked doors. Meetings are online or by phone, so this dress-up is just for me – to lift my spirits as I walk through these traumatic times. I challenge you to find something you loved as a child and return to it – incorporate it into your day, because the childlike joy you experience will be so worth it. Now, go “dress-up” or break out the crayons, the finger-paint, the Lincoln Logs or badminton set. I promise, it’ll be worth it! 

15 thoughts on “Getting through the Daze

  1. Hi, Rose
    Connie (Blairsville, Asheville, Hendersonville, and now Lakeville, MN) here!
    Your fling is definitely evidence of a new pandemic.
    The other day I realized 1) I wear the same easy care garments over and over; 2) there’s a quarantine – which will most likely go on for over a year – preventing normal socializing 3) I’ve not been having much fun at all and 4) a whole bunch of high quality, lovely outfits are gathering dust in my dressing room closet. So….drum roll ….I dressed up in silky, black leotards with a short skirt flounce and topped it off with a lilac, silver metallic, long sleeved, low scoop necked top and went about cleaning my housework.
    Aren’t we artists the cat’s meow!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As Carol said, you look great in anything. Who is Betty Draper? Is she the source of the hairdo or is it the heat? Not sure I have anything to dress up in, but I will look. You know I appreciate your creativity!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dress up is such fun! I am laughing and remembering that sturdy chicken box with the plastic lining that I thoroughly cleaned before adding the clothes and jewelry…
    Now I am wondering why I am wearing lipstick. Oh, because I’m retired and I want to impress dad- yes, after 53 years…
    You look great! A daily fashion show is in order.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. You do look like you could be a character from Mad Men, Rosemary! You’re gorgeous!

    My coping has been through cooking fresh veg from the farmer’s market co-op I joined this year. Also my yoga practice has helped. But I used to love playing up when I was a kid! If I went back to my childhood for inspiration, I’d probably fill my tires with air and get out on my bike. It’s been sitting in my garage gathering dust since the pandemic started.

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  5. Oh yes, I remember the dress up box! And in my weekly thrifting adventures, I find myself looking for things I wanted as a child (and never got)…or had as a child (and wish I still had)…or things that YOU had at your house that I always loved. The tall slender glass canister with cork top that held Oreos (something I was not allowed to eat at my house…so I would sneak one or two and spend WAY too much time trying to arrange the rest so the missing ones were not as noticeable)…any incarnation of “Free to Be You and Me” (music or character), etc. etc. I NEVER see a Holly Hobbie item that I don’t think of your family and your birthday party.

    I recently found a beloved childhood item at the local Habitat for Humanity store… A square wooden box with a handle and a sliding chalkboard on top. Inside were the original pegs that can be used to create images on the pegboard backside of the wooden box. It was one dollar and bringing it home with me was a highlight of my year!

    So happy that you find contentment and joy in thrifting. It’s the most fun ever!

    …and despite his shortcomings, I’ve loved Don Draper since the first time I laid eyes on him. Would that bother Betty??

    Liked by 1 person

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