Mommy! Why are you wearing a dress?

Earlier this year, I was preparing for a last-minute appearance in a spoken-word performance. (The words weren’t mine; I was the supporting cast.) I was supposed to look at least a little like a professional dominatrix. I have never been this particular flavor of sex worker, but nonetheless it really only requires a small wardrobe stretch for me to pull this look off for the purposes of standing on a stage and swinging a whip convincingly.

I opted for a corset-style skirt, fishnet tights, boots with lots of buckles, and a black strapless longline bra that, Madonna-like, sometimes serves as outerwear too. It shows off my tattoos well. And in the interest of time, I donned this outfit before I left the house for the performance venue.

As I was walking out the door, my daughters caught sight of me in all my thrown-together finery.

“Mommy,” Scooba asked, “are you going dancing?” She didn’t wait for an answer before adding, “can I come too?”

“We can go dancing another time, honey,” I replied, thinking in my head, busted…. But she seemed satisfied. And I made good on my promise — but I wore significantly more comfortable clothes to the Sunday morning family dance event I finally settled on.

Honestly, in retrospect, I’m just grateful they didn’t laugh at me. There is nothing worse than being laughed at by three-year-olds. Or, worse, to have them exclaim in surprise, “Mommy! Why are you wearing a dress?” Trust me, kid, you won’t have to get used to it.

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