I went to the opera again recently.
If you have never been to the opera, I'd encourage you to go. I wouldn't recommend anything by Wagner as your first one, however. This one, "Lohengrin," was long and tedious. If it had been the first opera I had taken my kids to, they wouldn't have wanted to return. As it is, two of the four of them are opera buffs, and one enjoys it when it's not Wagner. I was stupidly brave for taking the 6-year-old, and he and I spent most of the time watching on a TV screen in the lobby.
But it was nice to get out and nice to get dressed up. My boys wore suitcoats, and my girls got to bring out party dresses. My 12-year-old, who is now exactly as tall as me and wears my shoe size, got to wear (my) heels for the first time.
She's a tremendous amount of fun to dress now, since she uses my closet for special events. A lot of my clothes are just a little too big on her, but her new body is quite a bit like mine -- so most of the clothes work well.
One thing about my own newish body is that I'm still enjoying dressing it as well. That's not really a recent development, of course -- not at all like my daughter's sudden growth.
But, when it came to dressing myself, I had been concentrating on nice day-wear.
I had been going to parties L.A. style, with jeans and heels and a camisole or corset top. But I didn't have a cocktail dress.
Recently, I found one I liked. It's a deep red sheath, with little bows up the front, and it comes a few inches above the knee. I tried it on during the summer to figure out what size I needed and then waited for it to go on sale, as I knew it'd be useful addition to the closet, particularly for Christmas and New Year's parties.
I pulled it out for the first time for the opera. And, I noticed that it's a good thing I'm reporting food to Tiffany, as it pulled a bit across my belly, which is where any extra padding immediately goes on me.
Since you can never be overdressed for the opera, I also pulled out a statement necklace. It's sparkly and big -- but it's just costume jewelry that I grabbed on super-clearance for $10.
But, I was dressed fancier than almost anyone there. There was one striking younger woman in a lovely green cocktail dress, but there was a lot of black, longish skirts and flat boots.
It's times like that when I see the difference appearance makes. Of course, I saw that with regard to the weight loss, but clothing also becomes a huge deal.
In the red dress, I had people coming up to me all night, particularly as we were waiting in the lobby or in a line. Women would compliment the necklace. Men would just start conversations. I'm convinced it was because it was an eye-catching look, but it wasn't scarily flashy.
Random notes: I managed to drop and break my iced-teat maker. My curse-word of choice around Paul and the kids is "sugar." (Which the kids find funny.) But when talking to certain friends or my brothers -- or when I have a kitchen mishap -- my vocabulary degenerates. This was one of those times.
Music news: My older kids have discovered my CD collection. I stopped accumulating CDs when we got married, bought a house, had a baby and had me quit my job (which happened within a two-year period in the mid-'90s). But I have a ton from the early '90s and before.
So, my 14-year-old was walking around the house singing obscure Replacements songs the other day. And he's really into Pink Floyd, which he discovered largely on his own, as they're not one of my favorites. Both he and the 12-year-old love The Talking Heads. Most of my stuff, though, is just a bit more obscure, which they've figured out.
"Mom, you were a hipster, weren't you?" the boy said. (He uses the "hipster" term semi-mockingly.)
"No, not really."
"But you had hipster music."
Guilty as charged.