Pink Tulle Skirt

By 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, and 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 pm “meet-and-greet” with hors d’oeuvres and live music.

“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.

About this writer

  • Kim Delmar Cory

    Kim Delmar Cory

    Kim Delmar Cory is the author of 5 mid-grade historical novels and a multitude of articles and essays. Her epitaph will read, “You can never have too many twinkle lights.”

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5 Responses to “Pink Tulle Skirt”

  1. Rose Ann says:

    Yay, you did it! I’m sure you rocked that skirt! Enjoyed your essay.

    • Kim Delmar Cory says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Rose Ann. It truly was an exhilarating experience. Hope it leads to more of the same and inspires readers to act likewise. Thanks!!

  2. Linda O'Connell says:

    This was a delightful story. I can so relate.

  3. Erika Hoffman says:

    Very cute story. A lot of truth in it.

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