Posts Tagged ‘prom’

Molly and The Fairy Godmother Project

I was going through my closet this weekend, looking for  dresses to donate to The Fairy Godmother Project. A woman I work with turned me on to them, and we are having a Summer Social today to collect gowns, cocktail frocks and bling from the other career girls we know.  The Fairy Godmother Project will hold these items until prom season, and invite high school girls to come “shop” their collection for free. Some of the girls are in foster care, and others cannot afford a dress to the prom. I feels good to give them what I can. 

I love to do things like this. I believe there is immeasurable wisdom and inspiration in each of us, and it’s our collective work, as strong open women, that makes us more powerful together than individually. (Think Wonder-Twins!).

As I was going through my stash, I started to think about my own childhood experiences, and why this event means so much to me.

Growing up, my family was rich on love, support and laughter. But we were not rich in the material way. The recession in the mid ‘80’s threw everyone for a loop and my father’s business was hit hard. I wanted to think of a creative way to get through prom without having to ask my parent’s for money they couldn’t spare at the time.

I had just seen “Pretty in Pink”, where Molly Ringwald whips up her own dress, and goes to the prom looking like a puff of pink merenge. I CAN DO THAT! I thought, (although the only thing I had ever sewn in my life was a square pillowcase in home ec., and even that was a little wonky!). Aaaah, the fearlessness of a teenager!

My mother and I set out on this adventure, bought a cheap Butterick pattern and a ton of bright royal blue poly satin (hideous in retrospect). Cutting the pattern on the floor of our kitchen, and piecing the dress together, I felt like a costume designer! It wasn’t until our first fitting that I realized Molly lied. I didn’t look like a puff of frosting but a cake that’s been left out in the RAIN- for a LONG TIME! My leg o’ mutton sleeves lost their zing and the bust darts made my  teenage boobies droop like a geriatric grandma. I was low hanging fruit! Prom was in four days and I looked like someone out of the movie “Carrie” (after they were set ablaze), not my beloved muse Molly.

My mother, bless her heart, was quick to react. She called a friend, who called a friend, whose daughter had just returned from a party, and she leant me her dress. Now I looked more like a shiny piece of tin foil than a sagging blue blob. But it was 1986, so that was certainly a step in the right direction!

That special day finally came and for six hours at the Diplomat Hotel in Hollywood, Florida, I was a PRINCESS. It didn’t matter that I grew up on free lunch and that my date was 4” shorter than me. At that moment, we were ALL Princesses. Rich or poor, fat or thin, raised by parents married or separated, WE WERE ALL BEAUTIFUL!!!!

I think of how clothing can sometimes mark a rite of passage. That dress you wore to the prom, that suit with the pinchy shoes you put on for your  first big job interview, your wedding gown….These things STICK. Those experiences stay with you forever and mark a passage of time from one doorway into another.

I see the rack outside my office door. We’ve collected 18 dresses so far, with many more to follow at our happy hour tonight. I think about how every bit of what we give to these girls will help to bring them  BLISS for a day.

Sometimes it’s the small things we can do, that make the biggest difference.

Wishing you joy, love and MANY PRINCESS MOMENTS!



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