Outside the Lines with Sailor Skulls

* Another flashback worth repeating, as I go through “Round Two” with teenage girls…

This evening I shopped for a homecoming dress as “the mom” for the first time ever. I was under the misguided impression that I was cool and could help in this milestone event.  What I discovered was quite the opposite. I am but a medium for transportation and money. My opinions are less than important and furthermore I have no right to have them. 

Me: “Look, Addison! This (short, fluffy, glittery ADORABLE) dress is cute!”

Addison: “Yea, if I was in 5th grade.”

Me: “Okay, what about this (perfectly pretty, age-appropriate) dress?”

Addison: Gives me an Elvis lip and says in a very disgusted tone of voice, “I don’t think so.”

Many moms would now give up. Not I. This is my first child. So I persisted in pointing out awesome dresses and she continued to shoot them down, as if anything I liked could not possibly be the right dress because I have social leprosy. (A fact long ago established but still hard to accept.) 

Speaking of leprosy, Hot Topic is loud, dark and full of strange clothing resembling Halloween costumes. I say this because I’m irrelevant. (And if being irrelevant means I’m not into 7/18” gauges in my CHEEK then so be it.) Hanging on the wall of this bizarre store from another planet was a dress that caught the eye of my blue-haired daughter. It looked like a sailor dress but had skulls on the pockets. If she was animated her eyeballs would have become giant red hearts. 

Me: “Are you serious? You can’t wear Halloween costumes to Homecoming.”

Cute 20-year-old sales girl ignoring me completely: “Do you know some girl came in and wanted that dress and said they weren’t allowed to wear skulls at her school?” Then she exhaled and shook her head, as if she was completely flabbergasted by the audacity of it all.

I wanted to say they could probably wear skulls with SKIN ON THEIR BONES AND EYEBALLS IN THEIR SOCKETS but I refrained and remained an invisible observer as Addison contemplated what shoes she would wear with this dress that was still on the wall of weirdness.

Being the persistent woman I am, I insisted we go look at Macy’s, “just in case.” What a waste of precious time. 

Me: “Look!!! This is so YOU!” I said as I pointed out a funky yellow and black dress with a zipper. “Or THIS!” as I shoved a black lacy dress that looked like something regurgitated from the 80’s in her face.

Addison, sighing: “Nothing is as good as the sailor dress.”

Whatever. Guess what dress she’s wearing to homecoming? She was bouncing around like a little kid, so I got over my disappointment of being no help pretty quickly. In yet another failed attempt to engage and be relatable I asked if she was going to “take a selfie and post it online.” 

“Mom,” she answered, completely exasperated. “I don’t want everyone to see it!” 


As soon as I get this thing figured out a little more I’m writing a book called “Parents of Teens: Shut Up and Drive”. But seriously, I am glad she is her own person. I really am proud of the young lady she is becoming. God made each of us as individuals for a reason. If we were all the same, life would be unbearably boring. We absolutely need beige in the crayon box, but we also need electric blue. God must think so too, and teenagers are the proof. 

Side note: Let the record state that one day, teenagers, you too will have children who will see you as utilitarian at best. God also has a sense of humor. Enjoy your youth while you’re still cool. 

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