Yaya had her school formal ( prom) last week.
I never understood why formal was a big deal until last week. My impression of it was from all the American movies I watched. Girls getting dressed up and attending the event with her date, travelling in a flashy car etc etc.
The preparation for the event started few months ago. First was the dress. Do we get it stitched or buy? The choice of the fabric material was the next issue. Then the colour as it not only had to suit Yaya’s complexion, but also her date. He is a Ranga ( ginger head) and she couldn’t wear a lot of shades as he needed to wear something that matches and it would clash with his hair.
I had a kutch/mirror work lehenga in medical school and I really wanted Yaya to wear a lehenga. A friend living in Mysore went to so many shops to look for one and we couldn’t find something that we both liked. There was also cultural issues, my Indian descent child can wear, low neck, off shoulder dresses etc, but not wear a short blouse and show her midriff. She finds showing one’s belly disturbing! So no lehenga.
I was also very busy with my work and Uni and didn’t have time to sit with Yaya and find a dress. Besides I felt she really should do these things on her. Which she did. She found the dress she wants on ASUS and paid for it using her credit card (45$). Then she found another dress that she felt might look good on her and asked if she could buy it too? If she didn’t like it she can return it, so I let her.
And we ended up with a red dress and a blue dress, both looked equally good on Yaya and we had to do a survey with all our friends and families to see which one she should wear. We had a near 50: 50 split.
I liked the red, but she went for blue because it had sequins on it and it would really sparkle under the disco lights.
My best friend organized hair and make up for Yaya ( because she knew I am clueless and was busy)
Yaya got dressed at my friend’s place and she took Yaya for the function. I had Uni in the morning, so I got home, changed and went for the parent’s party directly.
The function was held at the local golf club..As I parked my car and started to walk towards the hall, I met other parents and their beautiful daughters and handsome sons..and the one thing I noticed was the beaming smile on all their faces..and that is when it occurred to me, why formal is really important. As a parent, you are actually witnessing your child turning in to an adult. It is like one minute you are packing their school lunch and dropping them to school and then all of a sudden you see them as adults..
There were few steps to climb to get to the venue.. It was raining a bit and I was wearing heels. I really didn’t want to embarrass my child by falling down, so I climbed up the steps slowly, just as I was nearly 3/4 of the way, I looked up.. there on the top step was my precious child..all dressed up..looking like a Bollywood actress and smiling. She took my breath away and I had to think happy thoughts so I wouldn’t cry.
Parents had only 30 minutes to spend with their children before the actual party started. ( actual party is only for the kids). My friends had already organized a party for the parents at a local pub and I joined them for the parents party. We reminisced the past 17 years of being a parent. And it was good.
Away until Oct 15 th.
Hey Sarah, hope you’re well. I recently stumbled upon this article on Naveen Andrews and the way he described his relationship with his parents and also with his sibling reminded me of your story. The whole ‘divide and conquer’ was spot on.
Acacia: I had no idea who Naveen Andrews was. I had to google his name. Thank you for the link..it was comforting to know that, I really am not alone.. and that it is ok not to keep in touch with my siblings..
Hi Sarah, when I read about the writer not speaking to her siblings thanks to her mom, I was reminded of your situation. https://www.quora.com/What-is-it-like-to-be-raised-by-a-narcissist
A: I don’t know if Amma was narcissist.. She loved making us siblings fight with each other.. she still does..and the funny thing is, I still miss her, but I will not pick up the phone and call her..I can’t imagine going through hell again..