The last time, Lord help me, that I found myself involved in a ballet recital as uber-feminine as Lil’ K.’s was my own performance umpteen jillion years ago. I think I sashayed around the stage as tutti frutti ice cream or something. Big A., my stepdaughter, had dance recitals, but she did hip-hop—her costumes were a blingy, satiny version of my yoga outfit. In one week’s time, Lil’ K. will be twirling around the stage in a poofy, flowery, pink lycra affair complete with a headpiece more complex to fasten than the crown jewels themselves. I have no experience with the curling, fluffing, and pinning necessary to bring cupcakes as sparkly as Lil’ K. to fruition. This ain’t the boxed mix, ladies and gentlemen, this here cupcake requires home-making!
Before Lil’ K.’s arrival on the scene four years ago, Big A. was the only spark of feminine I had in this camo-clad, deer-hunting, fish-slaying world into which I’ve married. Big A., who was six when I entered the picture, already had her tailored tastes firmly in place. She vehemently opposed poofing and blinging from any source, and preferred her Carhartt jacket and Converse tennis shoes to ballet flats and dresses. I didn’t mind her style at all. The lack of complexity in the clothing department made my transition into parenthood much easier. Besides, who cares if camo colors run in the wash?
Enter Lil’ K. Her curly little self sprung from my loins with a puff of glitter and sequins. I swear I thought I heard Abba playing at the moment of her birth. Two years later, she caught a citation bass all decked out in an enormous bow and glittery jump suit. Last week, she was in the garden planting tomatoes with her daddy in her Cinderella princess gown complete with tiara and flowered muck boots.
A few days ago, I was sitting amidst a bunch of other would-be dance moms at ballet practice. They were each discussing alterations and changes they had made to the cupcake costumes. Alterations? Lil’ K.’s cupcake costume had fit, hadn’t it? I was certain it had. It had been hanging upside down by its crotch for a month in the bathroom to make it extra poofy as the other moms suggested when we brought it home. The mothers then proceeded to discuss how they were taking their daughters to have their hair fixed professionally for the upcoming pictures and recital. They are four, for cripes sake, and this is Parks and Rec. ballet, not some fancy school for which I’m paying out the wazzoo.
It was then that a friend whose cupcake transforming powers run about equal to mine spoke up and said, “I’ve got my very own personal drag queen to fix my costume. I wouldn’t touch Lycra, but he knows exactly what to do with it.”
The other mothers looked a little askance, but my mouth dropped open in joy and pure envy. In fact, I thought I heard angels singing a little K.C. and the Sunshine Band off in the distance.
“Where did you find a drag queen?” I asked. “You are so lucky, and I’m jealous as all hell.”
She explained the connection and promised to let me borrow him if times got tight. I clapped my hands with glee and relief. Help could be on the way! This cupcake is sure to not fall in the oven, now! Additionally, Lil’ K.’s flamboyant style won’t suffer because her mother doesn’t know how to sew sequins on her fishing vest.
Last night, we did a costume “dry run” in preparation for dance pictures this afternoon. Lil’ K. danced around in delight while I rolled her hair on heated curling sticks. She turned one of the hot sticks into a magic wand that she wanted to use with her costume. She gave up the idea quickly when I told her the stick was the wrong color pink and would clash horribly. I have to say, I did an amazingly admirable poof job—my drag queen would be proud. Lil’ K. pranced and twirled in front of the admiring eyes of her mama and daddy. Actually, my fluffing had very little to do with it. She just shines on her own. I hope Lil’ K. didn’t see her mama and daddy tear up when she leaped out of the room singing the chorus from Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way.”