“PING-PING” — the cell phone chimes.
It’s an alert that I ignore.
Two seconds later, I open two folders from two different children, who happen to be twins.
Two pretty pieces of orange paper fly out and land at my feet.
Two seconds after that, another sound emits from my phone telling me someone from town has posted a notification on a parental social media page.
Finally, after reading through the messages, notes and notifications, I want nothing more than to throw the cell phone or burn the folder.
Fuck me: It’s a “SCHOOL-WIDE DRESS-UP DAY”
“We’re ‘groovy’ for reading … Wear your GROOVY clothes tomorrow!”
Fuck me again. Didn’t we just have “DRESS UP AS YOUR FAVORITE BOOK CHARACTER!” Day?
I don’t have time for this shit.
Sure, I get the reminders (obviously), but still, there’s a part of me hoping the twins weren’t paying attention at the end of the school day when THEY too are reminded of the impending “DRESS-UP DAY.”
For “DRESS UP AS YOUR FAVORITE BOOK CHARACTER” we went ALL OUT. And by that I mean, they were themselves.
“You have written books about yourselves before … remember?” I tell them.
“Oh, yeah” they say seconds later.
Then “GROOVY DAY” comes along. Damnit.
Just because I was BORN in the 1970s doesn’t mean I own shit from that decade.
Thus begins the 7 a.m. full-blown-temper tantrums from two different children. One on the top bunk. The other on the bottom.
“I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR! WHY DON’T I OWN ANYTHING GROOVY?”
Um, because it’s 2016, not 1976.
We fought about pants, shirts and accessories.
“Here, wear this shirt and those jeans … I will braid your hair like your gramma used to do back in the 1970s. You’ll be fine” I said to my daughter as she sat in her bed with her head down, contemplating whether or not she’d be the laughing stock of first grade.
Finally, she agreed. She left wearing a multi-colored shirt and black pants. At the advice of another mom suffering through the same morning bullshit, I added a peace sign on her face. We didn’t have time to dig out the paints. I used lip-liner. It will probably be there for another 20 years.
As for my son, I dug around the clothes until I found a kinda-sorta tye-dyed shirt he made with handprints in kindergarten. He refused the lip-liner-drawn peace sign.
They got on the bus.
I get it. Sorta. Dressing up somehow builds school moral or some other bullshit.
But you know what …
As a student, we NEVER had random dress-up days. We had ONE day per year we were able to pretend we were someone else. It was called HALLOWEEN.
But guess what, students are no longer allowed to dress up for Halloween. It’s against some lame-ass education regulation.
“Some people don’t believe in Halloween.”
But ya know what I don’t believe in … searching all over my fucking house looking for “groovy” or “character” clothing.
So, the next time my phone chimes, papers fall and notifications blow up my social media page telling me about a “dress-up” day, I’m gonna pretend it never happened – kinda like what the education system did with Halloween.