Monday, November 10, 2008

Dreaming and Self-Reflection: Boys in Dresses

I have a few firmly-held fashion beliefs, which I refuse to relinquish even when the fashion tides have turned against me. For example, I believe that madras never goes out of style. Case in point:

Just ignore that grimace -- Casey was thrilled to be at church in madras. I bought his father a fine looking pair of madras shorts for his birthday in August and he has yet to wear them. He says he's waiting for the perfect opportunity (what finer opportunity than church?).

I also believe that men look great in pink. Which is why Pink Shirt Friday at our firm is such a huge success:

But last among my firmly held fashion beliefs is that little boys look fabulously adorable in one piece jumpers, especially one piece jumpers from Bailey Boys that have cute little embroidery items on them:

Work it, Mace! Does it get any cuter than that? No. It does not. Not ever. Not any cuter at all. Ever.

Mace's father disagrees with me and does his best to sabotage my efforts to dress my wee one in adorable clothes. The picture above was taken of Mace on Halloween weekend, last week. Joe was playing the drums at church last weekend, so he had to be at church early and I dressed Mace. This weekend, however, Joe was in charge of dressing Mace because I had to be at church early. I laid out the clothes for Mace to wear, including the correct socks, and instructed Joe to make sure he found Mace's white tennis shoes because those were the only appropriate shoes for him to wear. I had laid out another adorable Bailey Boys jumper with navy and white checks and three trees on the front. Totally cute. Nothing girlie about it.

Now in case you are wondering why I went all "Kate" on Joe (Mom -- that's a reference to Kate on "Jon & Kate Plus 8," a show on TLC; Kate's a control freak) in telling him exactly what shoes to put on Mace as if he weren't a grown man and couldn't pick decent shoes out himself, I must tell you that once or twice before, my children have shown up for church in ill-fitting, mismatched clothes when Joe has been responsible for dressing them. I'm not saying he is incapable of dressing the children appropriately, I'm saying he does it on purpose, just so we're clear -- it's the difference between bumbling ineptitude (which Joe has none of) and incredibly crafty passive aggressiveism (which Joe may be guilty of from time to time).

So as I am hanging around before the first service, I see Joe and the kids walking toward me and of course I'm going through the checklist in my head, and I'm nervous. Casey looks good, he's got the jeans on that I laid out, the shirt I laid out, and really, the underwear is irrelevant unless his pants fall down and then I can always say he dressed himself. Mace looks okay -- he's got the cute Bailey Boys jumper on and the navy henley underneath; he's got the navy socks on and he's got shoes on, but they are not the tennis shoes I laid out for him. Mace is wearing water sandals with pictures of shells and fish -- with his navy socks. And his jumper wasn't actually snapped all the way up, so he was kind of flapping in the breeze. Even if I had a picture of this I would not post it. It's too humiliating.

When I asked Joe why he didn't put Mace in the white tennis shoes I had specifically requested he find, Joe said (listen very very carefully and you might detect the craftiness): "I didn't have time to look for the shoes because I was too busy trying to get Mace into his dress." Did you hear it? Did you?

But that is not the end of this story.

Many years ago, I had to write a thesis for my master's degree at Boise State, so I chose my favorite author and came up with a topic. The title of my thesis was Dreaming and Self-Reflection: a Jungian Analysis of Gail Godwin's A Southern Family and Father Melancholy's Daughter. For two years I studied Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud and learned lots of dream theory so that I could apply it to the dreams of the characters in Gail Godwin's novels. If you missed reading it (don't know how, it was on Oprah's book list), my parents might have a copy and you can borrow it from them. I learned things like: any time you dream you are wandering around in a house, you are really either delving deeper into your subconcious (if you're walking down stairs into a basement) or you are dealing with your superficial life (if you're climbing up into an attic).

Last night, Sunday night, the night following the humiliating child-wearing-flapping-jumper-with-water-shoes incident, I dreamed that I dressed Casey, my oldest, in an actual dress. A real dress -- a strappy little number with smocking on the front in the sweetest shade of blue. No one said anything to me, or pointed out, for example, that the child is 5 and well, a boy. So in my dream, Casey and I left the house and once we were outside I realized that maybe he shouldn't be in a dress and I matter-of-factly changed his clothes into something more appropriate. And then I realized we were in the middle of a nuclear war and I was integral in ensuring the safety of all mankind and suddenly my dream became a video game.

My interpretation of that dream: if my husband dares to tell me again that I have put a "dress" on his son, he will be facing all-out war, of the nuclear variety.


  1. I think Joe may be jealous of just how handsome Mace looks in his Bailey Boys! After all, with that "come hither look on his face" and high fashion togs on his bod, Mace will have to fight off the chicks. Joe will be left out!!!!!! Sorry Joe!

    No, your parents don't have a copy of any of G. Godwin's "dream books." We left that up to you. But maybe you can tell me what the dream I had last night means.

    As you know the RV is in the shop(we think we've found the problem and it's not too bad), but last night I dreamed I was on the road in it and I think I was running away from someone. Then I discovered the sofa had been stolen. Now tell me what that means.

  2. wow Jen, what a thesis you wrote here just about the clothes of your two boys- unbelievable but hilarious!!!! The only thing you forgot is mentioning me as the photographer who missed capturing Mace's feet!!!!! LOL

  3. Great blog! Sounds like Joe is still fighting it. *Sigh*

    Don't worry too much about the scooter... we went to Thailand and they were considered SUV's. We frequently saw families of 5 on them.

    I want to come to Tampa and see your new house!


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