Princess on Demand
Last September my niece Sabrina returned from a visit to Wisconsin and handed me a package.
“It’s a birthday gift from my mom,” she grinned. “Open it!”
I hadn’t expected a birthday gift. As close as Chrissy and I are, we rarely exchange gifts (although she does have a habit of grabbing miscellaneous things from around her house and offering them up to me). I pulled the tissue away from the package and uncovered a rhinestone-encrusted tiara, spelling ”Happy Birthday.”
“Oh, my god. It’s perfect.”
Seems Chrissy was spreading her own formula for the female pick-me-up. We all have them. I’m not talking about a hike, or a massage, a night out with girlfriends. I’m referring to those little secret indulgent things we do for ourselves. I have a friend who is a believer in the healing effects of a late night burger and fries. Another wears seductive lingerie under t-shirt and jeans, knowing she is the only one who will see it. One girlfriend dons a cocktail dress at home with full make-up and has imaginary look-where-I-am-now conversations with old boyfriends. These friends shall all remain nameless to protect their identities (and to throw you off the scent of which indulgence is mine).
But I feel comfortable revealing my sister’s secret since she is actively recruiting. Plus I was there at its inception.
“We have somewhere to go today,” she told me during a recent trip back home. “I’ve been waiting for you because I need you with me.”
I looked side to side. “Where are we going?” I whispered.
“To buy my tiara.”
As we browsed the display of expensive tiaras (or is it tiari?) at the bridal boutique, Chrissy was getting increasingly excited.
“Its so good to do this with you.”
“Because when I do it with my daughters they’re mortified.”
I imagined my teenage nieces shopping for their prom dresses, finding their mother across the store, gazing into a mirror from under a shimmering headdress.
“Where are you going to wear it?” I asked.
“You know, around the house. When I’m doing the dishes, or tidying the kitchen.” Sort of like my false eyelashes, I thought. “I don’t think I would wear it while teaching online – that would be too distracting.”
I didn’t fully understand her draw to the tiara until I brought my gift with me to a birthday dinner my girlfriends threw for me. After they toasted me, I toasted them right back.
“I have been through so many transitions in the last few years…it was through your love and support I was able to get through it at all,” I effused. “And with that,” I reached down into my purse and donned my own, personal, sparkling tiara, “I thank you for this wonderful birthday party.”
The community table we shared burst into applause, as did the wait staff. “You’re glowing,” my friends told me. “The tiara really does something!”
It’s a shame I can’t wear it to the store. After all, it says Happy Birthday. That would be conspicuous.