A kajillion years ago, I bought black satin evening gloves at a second hand shop. I bought them to wear to the cast and crew Christmas party when I first worked on X-Files as a production assistant. After spending all my work days outside in the rain in polar fleece and gore tex and hiking boots, the opportunity to dress up like a girl and go to a party was not to be wasted; I went all out.
Then I tucked the black gloves into a drawer of my dresser, where they sat, basically untouched, for the next fifteen years. One year, back when I was single, I got all dressed up to watch the Oscars by myself in my apartment. Evening gown, hair, makeup: the works. Why not, right? Just because I was single and alone didn't mean I couldn't be eccentric, after all. I pulled out the gloves and put them on, just for fun. And then I took them off almost immediately because they were making it hard to eat potato chips.
In the years since, except for the occasional purge of my wardrobe, they've remained untouched at the back of my top dresser drawer. Every time I go through my clothes I think about getting rid of them. What use are evening gloves when I'm asleep by 9pm more often than not? Where does black satin formal wear fit in my life parenting a three year old? Why bother hanging on to them?
But I never got rid of them, I think because over time they came to represent a side of me I didn't get to play with very often; someone other than maker of lunches, kisser of owies, and reader of bedtime stories. It's so easy to get lost in the mundane and repetitive motions of the every day imperatives. This business of being a grown up is usually more serious than not. Having those gloves tucked away reminded me that I was capable of dress up, of sparkly - of whimsy, even.
Tonight I got all dressed up and went to a party. At the last minute I remembered the gloves, pulled them out, and put them on. And it felt good.
Now that I'm home, makeup removed, tortuous (but gorgeous) shoes put away, and party dress hung back in my closet, I'll tuck the gloves back in to their accustomed spot in the back of my top dresser drawer. It may be fifteen years before I wear them again. I hope not.
But next time? I'm busting out my tiara from the wedding box and putting it on too.