When I was a little girl, I was a tomboy with a capital T. I played sports, roughhoused, and wanted nothing to do with anything girly (although I grew out of that phase, much to my motherís relief.)  Anyway, for some inexplicable reason, my mom and grandmother decided to make me a confirmation dress that looks just like some of the things I see on Petticoat Pond - lacy, ruffled, frilly, and with a slip Ė I guess you guys call them crinoline petticoats Ė that made it stand out like a ballet dancerís tutu.

They apparently worked on this dress forever, but when they finished with their sewing project they ran into a problem: I wanted nothing to do with it and refused to wear it. (I was confirmed in a dress, but a very plain one.) That was the last I saw of that dress until about a month later.

I was at my cousinís house (my motherís sisterís) and he was wearing it. He was a year younger than I and must have been about six or seven at the time. I remember that it was too big for him and he sure looked funny wearing it because he had short hair. But he was running around with those petticoats flying all over the place. I really donít remember him seeming to be embarrassed about it, but I do remember my mother telling me not to tease him.

I donít know how long it was until he outgrew that dress, but I saw him in it at least a dozen times over the next two or three years. I went over to his house sometimes on Saturdays and he was quite often wearing it.

I always thought it was a little strange, but just assumed it was something he enjoyed and then grew out of. But I learned just a few years ago that wasnít the case at all. I was over at his motherís house with my mom and a couple of other women from our family. There was a photo album lying out and I picked it up and started looking through it.

There were scads of pictures of my cousin wearing that dress and other dresses, skirts and blouses. I recognized lots of my old clothes that he must have gotten as hand-me-downs. Frequently he was dressed in dresses with petticoats sticking out. I asked my mother later about it and whether my cousin ever grew out of dressing up.

She told me that he never grew into it. It was my crazy auntís idea and mom said she would have kept him dressed up all the time if it werenít for my uncle. He apparently let her dress him up at home, but wouldnít let her take him out that way.

My mom said there was a fight between my aunt and uncle every time my uncle decided my cousin needed a haircut. My aunt wanted to let his hair grow out into curls. (I remember when he was in high school his hair was grown out a bit and he got a perm, but it was cut off just a couple of days later. Knowing what I know now, Iíll bet that was his motherís work, too.) A few of
the pictures show him still dressed up in frilly girlís things when he must have been in his freshman or sophomore year of high school.

I donít see much of my cousin anymore, as we live some distance apart now. But I kind of doubt that he still dresses up, but, heck, you never know. I just know this: some of your stories sound pretty much like fantasies to me, but I know of one little boy who spent lots of time wearing petticoats. I donít think he cared much for it, or maybe he did. I just remember:  better
him than me!

Some of you guys look kind of cute in them in an oversized kind of way, so you (and my cousin) can have them.

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