I was only four or five, and my folks were to fly to Florida
to see my Grandma and Grandfather. Flying was a big deal in 1960, so they
were to stay about a week. Our babysitter was a sweet older woman, Mrs.
Cacora, who we knew well.
One day, early in my parents absence, my older sister (by a
year and a half), took me into her room, and started dressing me. I remember
very well, her cotton panties, cotton eyelet socks, and the many dresses
pulled down over my head. Some were simple play or school dresses, and a
couple were party dresses with poufy short sleeves and with a little crinoline
underneath. I remember loving being buttoned in from the back, as well as
having the ribbon sash tied in a big bow at my back.
With each dress, my sister held my hand as she walked me down
the hallway to present me to Mrs. Cacora, who was reading in the living room
with her feet up. The attention and praise I got from the both of them was my
reward. Each dress I wore seemed to earn me more confirmation just how pretty
I could be, and that I must in fact be a little girl and not a boy.
Mrs. Cacora got out a hair brush and pretended to brush my
short hair, as if it were long, fussing over every detail of my outfit. When
the show was over, I got to stay dressed in one of the simple play dresses. I
even went outside into the back yard with my sister and played on the swing.
We had a large and very private back yard, so I never had a second thought
that I might be doing something I shouldn't.
This went on for maybe three days, with me in various dresses,
and Mary Jane shoes all day long. It was the first time my folks had left us
for any time, and I was having the time of my life! I also remember a
delivery man coming to the door, and me standing behind Mrs Cacora wanting to
hide, yet wanting to show off that I was really a very pretty girl. Standing
there in a light cotton dress, with a little ribbon belt, my hand brushing Mrs
Cacora's stockings and slip hem at the bottom of her skirt, while the cool
wind came in the held open door, is something I will never forget. The
delivery man tried to get a look at me as I played bashful and buried my head
in Mrs. Cacora's skirt. He probably wondered how any little girl's hair could
be so short, but Mrs, Cacora acted naturally and said I was just a shy girl.
When my folks returned, and heard the story of my dressing up,
my sister was in a little trouble (I found out years later). Meanwhile, I was
hooked by a life changing experience.