Ah, spring, when a young man’s thoughts turn to….chugging a lot of beer, dressing in drag, slathering on garish makeup, and prancing onstage before hundreds of hooting neighbors.

That’s my husband in the white skirt with the good legs, third from left.  The group includes captains of industry and a tugboat captain, a doctor and a contractor, a lawyer and an editor.  Imagine the blackmail possibilities, if someone emails a photo to the right HR department.  Oh, and many teachers from our local schools attend.  “Ian, your father looked smashing in his hula skirt and coconut bra the other night!”

In 1901, our small town was founded as a utopian Arts & Crafts colony by architect Will Price, who followed the teachings of William Morris.  In Price’s dream, cottages stood next to castles,  where the humble and the rich would live together in perfect harmony.  He had a dream, that people would raise their own crops, shear their own sheep, card their own wool, knit their own garments, make their own furniture,  and, above all, Create Their Own Entertainment.  There’s a reason such ideas are called utopian – they seldom survive off the drawing board.  The furniture makers, for instance, got sick from working in the dank gloomy mill near the creek, and closed up shop after a couple of years. 

However, the Make Your Own Entertainment ideal is still going strong.  I think  Price had loftier theatrical events than drunken drag in mind, like Shakespeare, but hey, even he would have to concede we’re carrying on the spirit of his wish.  Every March, our local club puts on a variety show, and every year, the men’s drag dance line brings down the curtain, and the house. 

The other day I called a friend on her cell phone and she said “Hi, we’re at Boscov’s, trying to find a miniskirt for Frank.”  Yes, it’s definitely spring.

I used to worry that our boys would be disturbed by the enormous panties and giant bras on Daddy’s dresser, not to mention how this might affect their own development, but I’m relieved to report that they take it all in stride.  

This was apparent long ago, when 3-year-old Hugh responded to a ringing doorbell. He looked outside and saw a neighbor lady bringing over her Goodwill hand-me-down bridal costume from a previous variety show – and that’s where today’s headline comes from. 

Although I tolerate this tomfoolery in true stoic spirit, my policy is that all traces of lipstick and rouge must be gone from Chris’s face before I’ll even consider kissing him again.  Given the heavy hand with which is it applied, that usually takes days.


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