My daughter had her first boy-girl party last weekend. Now, my first boy-girl party took place when I was her age, too, but the one I went to was held in the basement of a very cool sixth-grade boy, and it involved playing Spin the Bottle, Seven Minutes in Heaven and a couple of wine coolers while his mom was, I don’t know, out somewhere, I guess.
The good news for me is that parents nowadays seem to be slightly more responsible than they were back then, so this party took place at a country club, involved playing casino games and had both a DJ and multiple parental chaperones. There wasn’t a wine cooler in sight. Whew.
But the party is not the story here. The story here is what I learned about trying to get an eleven year-old girl to pick out an outfit for a boy-girl party.
It turns out that there is a rule book for this, and while I must have known the rules at one time, since I was, at one time, an eleven year-old girl, said rules seem to have gone to the same dead zone in my brain that is reserved for things I once-but-no-longer-know, like the different classifications of rocks, and anything having to do with math. So it was helpful to receive a little refresher course on Picking Out an Outfit for a Boy-Girl Party, and since I’m a nice person, I’ve decided to share it with you here, just in case you too might need some brushing up on the rules.
So here we go. I present you with: The Rules For Picking Out an Outfit For a Boy-Girl Party When You Are Eleven Years Old:
Rule 1. The week before the party, delude yourself into thinking that the dress you really, really want to wear still fits you, even though it’s from last spring and you have grown approximately five inches over the summer. Refuse to try it on just to be sure.
Rule 2. At five o’clock the day before the party, try the dress on. Immediately begin crying because it is too small. Throw it on the floor.
Rule 3. Take everything else out of your closet, try it on, and then throw that on the floor, too.
Rule 4. Don’t even think about cleaning it up.
Rule 5. When your mother asks what’s wrong with this brand new, black and white dress that is perfect for a casino party, pout and say that it’s too fancy and that you will feel stupid if you’re overdressed and that everyone else is going to be wearing dresses or skirts from Brandy Melville because that’s what EVERYONE has except for you. Give your mother dirty looks for not taking you to Brandy Melville in between soccer games, ice skating lessons, musical theater class and school.
Rule 6. Pout.
Rule 7. Pout some more.
Rule 8. Look up hopefully when your mother checks to see what time Brandy Melville closes. When your mother announces that it is open for another two hours, run to the car as fast as if you are chasing Harry from One Direction down the corridor of a mall.
Rule 9. Act completely surprised when you learn that everything in Brandy Melville is one size fits all, and pretend not to notice that everyone else shopping there is at least sixteen years old. Try not to cry when the cute salesgirl with the nose ring informs you that all of the things you were looking for (i.e. all of the things your friends have) are only sold online. Try things on anyway, then pout because you are not tall enough to be among the “all” that fit into the one size.
Rule 10. Insist on going to every other store in the mall that does not carry children’s sizes, such as Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie and Forever 21. Try on totally inappropriate outfits at each of them.
Rule 11. Yell at your mother every time she suggests that you try Gap Kids or Abercrombie or Crew Cuts. When nothing else fits, reluctantly agree to go to one of said stores. Roll eyes multiple times.
Rule 12. Arrive at said stores two minutes after closing time. Cry.
Rule 13. Once back home, try everything in your closet on again. When nothing fits, throw it all back on the floor.
Rule 14. Try on the brand new, black and white dress that is perfect for a casino party and announce that it is, actually, kind of cute. And not really that fancy, after all.
Rule 15. Arrive at the party in said dress. Instead of being mortified when four other girls walk in wearing almost identical black and white dresses to yours, be positively thrilled with your innate ability to conform.
Rule 16. Get home from party at 10:30 pm. Crash from the sugar high and throw the black and white dress on the floor. Inform your mother that you are really, really good at blackjack. When she asks you if you would like to get some things from Brandy Melville to put away until you’re old enough to go to a casino, roll your eyes. Try not to roll them so far back that they get stuck in your head.
Originally published on ModernMom