Throwback Thursday’s a thing, isn’t it, Gentle Reader? Let’s give that a shot.
Miss Ward, Mr. Darling, and I were inseparable in high school, Gentle Reader*. We did everything together, and would frequently go on fascinating trips, via bus, to the local mall. As teenagers are wont to do.
We had a happy tradition in those days, before cellphone cameras were ubiquitous, of getting a disposable camera, taking an entire roll of pictures, and then getting it developed in only an hour, before we went home. You youngsters may have trouble believing that, but it was a miracle of technology at the time.
This went on for some time, you know. One bright day, we hit on the idea of dressing in drag for one of these excursions. Darling and I were both newly out, and in and out of frocks all the time. Of course, we had to find a different mall far away to go to, because what if our classmates saw us! Or our parents! Oh, the peril we thought we were in!
A lot of planning went into this excursion, via AIM and our Hotmail accounts. I had to use code words, in case my parents read my e-mail; if I remember right, “corsets” were “hats” or something.
Any road, the day arrived, and Darling and I turned up at Miss Ward’s doorstep, with frilly things in hand. Miss Ward’s transformation into Mike Paige was pretty painless.
Darling was next; he had a lot more experience with makeup than I do†, and a better selection of clothes. Quick as a wink, he was transformed into Megan, Mike’s girlfriend.
I was always a bit more awkward than my friends‡, not as polished or as smooth. My transformation was not quite as convincing. Behold: Molly DeMorte, Mike’s cousin. She’s from Arizona.
So we went to the strange foreign mall, and
we were very convincing and no one said anything derogatory at all people whispered nasty things about us, except when they were hitting on Megan. We looked at all the wondrous sites our own mall lacked – a store with only Japanese things! – A fabric store! – and settled down for some ice cream.
Knowing that, via bus, we’d have to be getting back soon if we were to establish our alibi, we went back to more familiar streets, headed to the movie theater we had supposedly been at for the last seven hours. Once there, we swiftly shifted to our more usual personas§, and no one could tell anything was suspicious at all.
*In later years, the addition of Ms. Capere and Miss Spectacular rounded out the cast, with occasional special guest stars.
†He still does.
‡I still am.
§There are a number of times, with this particular set of friends, when we’d all crowd into a bathroom together. Some times are more glamorous than others, but there have been many, many, times.
As a bonus, Gentle Reader, here’s one more photo of Molly DeMorte.