And I just keep meeting unique individuals…Maid of Mars, Tutu Maker, Dawn, is one. But first, here’s the Back Story:
I was 8 when Mom put me in Ballet school, with a female instructor who was super-glamorous. She was about 5’2,” slim, wore tights, and had a little gold bun atop her head (real ballerinas never have hair hanging in their faces.)
I gotta say, my little kids’ eyes continually fixated on her cross-stitch black stockings, encasing legs that were muscular but slim.
She was my idea of what I wanted to be….a Glamorous Ballerina…You know, the type that flits through the air in the perennial classic, “The Nutcracker.” Or spins at the top of musical jewelry boxes, to a song like “Love Story.”
Each week I’d go to my ballet lesson, then pirouette around the house, trying desperately to Toe, even tho’ I hadn’t the requisite footwear (you know, that squared-off ballet slipper, with the padded front). Or the experience and training.
None of that mattered to me: I considered myself one of those ethereal types, cavorting through the air, weightless, and lovely (even then, I was creating stories in my head.)
Then, my Mom got a look (a serious one) at the girl who was two years my senior, in those classes. Her legs were developing brutishly, with muscle-arrangements Mom never thought possible. Sinews, looking strangely enough like the advance guard of varicose veins, stretched in all directions, defying the graceful look of our instructor.
So Mom did what any caring Mom would do with a daughter poised on the edge of Adolescence: She whipped me out of Ballet…fast. …saying “You’re not going to have legs like Betsy’s.”
In a single move, my days on stage were over. No more recitals…No more lovely tutus, encircling my waist. No more Pretend Toe Shoes.
I was crushed.
So, when I met Dawn of Maid of Mars in the Verizon store, in Asheville, (she and I were similarly getting instructions on our ‘Droids), I was thrilled, for she offered me an alternative: Yes, I could have a Tutu, an adult one, no less, and because I live in Asheville, no one would think my wearing a tutu, at age 67, “Weird.”
I don’t need Toe shoes…I don’t need recitals…
In an instant, I can be brought back to my glorious days in that dance studio, via my very own Adult-Size-Tutu (oh, of course she makes tutus on demand, for the little crowd, too.) She even makes headgear (One looks like variegated plumage.), aprons, etc…anything one can dream up with fabric and all sorts of accessories (leather, feathers?)…
So, in this post, I am singing Dawn’s praises, for she offers a service (making and selling to order) for a public I’m sure is out there.
After all, I’m a Closet Ballerina…been so for years.
I’m including the Lovely Dawn’s website. She’s Maid of Mars and she works on direct orders. You contact her; tell her what you want; and voila…You’ll be pirouetting around soon, too (if not you—then a favored little one.)
And remember—In Asheville, there are few bounds restricting folks, so everyone (male, female, transgender, young, old, in-between) can wear them. I might wear mine to meet a friend for lunch, at Earthfare. Or I might wear mine, just going about, on errands, in Warwick, Rhode Island, and measure the different reaction. I’ll post it to you readers on this blog (won’t that be fun!?)
***Photos compliments of Maid of Mars Facebook page. How ’bout that little kid looking out the window in the turquoisy tutu with the ski hat on? Kids crack me up! They really do….
****Here’s Maid of Mars’s Etsy shop to order a specially-made gift for a little (or big) girl or boy…Remember, we’re all free-er now: http://www.etsy.com/shop/thuviamaidofmars
Thanks, Dawn, for making this bigger “girl” happy, indeed (now, all I need are the Toe Shoes.) Click on top pix to make it (and me) bigger….And order away…Christmas and “The Nutcracker” will be here before we know it.
Next Monday (remember–I post once a week, so put a sticky to remind you to check in, or SUBSCRIBE to my blog, at upper right hand corner of post…) I’ll tell you what I write about in my new book, Patient Witness. This book will be my own coming out story, my tale of survival against some pretty awful odds.