One of the things that happens when you have a big, fluffy, muppet-looking poodle who goes with you eeeeeverywhere is that you get a lot of attention, whether you want it or not. I’m kind of an introvert, so that’s not really something I relish. I do my best to handle it gracefully, but oftentimes while running errands I find myself wishing for an invisibility cloak.
Why, then, am I wearing this?
Well, to be honest, I’m not totally sure yet.
For the last year or so I’ve had this idea rolling around, singsonging at me and poking me obnoxiously in the temple. “Wear a tiaaaaara. Make it an everyday thiiiiiing. You’re always saying there should be more tiara-appropriate events. Dooooo iiiiiit.” For well over a year, maybe two, I’ve laughed about the idea and then shoved it off, back into the never-never. “Ooh, you could be a princess!” it usually shouts at me over its shoulder as I push the door shut. “You could dress all princessly! BIG FOOFY DRESSES!” Slam.
Backtrack to a few weeks ago, when the idea suddenly clarified itself and got really loud. “Okay, so no foofy dresses. No big fancy project. Just… wear a tiara every day. For a year. You can do that, right? It’s just jewelry, really.”
I rolled my eyes at my (very persistent and unreasonable) subconscious. “Why?”
Ridiculous Idea: “Just because. Just try it. You’ll find out along the way. It’ll be an experiment. You’re a nerd. You like experiments.”
Me: “An experiment in what?! How to make people think I’m a total freak?”
R.I.: “Maybe. What do you care? You already walk around with a service dog who looks like a Sesame Street retiree.”
Me: “Yeah, and I’d like to draw less attention when I’m out, thanks, not more.”
R.I.: “It’s just one year. One year of wearing a tiara! It’s not like I’m asking you to take a job as a synchronized sewage swimmer.”
R.I.: “Please please please please pleeeeeeeeeaaaaaase?”
R.I.: “I’m never going to shut up about this unless you do it.”
Me: “You’re from MY brain. I can shut you up if I want!”
R.I.: “Nuh-uh. You’re a writer. You know full well your imagination has a mind of its own.”
Me: “I hate you.”
R.I.: “One measly little year!”
Me: “I’ll think about it.”
S0 I took the idea to my writing group. I knew they’d help me out. It wasn’t going to be easy to have them tell me I was ridiculous for even considering it, even if I agreed with them, but it had to be done. So a few Saturdays ago, I waited for a lull in the conversation, and I blurted it out.
“I’mthinkingaboutwearingatiaraeverydayforayear.” I scrunched my eyes closed and waited for the awkward silence and/or hoots of laughter.
“YES! I LOVE THIS IDEA!”
“You’re going to write about it, right?”
“Ooh, you should take a picture every day, to document it!”
“That could be really interesting! You should totally do it!”
OMIGOD. YOU GUYS ARE NOT GOOD FOR MY NORMALNESS.
So anyway. Five days ago it was my birthday. My 32nd birthday. (I AM 32 YEARS OLD. I SHOULD NOT BE WEARING A TIARA TO THE GROCERY STORE.) I’d waffled and waffled and waffled about the idea, and that morning had finally said to myself, “Screw it. It’s my birthday and I can do what I want.” And pulled down the box of tiaras from the top of my refrigerator.
Fun fact. Ten years ago my let’s-see-what-happens experiment was pageants. I was an obese nerd who hated the feeling of makeup on my skin, and who was fairly miserable from some disability related-stuff that meant I had pretty much nada to brag about. Yup. Toooootally made sense for me to jump into pageants.
Anyway, I won a few titles and quite a few crowns. Several of the smaller ones were gifted to some cute little girls at a garage sale I had a few years ago, but I’ve kept four that mean a lot to me. So I figured I’d just plunk one of them on my head and call it good.
Except… well. They’re kind of big. Not for pageants – as pageant bling goes, they’re actually relatively understated. But for real life? Especially when I wasn’t feeling very brave at all about this whole idea? Three vertical inches of rhinestones on my head felt like a lot.
I couldn’t do it. I left for my birthday celebration tiara-less. But the idea continued to eat at me, and when I spied some kiddie sequin tiaras in the $1 basket at Jo-Ann Fabric later that afternoon, my heart lightened a little. I could wear those! To start, at least. They’d be ironic, right? See, I would look ridiculous on purpose.
I bought one each in silver, purple, and pink, and plunked the pink one on my head. (It matched my capris.) I’d like to say I felt miraculously confident about my choice and wore it with pride, but… I didn’t. I took it off and set it aside a few times during the evening. I wasn’t having an easy time with my birthday this year, and wearing a tiara wasn’t helping. And when I got home, I wasn’t at all sure whether the project would continue beyond Day 1. In fact, the way I felt, I was pretty sure it was already dead in the water.
But the next morning my mood was a little better, and I thought “eh. What the heck.” I trimmed down the silver tiara to something a little less “I’m a fairy princess!” and headed off to church with my mom. And I’ve kept putting on a tiara every day since. That’s not saying a LOT, given that it’s been less than a week, but I still feel like it’s some kind of accomplishment. To me, at least.
I haven’t told many people I’m doing this. My mom thinks I’m crazy, as usual. My writer friends support me, if only because they’re like me: nerdily fond of experiments. And my service dog just wishes I’d quit putting my tiaras on him when I get bored. Nobody’s flat out told me that it’s a terrible idea, so… I guess I’m doing it.
Just figured I’d better warn you all. You know, in case you want to start making a list of excuses to not be seen with me for the next 360 days.
(With thanks to The Princess Diaries for the post title. )