a tall tale

We took positions at our flip charts and prepared for the first round of participatory exercises at this morning’s leadership seminar.
“To let you know when it’s time to change positions, I will make a loud noise,” our instructor, Mary Kate, advised us.
Chuckles all around the room.
She grinned at us. “It will be a polite noise,” she added.
Laughter this time.

At the seminar I’m attending this week I ended up at a table of mostly women who were playing what I assume is a fairly common game among women called, “The last time I wore a dress was…” Although I could have won the game hands down by jumping in at any time and volunteering, “Summer of 1983,” I managed to restrain myself.

I was working for a summer in Wisconsin Dells to earn some money for college. One very sleepy weekday evening as I wandered along the main street looking for something to do, I ended up in one of those souvenir photo shops where you dress up in old-timey clothes and have your picture taken brandishing a six-gun and a bottle of Jack Daniels, or posed woodenly in front of a Model T. Two college-age girls were watching over the place, so naturally enough I poked my head in to ask them how things were going. It turned out they were bored out of their skulls. Apparently nobody had stopped in the shop until I came along.

In the course of chatting them up I said that I’d never posed for one of these photos before. They said they’d shoot my photo for free, just for something to do. I took them up on the offer because, well, they were two college girls who wanted to talk to me. The longer I could keep that going, the better.

When I couldn’t decide on a costume to wear, I asked them for suggestions. Well, they said, most guys like dressing up as gunslingers, or sheriffs, or hillbillies with a bottle of moonshine in one hand. Then one of them said, Hey, how about if we dress him up as a woman?

Excuse me? I asked. As as what?

But they were already getting out several long, full dresses and discussing the possibilities, and after they settled on a beautiful pastel blue dress they picked out a wide-brimmed hat and a parasol to go with it. A ruffled blouse finished off the ensemble.

I have to admit I can’t recall another time that I’ve had so much fun having two girls put clothes on me. They posed me in front of a backdrop that looked like a wooded park and snapped a photo that they presented to me with their compliments.

Yes, I do have a scanner. No, I won’t be posting a copy of the photo on this blog any time soon.

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