Taking a Powder (Puff)
A coming-of-age story
It was my first Homecoming dance. I had decided to wear one of those strapless dresses, but I was as flat as a pancake up top and was afraid the top of my dress would eventually wind up around my waist.
I wanted to impress the guys (and my friends, of course) so I went into my room and got two powder puffs—those really fluffy ones—and stuffed them down the front of my dress and voila…I had boobs! The other risky thing I did was smear green eyeshadow over my eyes to match my dress.
My parents never said a word (not even about the green eyeshadow) as I kissed them goodbye. I suspected that my Mom was trying not to laugh. The corners of her mouth twitched ever so slightly.
So, I went to the dance and the first boy I danced with, (it was a slow dance, wouldn’t you know it) he in his lovely black suit and crisp white shirt, pulled me to him, pressing his palm against the top of that small hollow running down the length of my back. I see it almost in slow motion. Harry pulling me close. Me with a satisfied smile on my face. As our bodies came together powder flew everywhere, choking Harry who must have inhaled just at that moment.
I was mortified, running to the bathroom as the whole room erupted. (To my 15-year-old self it seemed like everyone either gasped or laughed. Who could blame them?) In the bathroom I ripped the powder puffs out and threw them—disgusting things—into the trash, with my tears caking the powder on my face and my hands smearing the green eyeshadow as I tried to brush the tears away.
You see, in my excitement I had forgotten to shake those puffs out and besides I liked the way they made me smell.
A friend said at that point I looked like I was ready for Halloween not Homecoming.
I heard the story on which this vignette is based from a member of a women’s group I attended. The group has since disbanded as people moved away and moved on.
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