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494th Friday Blog Roundup

My friend (hi, E!) posted about Jessica McClintock shuttering her business, and I was mentally transported back to 1987 when a certain little girl (who would be me) stood before the congregation as a Bat Mitzvah wearing the most exquisite Jessica McClintock dress in the whole world.  It had a full pink skirt with a crinoline to make it stick out a bit. (One needed to be careful with said crinoline that it didn’t get tucked into the back of your tights after you went to the bathroom, creating a bubble of mesh across your bum.)  And white lace over the pink top.  It was the embodiment of innocence.  I loved that dress hardcore.  I felt like a princess in it.  Even though I sat with my legs open on the bimah.  Such a lady.

There were other Jessica McClintock dresses, but that one is still my favourite.

I went to a Bar Mitzvah last year and was stunned by the clothes.  As Josh commented, there was more material in the sleeves of some of the dresses we wore to Bar Mitzvahs than these kids were wearing over their whole body.  I somewhat live in fear of dress clothes when the ChickieNob grows up.  It is easy to find modest, everyday clothing in mainstream stores.  LL Bean swim suits, for the most part, cover the body.  Their t-shirts are not cropped to reveal preteen belly.  Gymboree clothes look as if they were made for a child.  I feel confident that I have choices when it comes to casual day-to-day stuff.

But dress clothes?  That’s a different story.  Spaghetti straps for toddlers?  Black spandex contraptions for tweens?  I haven’t deeply explored the world of dress clothes, but at first glance, I’m fairly nervous about how we’ll get through Bat Mitzvah season with bodies somewhat covered.  I’m not asking for a lot.  Just kids looking like kids until they’re not kids anymore.

So I’m sad to see Jessica McClintock go.   At least, the Jessica McClintock of the 1980s.  Those big, puffy marshmallow sleeves!  And lace, lace, lace.


And now the blogs…

But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week.  In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:

Okay, now my choices this week.

Constant in the Darkness has an amazing post about the insecurities she feels in the role of adoptive mother.  It’s the battle between what she knows rationally, down into her bones, and the irrational thoughts that skim her mind.  I love this line: “This all seems crazy to a part of me that is very rational.  But it all makes perfect sense to a part of me that is frightened, afraid to let go, afraid to give in, afraid to trust.”  And I especially love the place she gets to by the end of the post.

Slaying, Blogging, Whatever has a post that starts out about being a special needs mother, but morphs into a look at motherhood in general.  That life doesn’t always go according to plan, and part of the job description is flexing your expectations.  Changing the way you do things.  Taking a step back to notice the good moments even amid the stressful ones.  It was just a great Mother’s Day eve post.

No Kidding in NZ has a moving post, poetically written, waiting for surgery while half a world away, people celebrated Mother’s Day.  It’s a brief post — just two paragraphs long — but it packs a punch.

Lastly, Mrs. Spit has a post about feeling like an ugly duckling while comparing herself to another woman.  She admits that there is no good answer to someone saying that they feel this way.  That telling someone they’re pretty doesn’t help.  And yet, we all have that need inside of us to hear that we are pretty.  It’s a post that you will think about even after you’ve stepped away from the screen.

The roundup to the Roundup: Goodbye Jessica McClintock.  And lots of great posts to read.  So what did you find this week?  Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between May 9th and May 16th) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week?  Read the original open thread post here.


1 Pepper { 05.16.14 at 7:58 am }

Oh, dressing a girl. This is my great fear as my sweet, modest daughter gets older. The dresses are already ridiculous. And she is 3… I can only imagine what lies ahead. I think maybe I put too much thought into these things, too much worry, but I feel such a responsibility already to make sure she has a positive body image, that she embraces her beautiful little (or not so little) pot belly, and these clothes. Ugh.

2 Karen Paul-Stern { 05.16.14 at 8:00 am }

I had the most exquisite blue velvet Jessica McClintock frock when I was a tween – white lace choker, long almost-navy blue velvet dress. I don’t even remember why I had it, only that I, too, felt like royalty in it. I re-discovered Jessica McClintock two years ago when my daughter went through the bat mitzvah cycle. Indeed, it was the only store where you could still buy a pretty, appropriate party dress that could be both mom- and daughter-approved. My daughter’s own bat mitzvah dress was from the store in Tysons, and I have to say, it was gorgeous. She loved it and I loved it. I was very sad to hear of the brand’s demise, and am thankful that my youngest will need only a suit for his big day (although his older brother didn’t wear one, but that’s a story for a different day.)

3 Ana { 05.16.14 at 9:24 am }

I pined for those dresses as a tween and never got one (too frugal, my mom…and no occasion big enough to warrant it in those years). I tend to say things like “ha ha, good thing I never have to worry about this stuff, not having any girls”, but… I also pine for a daughter, worries about dresses and all…

4 Heidi { 05.16.14 at 10:16 am }

Awww. This makes me very nostalgic. My very first formal dress, in 1980, was one of those poofy, frothy Jessica McClintocks. And when I was searching for an understated, mature-looking wedding dress in 2000, lo and behold, the one that won my heart turned out to be a Jessica McClintock, all grown up.

5 Sharon { 05.16.14 at 11:04 am }

Yeah, I must admit, the clothing thing was one small reason I was glad when I had two boys and no girl.

I loved Jessica McClintock dresses back in the day. Sad to see her go. The end of an era. . . .

6 a { 05.16.14 at 12:22 pm }

There are still modest dresses on the market. It’s just a matter of talking your child into preferring those. Mine likes her sleeveless dresses, and wants to wear the fashionable spaghetti strap ones but they never fall quite right on her, so she just admires them in her closet until she outgrows them. 🙂 (They’re hand-me-downs – I certainly don’t pay for things for her to sit and look at instead of wear.)

7 Davidah { 05.16.14 at 2:42 pm }

Having just finished the Bat Mitzvah year, there are reasonable dresses out there. Little shrugs/sweaters are very helpful. Nordstroms is better than Macys, but more expensive. I’ve lost the battle on high heels though.

8 Mali { 05.16.14 at 3:48 pm }

Thanks for the shout out, Mel. I’d already had my surgery (hysterectomy) at the time of the post, so maybe I can blame the anaesthesia for being so emotional?

9 jjiraffe { 05.16.14 at 4:09 pm }

Thank you for the link to that lovely story about Jessica McClintock. Both my mom and I loved her dresses – I wore Jessica dresses to my 8th grade graduation and Winter Formal. Althought not my Senior Prom – I wore a Victoria’s Secret (I know – random) strapless dress, and the hem fell apart right before pictures.

I should have bought a Jessica McClintock dress instead.

It bums me out that my daughter won’t even have the option. 🙁

10 Cassie { 05.16.14 at 6:46 pm }

I put this in last weeks comments, not realising it belonged on today’s (oops, I am a novice at submitting to the round up!) so I’ll add it again, here. I just read Jane Allen’s post about the controversy around gender selection. I think she is an amazing person with super human strength to have handled her situation so gracefully!

11 Katherine A { 05.16.14 at 9:28 pm }

My first prom dress (for now-husband’s junior prom – we were high school sweethearts) was a beautiful blue Jessica McClintock ballgown. It had a corset top and full skirt with that crinoline underneath. Such a happy memory. That dress made me feel amazing and beautiful.

Thanks for sharing your memories of your amazing dress. Thanks for the article on Jessica McClintock. Sounds like many of us have these cool memories in those dresses.

12 Elisha { 05.17.14 at 1:38 am }

My FAVORITE prom dress was a Jessica McClintok dress! I still have it even though it was 11 years ago.

13 Lauren { 05.17.14 at 1:48 pm }

I like this post about IVF Money Back Guarantees. It is such a hard decision. Is it betting against yourself, or giving you the best chance possible? http://alexandlindsaysbabyquest.blogspot.com/2014/05/battle-in-my-brain.html

14 JustHeather { 05.18.14 at 8:03 am }

I never had a fancy name dress… My 8th grade grad dress was turquoise and very much of that era’s style. My prom dress was 70’s vintage and very inexpensive. But I still have it and can just barely fit in it (even if it has shrunk a lot).

For posts this week, I’d like to share one of my own that I can’t stop thinking about. 🙂 It’s about how IF has shown me something positive. http://rowan6.wordpress.com/2014/05/15/how-infertility-has-changed-me-in-a-positive-way/

15 Northern Star { 05.21.14 at 10:19 pm }

Thank you so much Mel. It means a lot to me to this week! You’re very sweet and I feel blessed to be part of such an amazing network of peeps!

16 Northern Star { 05.21.14 at 10:23 pm }
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