The spring I was in 7th grade, I got a t-shirt for my birthday. I'm sure I got other things too, but that particular gift will always stick out in my mind above all others. It was long and white, with a ruffle on the bottom. The front was adorned with a picture of a giant cartoon tiger. I loved it!
The next morning, I donned my new shirt/dress with a pair of leggings (this was back in the day when they were popular for the first time around) and went to school. I didn't get an hour into my day before other kids started to notice something that hadn't occurred to me. "Why are you wearing a nightgown to school?" a boy asked. I vehemently argued that it was not a nightgown, it was a t-shirt dress, but deep down I knew he was right. I spent the entire day defending my goofy tiger shirt-dress loudly and wishing on the inside that I had a change of clothes. I was mortified.
I was so traumatized by that day I wore the nightgown to school that I stuffed it in a drawer of my dresser and, even though I loved that silly shirt and the silly tiger on it, I am pretty sure I never wore it again- not even to sleep in.
Yesterday, I went to Target. I always take a swing past all the clearance racks there. When you have five people in the house, the best way to clothes shop is to constantly look out for good deals on things. I found some good stuff, including shorts for the little guy, a couple cheap tanks tops for me, and a really adorable hot pink Hello Kitty nightshirt for my big kid.
When my oldest got home from school, I told her I had bought her a present while I was out and about. I gave her the shirt and was thrilled when she lit up and said, "I love it!" Parents of middle schoolers know the feeling. You can never be completely sure how they will react to any given item or situation. But then she said something so horrifying, I almost passed out.
"I'm going to wear it on Monday with some leggings!"