Growing up with rich, socialite-y parents is confusing when you grow up to become a middle class weirdo…
When I was a child, I have TONS of memories of seeing my father in a tuxedo — seriously the man OWNED a tux, like “yes, I will be requiring this outfit for more than one occasion” — and my mother in an evening gown. Hell, my mother had an “evening gown section” of her walk-in closet-that-was-really-a-room. The heavy drapes of velvet and sequined fabric (it was the ’80s) became one of my favorite hide-and-seek spots.
I’m sure I’m mis-remembering, but it seemed like every month, my parents had a black tie event to attend. I’d watch them get ready — dad setting out his tux and shoes in his closet, then fussing with his cufflinks at the dresser, and mom glamorously accessorizing her stunning dress, then sitting down at her vanity to expertly apply makeup.
Hell, I even attended my fair share of black tie events as a child — wearing itchy, poofy dresses with gloves or giant bows, and those horribly-stiff, shiny-black, patent leather Mary Janes.
I had built up such a collection of fucking GOWNS, by the time I was in college, that I had more dresses to wear to balls and galas then to a your run-of-the-mill formal-ish parties. As I started getting rid of all my gowns — realizing that they were just taking up precious closet space — I thought, “WTF, mom and dad. Black tie was clearly NOT going be a major part of my social life like I thought it would be.”
I think I’ve attended ONE black tie event as a grown up — I was my mom’s date to the wedding of a childhood friend, held at The Los Angeles Country Club (yet another thing that, as a child, I thought would be more a part of my adult life). I ended up wearing the dress I wore to my cousins’ black tie wedding, held when I was in high school. (THAT dress, I kept, because it could make a good Black Swan costume one day.)