Lambs and lions. Frolicking together.
Politicians. Reaching across the aisle.
Me. At the salad bar.
Rare, improbable, and begrudging, those three.
And they have nothing on this:
My girls. In dresses.
They hate dresses. Like, extra scoop of cauliflower hate. Like, 10-minutes-of-adult swim hate.
Like, this hotel doesn’t get the Disney channel hate.
It makes them a hybrid tomboy, in the amalgamated way of the world in 2014. My girls won’t wear overalls. But they do spit sunflower seeds.
To look pretty, they’ll subject curly hair to scorching heat, scrub on mascara and stink up the bathroom.
With nail polish, that is.
But get them in a dress?
They’d rather triple up on the cauliflower, thank you.
# # #
One day, Grace and I walked in on Marie doing something she’ll kill me for writing about.
We caught her. In a beautiful green dress. In front of a mirror.
We lost it. Like, just saw January Jones shopping in Target lost it. Like, Rockies no-hit the dodgers lost it.
Like, dad, the club just assigned your assistant coach, and her name’s Jennifer Lawrence lost it.
But, like Sasquatch, the lizard man and Vladimir Putin’s soul, photographic evidence of Marie’s girly moment vaporized like free donuts. Just like that.
I got this image. If you look closely, you can see … well, no. You can’t see much.
But we know what we saw.
# # #
Girls everywhere challenge the very definition of girly.
Mine were born into the revolution.
They live in a world where they see moms in charge. Where Alex Morgan is as big a deal as Clint Dempsey. Where they look at American presidents on a laminated placemat and say, “hey dad – where are the girls?”
NPR had a story about the incredible rules NFL cheerleaders must follow. Things are regulated, like the federal government. Fingernail length. Hygiene. Where and when you should touch up your makeup or fix your hair, and standards that prevent you from taking too strong a stand or talking too much.
“It’s a good thing I’m no cheerleader,” Elise said to that.
Pretty and elegant and refined are fine. But it’s not always the end of the story. Maybe it’s time for a split of the term girly. Maybe it’s time for Girly, 2.0.
What will it look like?
Beautifully curled (or straightened) hair – able to bunch up in a ponytail at the drop of a pickup soccer match.
Mascara – especially if it runs down your cheeks when it rains during that match.
Glasses – not for a secretary, but for a scientist, an artist, a computer programmer, an engineer, or just to read the baseball scores and stocks. Or a trashy magazine, if she wants.
It’ll include painted fingernails, chipped inside goalkeeper gloves. Classy tops, ruined by clay or paint or an opponent’s blood. It’ll include mom’s pearls and high heels and lip gloss for those days there’s an MVP award to accept or a shareholder’s meeting to lead.
Or just a night out with the girls – or a very lucky guy.
Girly 2.0 hasn’t fully arrived yet.
But it’s showing up.
In every save of a boy’s shot by a keeper in a ponytail.
In every stay-at-home mom who gets it done – or doesn’t – with a baby on her hip. (What a great look).
And it shows up in every girl class president, fierce female trail runner or reporter who ignores the glares and stares and doesn’t stop digging until she gets to the root of the story.
# # #
Cars, that drive themselves.
Peace, on the Gaza Strip.
Happening, improbable, and begrudging, those three.
But they have nothing on Girly, 2.0. You’ll know it when you see it.
It’s pretty. It’s smart. It’s strong as anything on earth.
Look for the triumphant fist pump.
And for the painted fingernails.