My best friend Vicki and I spent hours dressing up in her mother’s discarded evening wear, carefully choosing cocktail dresses, costume jewelry, and high heels from the trunk in the garage. We expertly adjusted outfits to our 7-year-old bodies, tucking chiffon under cinched belts so we wouldn’t trip. The object of our efforts lived near the end of the cul-de-sac. We strutted down the sidewalk, hoping he would emerge and be dazzled, make his choice. Eight-year-old boys are blind to haute couture. Just as well. I would return later in my cutoffs and Keds and have him all to myself.


Roxanne Barber is just months away from relocating from Berkeley, California, back to Santa Fe, New Mexico. A recent layoff has given her time to write, but she’s taking it slowly, 100 words at a time.

Photo credit: Kate Farnady

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