Always the beacon of self-empowerment through fashion, my all-girls high school annually hosted a mother-daughter fashion show.
When I was old enough to audition, I dragged my mom along — aware the tryouts would include a catwalk and choreography.
It wasn’t the best plan.
Mom suffered a shoulder ailment that prevented her from raising her arms above a certain height. While the rest of us raised the roof, she barely caressed it.
She didn’t make the cut.
Some of the moms who got the OK seemed to belong to a different breed.
They not only raised the roof, but supplemented the dance move with their own choreography.
Despite unofficial doctrines banning eye glitter use after 40, they shared their daughters’ cosmetic bags.
After the fashion show auditions, Mom and I didn’t hit a dance floor together until a few years later. I came home from college jobless and lonely.
Lured by tales of moms who’d commiserate with their daughters by dancing on the bar together, I invited my mom to a local nightclub.
After paying the $5 cover charge, I thought she’d embrace an alter ego that made her my party animal older sister.
Instead, she wore khakis and drank water.
My mom didn’t sleep in a time-preserving vault like the beds I imagined housed some of my friends’ mothers.
You know, the ones who call themselves “dogg” and visit a daughter’s college campus while greeted by cheers of enthusiasm.
When I came home last summer, things hadn’t changed.
While we sat at a local bar, my mom adhered to her one-drink maximum and I unloaded the stories too complicated for long-distance phone calls.
There was no chance my mom would interrupt with an insatiable urge for karaoke. I also knew she’d never try to resolve our discussion with a simple “woo-hoo.”
And that’s what I wanted.
Mom will never be my party partner in crime. Yet she’ll always offer the parental guidance you can’t always get from a nightlife comrade.
Her refusal to go vogue and wear glitter taught me to embrace my here and now, rather than test the limits of time.
So happy early Mother’s Day, Mom. Sorry I made you raise the roof, but I’ll never forget our fashion show tryout.
In refusing to be a model, you gave me the role model I deserved.
Sonya Sorich, reporter, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 706-571-8516.