Growing Up and Glitter Don’t Have to be Mutually Exclusive

Posted by on May 23, 2013.

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Last Saturday I attended my school’s prom. It’s an event you wait for starting your freshman year. What dress will you wear? Who will you go with? These questions were growing more and more as the days inched closer to the infamous dance. When I had finally picked out my dress and knew who my date was, I started to think about what my six-year-old self would have thought. Would she still think boys have cooties and ask me why i would ever want to dance with one? Would she say I should wear a tutu instead of the gown I picked? After thinking about this for a while my mind wandered to a book that’s still on my shelf – Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes.

Lilly is a school-loving, hyper first grader who loves the squeaky chalk, pointy pencils, and teachers that accompany her school. One day Lilly brings in her funky purple plastic purse “that played a jaunty tune when it was opened” for Show and Tell. Her favorite teacher, Mr. Slinger, sees the purse and her other glittery accessories as a distraction, so he takes them away until the end of the day.

Saying that this pushes Lilly over the edge would be an understatement. The act of retaliation that follows is more hilarious then evil, but Lilly soon learns that it wasn’t necessary. When she learns her lesson, Lilly realizes that no matter how fabulous her purple plastic purse is, she can’t let it distract her.

Seeing Lilly’s fabulous purse and celebrity-like attitude reminded myself of how I acted on the day of prom. I felt like a movie star strutting around in my dress and heels, while friend’s parents took endless pictures of me. My dress was my purple plastic purse, and I couldn’t let go of the superstar feeling.

I realized that I had a little bit of Lilly in me, wanting to flaunt her purse and glittery sunglasses to everyone. It makes me laugh to think that I still have a little part of me that wants to be a princess. Lilly represents everyone’s girly girl side – the desire to flaunt and be the center of attention (which isn’t always a bad thing).

When I was having fun on the dance floor and singing with my friends, I realized that prom and Mr. Slinger’s classroom are one and the same; everybody should be able to show off their purple plastic purse every once in a while.

Would you like to read Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse? Get it here or at your local bookseller.

Here is my very own version of a purple plastic purse. What's yours?
Here is my very own version of a purple plastic purse. What’s yours?

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