In true retail therapy fashion, I used to buy new Easter dresses for me and my daughter. (Almost every Easter.) Even if it was from a fancy consignment store. Not this year. She is turning 9 soon. Nine going on 29, lord help me. She tells me, in a matter of fact way, “Mom, this Easter, I really want to use what I already have.” I translate this into “shopping her closet” in a sort of Punky Brewster-meets-Pippa flair. So I decide to do the same and use what I already have too. It’s the smartest thing, and I love my daughter for being so practical.

Only I forgot to “shop my closet” the night before Easter. And I forgot to do it before getting in the shower Easter morning too.

So there I was, 32 minutes before we’re leaving for my mother-in-law’s. I’m standing there, in a robe, in front of my eclectic array of New England not quite spring drab wintery wardrobe, trying desperately to find something Eastery to wear. A dress or skirt-and-blouse combo that fit this criteria: 1) something that’s not black; 2) something that’s not grey, dark grey or brown; 3) something that fits me and my new layers of back fat; 4) something that looks more Eastery than The Office.  I had 27 minutes to spare before leaving for a family brunch. I stood there, in Jackie panic-mode, digging in the trenches to find the right outfit for the occasion.

That dress is grey. No. That cotton faux-Lilly dress is a fun shade of green and very summery, but it only fits if I don’t eat bread for five days. Too late, as I had just  polished off a “guilt-free-because-it’s-a-holiday” cinnamon bun. The multi-colored wrap dress actually LOOKS like an Easter egg. No flipping way.  I love the plum wrap dress, but I’ve worn it 50 times in the last year and even I’m getting sick of it.

Wait, I think I found it.  The hot pink sleeveless cotton dress that I bought two years ago from White House, Black Market. It’s still on a hanger! Waiting for me to wear! It was literally the only item in the store that wasn’t black and white. And it has pockets. And room for me to eat a chocolate bunny… or 12.

I pull it on. It fits. And it looks totally appropriate. Except it hits right above the knee and my fresh-from-winter-thanks-to-Punxsutawney Phil-legs are a shade lighter than milk. (Only a good thing if you’re Snow White). I slather myself in Jergen’s sunless tanning lotion. Mix it up with some tinted moisturizer. Cover a bruise on my shin and a bug bite on my calf with it too. Where did that zit come from? Cover that too. I think I’m a tad darker than an albino at this point. That’ll do.

So I spend a fun holiday with my husband’s family all dressed up in my new-fangled Easter Sunday attire. We eat, giggle as a family, hunt for Easter eggs, gab, play in the yard, and eat some more. I eat enough veggies to make up for all the mini Lindt Easter eggs I consume.

You think I had one picture of myself to show proof that I got all dressed up? No. See, that would make too much sense. Like every mom in America, I was the one behind the camera. I was the one taking pictures all day. And the dress? It’s lying lifeless in the hamper, hoping to be used again before the year 2017.