When I was in college, one of my roommates was convinced the lyrics to Elton John’s classic “Tiny Dancer” were about Tony Danza. Who’s The Boss himself. As in, “Hold me closer Tony Danza.” I remember dissolving into fits of giggles when I heard this, which commenced the Quote Board, that hung on the back of our door our entire senior year and soon became filled with things that only we would understand.
Though I am pretty far from those dorm-bound days, I saw that song epitomized in dress form when I was out doing as vintage huntresses do. During our stopover in San Diego, I batted my eyes at Mr. Dressed and convinced him to pop into a few of my favorite vintage stores. Ever obliging, he came along, to occasionally offer an opinion (but mostly to visit the microbrewery next door). In a local favorite, The Girl Can’t Help It, I was literally inundated with more vintage loveliness than I knew what to do with.
When I pried apart the racks and saw this dress I actually gasped – this Pat Premo beauty almost came with her own orchestra, she was just that fabulous. From the waffle texture to the novelty print to the pencil-shaped underskirt and flared overskirt, this dress and I were destined to make music together. And then when I spied the rows of legless dancers twirling around her skirt as I zipped her up and felt that familiar frission of excitement when a vintage dress fits you perfectly, I heard the first few strains of Tiny Dancer and I knew she was meant to be mine.
Now she’s in me, always with me.
Tiny dancer in my hand.
Elton John, Tiny Dancer
Whenever I hear the first strains of Tiny Dancer, it always fills me with the most profound sense of peace. It reminds me of summer and feeling carefree and of falling in love. An ice cold beer on a sandswept beach. And it brings me right back to those days in college, with our futures ahead of us, brimming with possibility.
Truth be told, I’ve come a long way from that dorm room in Boston. Multiple countries and degrees and adulthood divide us. I suppose when you have a major life change, you always look back to the beginning and how far you’ve come. From the wide-eyed biology major, determined to become an ichthyologist. To the early 20-something, grabbing her two suitcases and moving to New Zealand with fear but fervor. To the slightly wiser post doc, moving to San Diego and meeting her Mister. To Perth as a family, finally finding my science groove. And now to North Carolina as a full fledged grown up, prepared for whatever awaits me with my own lab (Who’s the boss, now??).
As I zipped up this dress today, I flicked to Tiny Dancer on my iPod and let it play as I got ready. And as those familiar strains started to fill the tiny bathroom, I found myself humming along and changing the tune – “Hold Me Closer Tony Daaaaaaaaan-za.” If for no other reason, than to remember a certain four girls in a certain dorm room, ordering yet another pizza and gearing up for yet another Sex and the City fest, piled into our too-small dorm beds, ready to take on the world.
Oh Tony Danza….
Dress: The Girl Can’t Help It Vintage (similar modern or vintage here, here & here)
Necklace: Gift (similar)
Belt: Alannah Hill (similar)
Handbag: gift, Olga Berg (similar here & here)
Shoes: DSW (similar here & here)
Lip Color: Clinique Cherry Pop