To Be Or Not To Be


What can you do, when you're not happy as a boy?

To Be
Not To Be

by Barbara Lynn Terry


Author's Note: The idea for this story is credited to Beth Ann who wrote Sister's Party Dress which is now posted in Fictionmania...

Part I To Be Or Not To Be.

"Darling? What is wrong honey?" My mother asked, as I sat in my bedroom, on my bed, wearing my sister's dress.

I was crying, cause when I saw myself in the mirror, I thought how unfair life was to me. I had wanted forever to be able to wear dresses like the girls at school did; to be able to have my hair long and set really pretty. I had wanted to play jump rope, hopscotch, jacks, hide-n-seek, or just be able to hang around with the girls. The boys never interested me in the games they played. The played very rough, always wrestling, hitting each other in the arm, when one of them told a joke they thought was funny, and teasing the girls too. Yeah I know, if I were a girl, they'd tease me too. But it would be worth it, if only I was a girl.

"Mom? I - I don't know what's wrong."

"Honey, why are you wearing Sandy's dress and things?"

"Because mom, they feel really nice and like I should be a girl, instead of a yucky boy. I don't like being a boy mom. Boys play too rough and they tell very nasty jokes too. So I thought today, since school is out for the summer, I would see what being dressed like a girl felt like."

"And do you like the feeling you have when you are dressed as a girl, dear?"

"Oh yes mom, I really, really do."

My name today is Jimmy, but it would be the last day anyone would call me that, including my sister, my mother, my friends, and yes, you guessed it, my father. I am seven years old, eight in two months. I am normal height for a boy of seven at four feet, nine inches. I have nice hair too which is long because even boys in the sixties, wore their hair like the Beatles or even longer. My mother is a nice lady, very even in her temperament, and was in her late twenties. She has nice light auburn hair, and a very sparkling smile. She wore nice clothes all the time, even when she wasn't going anywhere. My father on the other hand wasn't very tall. He is five foot, six inches, about one hundred and fifty pounds and works down at the post office. My sister, who will be nine in two days, had nice long blonde hair, and she wore very nice dresses and skirt sets. The dress I was wearing was one of hers. Nothing special though, just one of her school dresses. It was white, with puffed sleeves, sitting just above my knees and it wasn't even snug on me. It was like it was made for me. The front of the dress had white lace from the neck to the waist in a narrow, straight line. There was also lace around the cuffs of the puffed sleeves.

"Well sweetie, would you like to go shopping tomorrow and let me buy you your own dresses, skirts and under things. Some shoes too?"

I threw my arms around my mother's neck and looked at her with a very happy smile. "Oh mother! Will you let me be a girl? A really girl?"

"Yes dear, I will let you be a girl. But if I let you be a girl, you will have to dress like a girl and behave like a girl from now on. Do you think you can do that, even in front of your father?"

"Yes mommy, I can, and I will."

"That's my girl. Now, your father will be home at his usual time. and we will have dinner. Do you think you can wear this dress until bedtime?"

"Yes mother I can. Oh thank you so much mommy. I love you." I said giving her the biggest hug I could manage.

"Good girl, honey and, I love you too sweetie. We need to think of a name for you. Did you think of a name you would like?"

"No mother I haven't...I was just so sad cause I wasn't a girl, that I just put this dress on and sat here thinking how unfair everything is. Then I started crying."

"Its okay honey, we will think of a name for you at dinner. Okay?"

"Yes mother. Mother? I will be a very good girl, I promise."

"Oh honey, you have always been good. I know you will make a fine girl. Okay sweetie, you can go downstairs now, if you want to."

"Thanks mother. I do want to."

"Good girl."

Part II I Get A Name.

Mom helped me wipe away the tears put my hair in a pony tail and we went downsatairs. My sister was watching television. When I walked into the living room, and sat down next to her, she just moved over, but said nothing. We watched cartoons until my father came home. When he had put his things away in his little den, he came out to the living room and gave us both a hug.

"How's my two little girls today?" He said with a very nice smile.

"Very nice daddy," we both said together as we smiled back at him.

"That's great. Cartoons huh? I wish I had time to sit here and watch cartoons with you. You both look so pretty."

"Thank you daddy," we replied in unison.

My sister looked at me, not at the clothes I was wearing, but at me. "Did you think of a name yet?"

"No I didn't. Mother said we will think of one at dinner."


My sister's name is Sandra, but we call her Sandy. "Uhm Sandy?"


"Do you notice anything strange about me today?"

She looked at me, looked at the outfit I was wearing, put her finger to her mouth, like she had seen father do, and said, "no, I don't see anything strange at all."

I couldn't believe it. This was the first time I had ever worn anything of a girl's, and yet I was being accepted as though my wearing a dress was natural. So, with what she had said, we sat back down and watched more cartoons until dinner was ready. Mom called us into the dining room and we all stood at our chairs while father said grace, which he ended as, "...and thank you Lord for showing our youngest daughter who she really is. Amen." We sat down to a nice dinner of baked potato, pork chops, and green beans. We had a piece of my mom's cherry cake for dessert.

When we had finished eating, we sat at the table a little longer. "Jimmy, did you pick out a nice name for you?" My father asked gently.

"No daddy, I didn't."

"Ok pumpkin, not to worry. We will think of one for you. How does that sound?"

"Okay daddy, that would be very nice."

He smiled at me and we tossed several names around, until we came on one I really liked.

"So then, do you like that name?"

"Oh yes daddy, I do, I really, really do."

"Okay, let me see the hands that are all in favor of our youngest daughter being named Crystal Marie." We all raised our hands. After the naming, I got hugs from everyone.

"I like Crystal Marie, Crystal. It is such a pretty name."

"Thank you, Sandy." We hugged some more.

"Crystal, do you want to come up to my room and play with my dolls with me?"

"Yes Sandy, I would love to."

As we went to Sandy's room, I could see my parents smiling at us as we went upstairs. We got to her room, and the first thing Sandy did was go to her dresser and pulled out a nice nightgown. She brought it over to me and held in front of me.

"I think this will fit you. My dress does. Or I should say your dress does. You can have all the clothes you're wearing now and this nightgown, sis."

"Thank you Sandy." I gave her a sisterly hug.

We played with the dolls until it was bedtime. Mom came in the room and told me she would help me unzip the dress. I showed her the nightgown that Sandy had given me. It was a very pretty nightgown too. It had forest animals on the front, and was made of cotton on the outside, with a nylon inner lining. Mother and I went to my room where she helped me off with the dress, and I put the nightgown on, and then started to take off my panties.

"Honey, leave those on. I will get you a clean pair in the morning. Okay?"

"Okay mommy."

I gave her a hug and kiss and got into bed after saying my prayers. I thanked God for letting me be the girl I should have been all of my life. I got under the covers, and mom tucked me in. Then she gave me a kiss on my forehead and smile at me and said.

"Good night darling, sweet dreams. Tomorrow, we go shopping to get you your own clothes that every girl should have." I told her good night, and went right to sleep. I was happy now.

Part III My Very Own Dresses.

Mom came in my room and sat on my bed and gave me a gentle kiss on my forehead. "Wake up sleepy head. We have a full day today. You get your own dresses and skirt sets along with everything else. We will be going to three shops today. How do you feel?"

"I'm happy mommy. I'm going to love being your youngest daughter."

"I know you will sweetie. When we get back, we have to have a mother/daughter talk. Okay?

"Yes mommy."

"Okay, I ran your bath and I put some nice lavender bubble bath crystals in there for you. Now when you take a bubble bath, dear, you just soak the sponge, and squeeze it so the water runs all over your body. Wipe yourself with the sponge, don't rub. Okay?"

"Yes mommy."

"Good girl. Now go take your bubble bath. I'll see if Sandy will let you borrow some under things. You can wear the same dress you wore last night. Okay dear?"

"Yes mommy. Thank you."

"For what dear," she said coyly.

"For just being my mommy." She smiled and gave me a hug and I went to take my bubble bath.

I got in the tub and ran the nice soapy suds and water all over me wiping my arms, body and face with the sponge like mom had said to do. Then I just sat there taking in the smell of the lavender scent. It felt so good. The water started getting cool, so Igot out of the tub, and noticed I still had some suds on me. I turned on the shower and rinsed them off. I took out a soft terry cloth towel and patted myself down, drying as I did so. I don't know why I patted instead of rubbed like I used to, but I did. Then I wrapped the towel around me like I had seen my sister do, when she was finished with her bath. I walked into my bedroom, and my mom had some nice lavender panties and a slip to match. She handed me the panties and said put them on. I dropped my towel and put them on, then I put the slip on. My mom helped me with the dress, and I sat down to put on nice white ankle socks, and black Mary Janes. I was ready to go shopping. Mom tied my hair back in a nice feminine pony tail, and we went downstairs. My father already had left for work, so there was just us three girls, and we were all going shopping together.

We went outside and got in the car and we headed for the shops. (Author's note: Where I grew up they didn't have malls, but they had shopping centers.) The shopping center we went to was called Southgate Shopping Center. It was a collection of different stores next door to each other. The first store we came to was called Young Miss. It was for girls from about four to twelve years old. They had really nice clothes here. We went in the store and a lady maybe mom's age came up to us.

"Hi, I'm Beth. How can I help you today?" She was mom's height, nice soft, drown hair, with shimmering highlights, and wore dangly earrings. She was very pretty, like my mom.

"We came to get my daughters some clothes. We need everything for her," mom said pointing to me. "And we need a couple of dresses for her sister."

"All right, come with me, and we'll let the two young ladies pick out what they want." She led us to the dress area, and oh my gosh, the colors, styles and fabrics. It was like a rainbow.

Sandy and I went together, and she helped me pick out three dresses. The first one was pink and white, with lace on the hem, sleeves and front. The second one was plain white, and the third one was lavender. We took them to the counter and laid them in front of my mom.

"Come on Crystal, let's look at some skirts, now." Sandy said pulling and tugging at my arm.

There were skirts in different styles too, as well as colors and fabrics. Some were on hangers by themselves and others were in sets, with nice tops to match. I picked out three skirt sets, and three skirts. One skirt set had forest animals on it, in a nice pretty forest scene. I fell in love with it the moment I saw it. I asked if I could try it on, and I was led to the fitting room. It fit like a kid glove, just made for me. Next, Sandy and I went over to the lingerie area, to pick out some underthings. I picked out full slips to go with the dresses and in the same colors too. I picked out three half slips to go with my skirts. Then I was looking beyond the underthings, and saw the most beautiful pair of jeans. They were tie dyed, the lady had said. I wanted them and mom let me have them. We got two pairs of Mary Janes and one pair of tennis shoes for playing around in. We put everything on the counter and the lady rang it up. Mom paid her and we left. The next shop we went to was a beauty salon, where I was to have my hair done. Nothing fancy, no perm, just a feminine look like all the girls may age had.

We stopped at the desk and my mom told the lady we didn't have an appointment, but could they squeeze me in. The lady looked at her book and said yes they could as they had one cancellation. She told the lady the session was for me, and she took us over to the waiting area. She gave me a book and told me to look at it, and see what style I wanted. Her name was Lucy, short for Lucinda. She was mom's age, again, giggle, and was very pretty. When it was time for me to have my hair done, she led me back to a chair similar to a barber chair, but not quite. She told me the stylist would be with me shortly. I sat there for only a few minutes, and a lady that looked younger than my mom, came up to the chair and introduced herself.

"Hi, I'm Claire. What is your name?"

"Crystal Marie."

"Such a pretty name for a pretty girl. But young lady, when I am done with you, you will look even prettier. Did you pick a style from the style catalog?"

"Yes I did," and pointed to a simple set that had part of the hair curled in back and on the sides, with straight bangs. Claire brushed my hair and then leaned the chair backwards over a sink and washed my hair. When she was done, she towel dried it until it was only damp. She put a piece of paper over the rollers, put some really awful smelling liquid on the paper and began rolling my hair. I just sat there being pampered. I felt like a princess. When she was finished rolling my hair, she put me under a hot dryer. I sat there for what seemed like forever, but was only a half an hour. She lifted the dryer from my head and felt lightly to see if my hair was dry. It was. She led me back to the chair I was sitting in and took out the rollers. She then brushed lightly and fluffed until she was satisfied.

"Now young lady, I am going to polish your finger and toenails."

She got out a light pink nail polish, and put cotton balls between my toes to separate them. Then she began polishing my toenails. When she was done, she began on my fingernails. She put two coats on each nail. When my nails were dry, she told me to stand in front of the full length mirror. What I saw was unbelievable. There was no way the girl staring back at me could ever have been a boy. She was way to pretty. Claire then took me out to mom and Sandy.

"Oh my gosh, Crystal! You're very Pretty!" Sandy exclaimed, giving me a hug.

"You certainly are, honey," mom said smiling. Mom paid the lady at the desk and we left.

"Well how do you feel now, Crystal?"

"Like a princess, mommy."

"You look like a princess too, Crystal," Sandy said hugging me again

"Well girls, I think we should get something to eat. Okay?"

"Yes mommy," Sandy and I said in unison.

We went to Woolworth's and had lunch. Sandy and I ordered a small salad to share, mom just ordered tea and wheat toast. We sat there, eating our lunch and mom was watching me all the time. I sat with my legs together and took small bites. I only took three small bites of the salad and told Sandy she could finish the rest. Mom just smiled at me approvingly. When we were finished, we went to the register and mom paid our bill, and we started home. We left at nine thirty in the morning, and we didn't get back until two o'clock in the afternoon. We took my new clothes to my room and Sandy helped me put them in my closet and dresser, after mom took all my yucky boy clothes out. What she did with them I never knew cause she never said. All I knew was, that I was her daughter and she loved me. Tomorrow is Saturday and I thought I would wear my new tie dyed jeans, with a pretty top that had roses on it, along with my new tennis shoes. Tramping clothes mom had called them. Giggle.

That evening when daddy got home I ran to him and gave him a big hug.

"What was that for, pumpkin?"

"Just because you're my daddy." He smiled and hugged me back. "I love you daddy."


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