Stephen, Donna (one of the twins), and I had been playing one day when we started talking about how boring for us when I was always the wife, and he was always the husband. What if we switched roles? Even Stephen liked the idea, so we went to my house to switch clothes.

In my house, I went in the room I shared with my sister to change, and Stephen went into my brother’s room. Donna was the go-between, bringing Stephen’s clothes to me, and taking mine to him. When we got dressed and emerged from the rooms, we realized the problem of playclothes for kids — we both were wearing jeans, albeit the other persons (his were tight around my hips), I was wearing Stephen’s tank top, and Stephen was wearing my tee shirt. My hair was long, his short. Not as different as we’d hoped.

My Mom came back, carrying clothes from the dryer to fold up, and asked what was up. She thought the idea was hilarious, and picked up on the problem of our similar garb immediately. She serched through her closet and found one of her old maternity dresses, and Stephen wsa dispatched to my brother’s room to put it on. When he came out, we shoved a pillow underneath to make him look pregnant. Mom had pulled my hair back in a ponytail so it wouldn’t look long in front, and, to cover up Stephen’s short hair, wrapped a scarf around his head.

We were having a ball, me being the husband and him the (pregnant) wife. I tried to act as masculine as possible, holding my arms akimbo and my shoulders back, while he curled forward, hands protective on his pillow-belly, smiling and timid. We had to play inside, because we wouldn’t risk the neighborhood guys seeing him dressed as the wife. Donna had run home really quickly, and returned with her camera, taking a picture of the two of us in our role reversal.

My Dad arrived home from work, so it was time for dinner. We switched clothing back, and Stephen and Donna went to their homes.

Donna and her family moved, first to Pascagola, then Hawaii, and then back to Florida. On one of her visits to us, she gave me one of the pictures of me and Stephen in drag. I carried it everywhere until someone stole my wallet while I was in eighth grade. Taking the wallet and its contents (not much more than a couple of dollars and my library card) was nothing to me, but losing that picture was heartbreaking. I hope to someday make contact with Donna again to see if she has another of the pictures, or maybe the negatives.

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