Femme riders in the sky.

I dare you to tell me that my mother's bike isn't adorable. The faux wood paneling, the whitewall tires and seafoam wheels, the little basket and the whatever-the-heck-that-is leather case thing on the back - it's all so terribly precious. For her birthday earlier this year, my stepdad corralled all us kids together to chip in on this bike for her. I decided to take it for a little ride on Mother's Day, when these photos were taken.

Two small things:

1. It's been awhile since I've ridden a bike. 2. Even longer since I've ridden one in heels.

It's totally not a big deal. Would you like to hear a sad little story? My mom, bless her heart, has always wanted a puppy. When I was a drooling brat toddler in red overalls and a super cute anchor print t-shirt (what, I have a good memory), we had a wee beast named Cujo. Cujo wasn't even that big, but he'd get real excited and knock me over in his attempts to play with the tiny new person in the house. Well, after the first few times he toppled me and sent me bawling into her arms, Cujo went someplace else. A better place, I'd like to think.

My mom never got another dog after that, especially not after marrying my incredibly delicate stepfather with all his sensitive animal allergies.

Oh. I'm sorry, did you think the sad story was over? Well, it's not. It get sadder. Once it became clear that my mom would never get a real dog, she bought herself a stuffed dog. Or maybe someone gave it to her. I think it all started with a mother and baby canine grouping all sewed together onto a big dog bed pillow, which she placed first at our old house beside the fireplace, and at the current house at the foot of the stairs in the foyer.

Over the years, the stuffed dog collection grew. A beagle, her dream dog. All manner of puppies. Hugging dogs. SO MANY STUFFED DOGS. She dutifully grouped them together like something out of a Home Interiors catalog. They became a thing, a fixture at home, and at some point somewhere in the background and through time they began to comfort me. Thanksgiving. The dogs were there. Christmas. There they were, under the fake snow and the little village with the mirrored ice skating rink, and the quilted photo frame with me and my siblings sitting uncomfortably on Santa's lap. And on random day trips when the goodbyes linger in that foyer for as long as 45 minutes (I wish I was exaggerating), there's always a soft fake puppy to hug on.

After I got the clever idea to plop myself onto her bike for this extra-epic Mother's Day FFAF, I walked the bike out of the Tuff-Shed thing in their backyard and noticed the basket. CUTE ATTACK // FEMME LIGHTBULB. Are you thinking what I'm thinking? FAKE PUPPIES IN A BASKET ZOMG! Without explanation I left M standing in the driveway with the bike and ran screaming into the house. Her eyebrow did that thing where it says, "Oh, boy, what's next?"

"Mama, mama!" "What? What's wrong?" "Nothing, where are the puppies?" ZOMG where the fuck are all the freaking puppies?!!? "What pup--oh, oh I put those away a long time ago." "W H U T." "Yeah, I put them all in a box. It's somewhere buried in the garage. Why?

Oh, nothing. Nothing, mom. Just my heart breaking, that's all. Just like that time she promised us she'd NEVER be making us a patchwork quilt, thanks. I made do with a stuffed policeman bear fished from my brother's closet. He's 18 years old and can play the trumpet like nobody's business. He lives there, he could have stopped her from banishing the sweet, innocent puppies. He could have threatened to play his trumpet non-stop in protest until she brought them back out. He felt sorry for me, I think. I mean, hey, the bear is wearing a tie so that's something, right?

Dress: Vintage Cardigan: H&M Mint Skinny Belt: Asos Snakeskin Pumps: Vince Camuto Beaded Necklace: Vintage Earrings: Hand-me-downs from mom