Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Blister in the Sun

A teenage girl at the bus stop, alone, earbuds in, dancing like she’s tryin’ to be famous. I’m not talking about tapping her foot while she waits for the number 49. I’m talking full-on spins and dips, arms flailing. Eyes closed, of course, cuz you wouldn’t want to see the condescending smiles of the passers-by. Like me. I’m wondering if Prince Charming finds that sort of behavior adorable?
I can’t remember ever doing that as a teenager. Currently, I dance down the aisles at the grocery store, singing along to the muzak or entertaining the 3 year old with various Wiggles songs. But as a teenager? I loved to dance—in my room or at a function, but never at bus stops. Ditto with the singing. One exception: Buttercup and I used to sing in the car. Loudly. Especially if a certain prude-y girl was in the back seat and Violent Femmes came on the radio. I won’t repeat the words to the song here out of respect for her parents, but we enjoyed making said girl blush (you have no idea how funny that all is unless you know Buttercup and Prude-y Girl, which you don’t, so I’m sorry for the insider statement.)
Another story about music. When I was 17, the church I went to sponsored a dance-athon. I got pretty close, in the final 10 people. And after 2 hours of dancing, I seriously couldn’t move my feet any more. Migaloo came up on stage and literally held me up through an entire song—a 2.5 minute recess from having to carry my own body weight. I’d like to say that the respite gave me the energy I needed to win, but in truth I lasted another 10 minutes and then asked the judge to call me out so I could finally sit down. (Pride wouldn’t let me just stop, which is another silly thing about teenagers.) Point is, now that I’m old and past public appearances, losing the contest doesn’t seem to matter. But those friends, the ones who lifted me up? You get the idea. (Another aside: Migaloo became a professional lifter-upper and married a woman who radiates compassion, so once in a while, life works out just the way it should.)
Point is, if a friend were with me at the bus stop and really needed to dance, I’d go ahead and dance with her. Prince Charming or no, I’d let loose. Of course, I’d ask to move to a more secluded spot first, perhaps indoors…

Monday, September 29, 2008

Playing Fashion Police

OHMYGOSH! I am so offended. Did you see what she was wearing? I’m voting for McCain just so I don’t have to watch the Lillian Vernon fashions Michelle Obama pulls out of the back of her closet. When she walked up on stage after the debate, she looked like a page from last year’s Homeless Chic catalogue. Maybe she was celebrating her husband’s background, but seriously? A multi-colored Hawaiian print knee length Chinese style fitted-but-not-very-well dress that ZIPPERS all the way up the back!!! If you have to ask for a little help getting into your clothes, it better be for something small and black. Standing next to Cindy McCain, it’s like Angela Lansbury meets Scarlet Johansson. Cindy looked relaxed and professional in a tailored red suit with wide collars paired along a front placard. A bit of curl in her hair, lipstick that matched… I’m not talking about money; it’s a judgment thing. If you’re going to do casual, at least do elegant. This ain’t no church potluck. Complex patterns, with a complex dress, and a back zipper from butt to neck; I’m just thinking someone got clever with the workshop scraps. What about a simple suit, chunky beads if you’re young enough (and Michelle is), maybe go crazy and do piping in black and black boots—now, that’s young, and cute, but it doesn’t say “Rummage Sale.”
Speaking of sales, occasionally I humble myself by walking through the Nordstrom outlet. Not only do they cut the cost of a cotton shirt to a reasonable $400, but they also sell socks. For $35/pair, I’m wearing them on my ears so everyone can see them. Some of the clothes, I’m wondering who buys them? From what I’ve seen, it’s mostly old ladies with several karats on their fingers and standing weekly appointments at the hairdressers. Do they take home the (not kidding) $1,100 lingerie? For that money, there better be a plastic surgeon included. And have you seen the new line of nylons? Spanx. I’m not buying them on principle. And a few of the outfits, I couldn’t figure out how to even put them on. There were several straps going all over with loops and hooks. I’d need directions. And knowing me, I’d get in a car wreck and they’d have to cut me out of the straight jacket I’d put on thinking I’m all cool and hip.
“Poor woman,” the EMT would say. “Must have escaped from the mental ward.”
Which is where I’d deserve to go if I ever showed up at a public function looking like I’d recycled my prom dress.