Thursday, July 01, 2010

Surprise quicksand in the shallow end

I know this is Frivolous Week, but I got all heavy in my head, and to mitigate that for you, I thought I'd share a very sketchy fashion choice from my 80s.

Sooo. As you know, I've been posting all these dress options, and you've so kindly given me your opinions, and for me it's been like playing a game. With clothing! And shoes!

I love thinking about clothing, fabric, color. It's more fun than almost anything else I think about on a daily basis. I write all the time for my job. But not about anything I find compelling.

And why didn't I go into fashion? Why was I too insecure to do anything I actually liked?

(Yes, I know the answer to that. I've spent a boatload of cash answering those kinds of questions.)

So yesterday I learned that more of my high school friends have read my blog than I might expect - at least the last two posts about reunion outfits. Because we are all leaving excited messages on Facebook about seeing everyone this weekend.

And one of them left a teasing comment about the T-shirt he'll be wearing and suggesting I coordinate.

I immediately thought, "Oh, God. I seem so narcissistic and shallow. What if they think I'm an idiot? What if I wear one of those dresses and everyone who read the posts smirks?"

So we beat on, boats against the current, no?

And then I stopped myself and thought, "Well, but these are old friends! People who know me!"

Well, sort of. They knew me in high school.

When I was wildly insecure. When I spent so much stupid time lamenting how fat I was, when I couldn't be skinny or pretty enough, because being enough of either of those would make me enough. Would make me worthwhile.

When I was so uncomfortable with myself. When I was flailing about for an anchor, and desperate for approval.

When, most of all, we didn't acknowledge The Crazy in my family. Because that might hurt Dad's Career.

When I walked around believing the family party line, "We're fine! We're normal and fine!"


Maybe this is true for everyone, but I've grown so immensely in the intervening years. For me, probably mostly within the last several, really. With, you know, a lot of help.

On the outside, I don't look all that different. Maybe 10 or so pounds heavier, and with more wrinkles and more freckles. And I no longer have a Cyndi Lauper criss-cross shaved into my hair.

I'm still very much about what I'm wearing and "Ooh! I love your hair/purse/jeans!" and "Look! prettyshinysparkly!" and "Does my butt look big in this? No? How about if I bend over this way? Now does it? Well, no, I don't know why anyone would bend that way, but does it?"

But inside, I'm three lifetimes older and wiser. I feel like my dad's suicide attempts over the years and then taking his own life last spring were tantamount to living through war. We survived, and we're stronger, but the scars are deep.

I've developed an immense capacity for understanding some astounding things. My tolerance for unkindness and bullshit is remarkably low. I have much more of a poker face than I used to. But I'm much more likely to speak candidly - not unkindly, but candidly.

I can be really intense. In fact, I have this feeling that even when I'm being totally frivolous, it's with a great deal of intensity.

Can you be intensely frivolous?

So I talk about remarkably shallow things like clothing and jewelry and lip gloss and sparkles. Because Christ, the world is plenty heavy. I could talk about BP and McChrystal and Michelle Rhee and DC schools and overturned gun bans and carbon exchange.

But honestly?

I don't want to.

Also, I think I'm going to wear the Abortion Ring with one of the BDs and the S&M shoes one night. And maybe tomorrow's post will be all about jewelry.

La la la la la! Splishy splashy!


  1. I keep trying to post but everytime I re-read it doesn't sound right, so I'll just say that we have "the Crazy" in my family too. And it's OK to want things to be light because the things in your head are dark enough. HUGS!!!

  2. Thank you so much for putting it that way. That's exactly how it is!

  3. If anyone can be intensely frivolous, it is you. You are so full of life!

    I've been looking up movie quotes lately...for the family photo album...and came across
    "Insanity runs in my family...It Practically Gallops!", spoken by Cary Grant as Mortimer Brewster in Arsenic And Old Lace. I laughed, and definitely related to it.

    I love the abortion ring, gorgeous. Have a fantastic reunion weekend!

  4. the tagline (or whatever its actually called) to your blog says is all, to me. it's probably the main reason i began reading (stalking).

    love the gatsby reference- one of my all time faves.

    oh! why don't you just wear white/ pink strapless/ lace fingerless gloves ensemble????? still holding out for rd2. but bd and s&m will do- as long as you incorporate the gloves!

    and still thinking of you (in a kind and non-creepy manner!)

  5. It sounds like you've finally accepted that you ARE enough. However you are, and even if that changes from one hour to the next, is fine. You are fine, whether you are thinking heavy thoughts or talking about glossy, shiny things.

  6. So we beat on, boats against the current - my most favorite quote. Sigh.

    It's funny, because I look at the HS pic and think, "Stunning." I look at your post-baby pics and I think, "Stunning." I wish you could see yourself the way that I do.

    Well maybe not. I wouldn't like you if you were all full of yourself, like, "Look at me! I'm the prettiest, prettiest girl..." That would kind of suck.

  7. Just because we see the dark doesn't mean we must choose to live in it. As a veteran of Big Crazy (my family is laced with it..), I appreciate sunrises and sunsets and pretty shiny and the taste of good wine and the way sand feels between my toes and contemplating outfits and buying fun shoes and generally 'being with lightness.'

    It's a personal prerogative, and exercising it beats the hell out of the alternative.

    It's your life. You're not shallow for choosing to enjoy the brightness; you're wise and are exercising a fundamental right, L.

    Have a great time this weekend!

  8. had Cindy Lauper CrissCrosses in your hair...That is so cool, WOW!

    You rock, you really do and yes intensly frivolous is not only possible but the absolute best way to be frivolous.

  9. Yes, the world is heavy enough. I say we should all be talking about your fabulous S&M shoes because well all need more splishy-splashy!

    Besides, as I found out at my high-school reunion last weekend, it is all about what you wear. ;-)

  10. 結婚率愈來愈低,離婚的比率卻愈來愈高!

  11. 男人有了外遇,但是他不想離婚

  12. You were a total hottie back in the day. You must have broken some hearts. Not that you aren't now, of course. But you've now got a husband who's bigger than me, and I make it a point never to appear to be hitting on the wives of guys who are bigger than me.

    Yeah! for BD#2. Have a great time at your reunion. Can't wait for the recap.

  13. 外遇---偷來的時間、偷來的伴侶、偷來的愛情

  14. 顫抖著手,我拿不穩那份薄薄的離婚協議書


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