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.
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!