I love to get dressed up. After high school is over and there are no more proms, there’s usually little to look forward to in terms of dressing very formal. The President’s Ball gives me a chance to do that.
I've apparently been the victim of growing up, which apparently happens to all of us at one point or another. It's been going on for quite some time now, without me knowing it. I've found that growing up can mean a lot of things. For me, it doesn't mean I should become somebody completely new and stop loving the things I used to love. It means I've just added more things to my list. Like for example, I'm still beyond obsessed with the winter season and I still start putting up strings of lights in September. I still love sparkles and grocery shopping and really old cats that are only nice to you half the time. I still love writing in my journal and wearing dresses all the time and staring at chandeliers. But some new things I've fallen in love with -- mismatched everything. Mismatched chairs, mismatched colors, mismatched personalities. I love spraying perfumes I used to wear when I was in high school. It brings me back to the days of trying to get a close parking spot at school, trying to get noticed by soccer players, and trying to figure out how to avoid doing or saying anything uncool, and wishing every minute of every day that one day maybe I'd get a chance to win a Grammy. Or something crazy and out of reach like that. 😉 I love old buildings with the paint chipping off the walls and my dad's stories about college. I love the freedom of living alone, but I also love things that make me feel seven again. Back then naivety was the norm and skepticism was a foreign language, and I just think every once in a while you need fries and a chocolate milkshake and your mom. I love picking up a cookbook and closing my eyes and opening it to a random page, then attempting to make that recipe. I've loved my fans from the very first day, but they've said things and done things recently that make me feel like they're my friends -- more now than ever before. I'll never go a day without thinking about our memories together.
I asked my dad once if his high school teachers began treating kids differently during Vietnam, when they knew some of their students would be drafted and sent to war. I was curious because for sure we’d started treating our military kids differently after 9/11. He just shrugged and changed the subject, like he always did. And that was okay with me. He’d go back and change a lot of things if he could; and like everyone else, I’d give anything to go back to the day before 9/11—but all we can do is move forward.
In times like these I always cheered myself up with a certain story. I forgot just when I first heard it, or who I heard it from... but, back when I was young it would cheer me up when I was feeling depressed. Basically, you think of life in terms of a single 24 hour day. So if you take the average human lifespan, to be around 72 years, then dividing that by 24... that comes to 3 years per hour. Meaning, that if you were 18 it'd only be 6 AM! 6 in the morning is nothing! Schools aren't even open by then! It's only been a couple of hours before sunrise, the day's just begun! So if you're 18, you can still fix you life by then! In fact even if you were 30 year old, that's still only 10 AM! The sun's still high, and there's still 2 hours until noon! You still have the whole afternoon to fix your life! You could still make something of yourself. I've always been thinking that, but... I'm now 45 years old! 45 divided by 3 is 15 meaning, that the time 3PM! Ring Ring Ring! I can hear the clock, ringing in my mind! There's only 2 hours before work is over at 5PM! I can't redo anything, it's almost time to go home already.
I was not a very popular kid in high school, and I had this idea that the way that I dressed would change how liked I was. It was that kind of Pygmalion story. I think, ultimately that's probably why I became interested in fashion, its transformative power, and how it can change your identity.
After getting dressed at warp speed, I actually managed to drive all the way to high school before I realized I'd forgotten my morning coffee. Mystery, intrigue, and naked dreams aside, that didn't bode well for my chances at making it through the morning without killing myself. Or someone else.
I end up watching this movie about some girl who's supposed to be so smart and edgy and unpopular. She wears glasses, that's how you know she's so smart. And she's the only one that has dark hair in the school- a place that looks like Planet Blond. Anyway, she somehow ends up going to the prom- hello, gag- and she doesn't wear her glasses, so suddenly she's all beautiful. And she's bashful and shy because she doesn't feel comfortable wearing a dress. But then the guy says something like, "Wow, I never knew you were so pretty," and she feels on top of the world. So, basically, the whole point is she's pretty. Oh, and smart, too. But what's really important here is that she's pretty. For a second I think about Katie. About her thin little Clarissa Le Fey. It must be a pain being fat. There are NO fat people on Planet Blond. I don't get it. I mean, even movies where the actress is smart- like they seem like they'd be smart in real life, they're all gorgeous. And they usually get a boyfriend somewhere in the story. Even if they say they don't want one. They always, always end up falling in love, and you're supposed to be like, "Oh, good." I once said this to my mom, and she laughed. "Honey, Hollywood... reality- two different universes. Don't make yourself crazy." Which made me feel pretty pathetic. Like I didn't know the difference between a movie and the real world. But then when everyone gets on you about your hair and your clothes and your this and your that, and "Are you fat?" and "Are you sexy?" you start thinking, Hey, maybe I'm not the only one who can't tell the difference between movies and reality. Maybe everyone really does think you can look like that. And that you should look like that. Because, you know, otherwise you might not get to go to the prom and fall in love.
In high school, I had to hide my comic book side, my nerd side from the civilian world so they wouldn't categorize me. They would try to marginalize me for what I like. I tried to give it up, believe me. I tried to kick the habit. But there's too much I liked about it to give it up completely.