you so much for nominating my entry, Cold Heartless Bitch for
best coverage of a news event. (I'll love you even more if you to to the Diarist Net voting page and vote for it as well!)
And congratulations to all the other nominees, especially SecraTerri, The Bitter Hag, and Charlene of Are We There Yet?
Thanks to The Real
Diary Critic for reviewing this journal. I was very pleased with the review. It is dated
May 12 and can be seen here.]
MOVE OVER, MR. BLACKWELL
15 May 2002
As I came out of the office, into the heat of the parking lot, juggling a handful of
files and bags and purse and other stuff, the trio was walking past me to the nearby
supermarket. They were an odd looking group, but my eyes were drawn to one in particular.
His hair looked like it was brushed a year ago. Part of it was braided, part was wrapped
around the bottom of his hairline, part of it stood up in little spikes like the teeth of
His pants dragged on the ground and looked like they belonged to a fat man's
"before" wardrobe. The waist hung down to the top of his hip bones. The pockets
were at his knees and the cuffs of the pants dragged on the ground. His shirt was at least
4 sizes too large.
As I drove past the group, on my way out of the parking lot, I passed another
adolescent wearing shorts, now that the weather is starting to turn warm. The shorts came
below his knees and at least two more knees could have fit in each pant leg.
I hate to say it, but I'm afraid that these two guys represented the height of
adolescent fashion. I feel like such an old fogey.
Youth of all cultures and all eras, I'm sure, have made their own fashion statement,
and I'm sure as each generation passes into "middle age," they look at those
coming along, throw up their hands and groan "what on earth is appealing about
THAT??" (I have visions of Louis XVI's mother looking at her son and saying "Where in the
world did you get those high heels??" Marie Antoinette's mother probably said
"You look like you have a bee hive in your hair!"
While I have never been the epitome of any era's fashion, I have done my share of silly
As a child of the 50s, yes, I did have the
traditional poodle skirt. It was made of stiff felt with a poodle appliqued on it. To make
it really fashionable, it helped to wear some sort of crinoline petticoat to help it poof
out a bit. And of course with the poodle skirt you had to wear a short-sleeved pink
sweater with a fake fur collars, and "penny loafers" (loafers with a penny
tucked into a flap on the toe portion of the shoe).
I also wore makeup and preferred bright, bright red lipstick. My parents were forever
letting me know that I "looked like I was hit in the mouth with a tomato."
It was difficult to really follow the fashion of fellow students during high school, a
time when most of the fashion fads are taking root, when you attend a Catholic school
where you wear the same uniform every day, and where there were rigid rules about all
aspects of dress, from hair to shoes. Still, I managed to spend a good deal of time in a
"beehive" hairdo, not unlike Marie Antoinette's, except with more hair spray. I
also wore those narrow plastic glasses which came to points at each end. A precursor of
Dame Edna's larger, more jeweled version.
It's hard to believe, staring at these hams I'm trying to bicycle into submission, that
I actually succumbed to the mini skirt era. But I was not always the size of a
hippopotamus. There was a time when I didn't mind flashing a bit of leg, especially when
it was clad in long black tights. Top off the ensemble with the world's worst long black
cher-like wig (my hair is too curly to have the long, straight hair that I wanted).
And platform shoes. Oh my lord. I remember hobbling around on those things, thinking I
was just the hottest thing around. It's a wonder that the combination of platform shoes
and those 3" pointy heels that I used to march across the UC Berkeley campus in
didn't totally destroy my feet.
We all went through our tie-dye period. Never bought it, of course. That would be
cheating. Now you can buy brand name tie dye, but we made our own. Some of it wasn't
entirely horrible either.
I was married, barefoot and constantly pregnant when it became acceptable to go
bra-less. It was more of a convenience/comfort thing for me than a political statement. I
can't believe for how long my favorite outfit was an ankle length dress, no bra, barefeet.
I would work at the kids' nursery school in that outfit, which was OK, because a lot of
the other moms were in that sort of get-up as well. (Remember I said it was
"acceptable"; I never said that it was attractive!)
Fortunately, our kids seem to have passed through adolescence during a time of minimal
bizarre fashion statement, at least where clothes were concerned. There were hair styles
to contend with, especially with David who went through colors and styles and shaved
messages on his head. I don't really remember being aghast at most of the clothes that the
kids wore when they were growing up, though.
I must admit that I always felt the "fashion fight" was never one that I
wanted to engage in. There were far more important battles to wage than whether
such-and-such was fit to be seen in public. It was the kids who had to appear in public
and get the cheers or jeers of those seeing them.
I suppose the current love of oversized clothes will eventually be replaced by
something even worse, and I suppose the parents of the kids I met in the parking lot today
have also given up the fight. Still, I kinda wish that the kid in the oversized clothes
would trade it in for some good ol' tie dye--or maybe a leisure suit or Nehru jacket.