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2002q1-finalist.gif (6317 bytes)Thank 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?


critic.jpg (7479 bytes) 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.]



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 a buzzsaw.

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 things.

poodleskirt.jpg (18175 bytes)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.

Quote of the Day

Art produces ugly things which frequently become more beautiful with time. Fashion, on the other hand, produces beautiful things which always become ugly with time.

-Jean Cocteau, New York World-Telegram & Sun, August 21, 1960

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One Year Ago
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Created 5/14/02