Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Stop It.

"Dude. That was totally Ginger."

"Who?"

"That guy that just walked by, it was totally Ginger."

I furrow in her general direction.

Gyna sighs, speeding up excitedly. "Little bit of facial hair, shaved head - one of those guys you talked to at Blind Robin about movies - that was totally Ginger."

"Ohhhhh, that guy. Was his head shaved? I thought he had a hat."

"No, the other guy had a hat."

"That's right, Hat Guy and Ginger."

"Dude, it's fate! We have to go talk to him! You have to go talk to him!"

"Why would I talk to him? I don't even remember half the conversation we had. I don't even remember what he looks like." She could be sending me on some fucking chase after a stranger just for the hilarity. Besides, fate is bullshit, and really, I don't remember enough about the guy to care if I talk to him again.

"He looks like the guy that just passed us." She glares at me. "You're a wuss."

"Yes I am."

And then we walked around Wicker Park Fest for awhile, which is a very vogue and trendy thing to do, particularly in the summertime. We're laughing obviously while pointing at all of those little tents with their vogue and trendy jewelry and purses (as if setting up a tent at a street festival is going to make their goods seem more boutique-ish when all that shit comes from Urban Outfitters. I know, because I can see it in the store window right there) scoping the crowd and petting people's dogs. Like we're in a fucking tampon commercial or something.

Gyna points. "Dude, I think you need a hippy dress."

"I think you're right. I've always felt, you know, secretly, like inside, that I needed more flowy dresses."

Light laughter. We're not anti-hippy, it's just...could you see me in a flowy printed dress? No, you couldn't. I would embody awkward and angry and paranoid, challenging anyone who looked at me. No, no, no, I couldn't wear anything like that. I would be unreasonably defensive, I would get in fights, I would cry and feel weak and lash at people out of fear, then sink into an unworthy state of pathos. Because that's what I do every single time I wear a dress. No. I don't do dresses.

We wandered around some more, killing time before the Smoking Popes started. Damn, I loved that band in high school. Loved them. I remember listening to "Destination Failure" in my room and feeling sorry for myself. It was awesome.

No. No it wasn't awesome. It sucked. It really, really sucked. Damn, I did not like high school at all. I didn't like high school as much as I don't like dresses.

My brain jumps, mad and flailing, rampaged.

Fucking stupid high school, full of fucking stupid assholes. Fucking stupid dances where people wear fucking stupid dresses. Why do people do that? Wear dresses? Dresses aren't about feeling good about yourself, they're about feeling better than other people. Dresses are about being judged and scrutinized and compared and criticized. Why do we need that at all? I don't need it. I don't want it.

Why do I have such a loathing revulsion towards something as simple...no, that's not right, because the social implications of something so thin and fragile as clothing are...well, there's a labyrinth of flavor there, because it's not just about comfort and function, is it?

I hate dresses because they make me hate myself. I just don't know why.

It's a fucking stupid fear, irrationally conjured up by a fucking stupid girl. Stop it. Stop it, Ross. Snap out of it. Stop it. You're overreacting. You're being a dumbass. Seriously. You're better than this.

"You okay?" Gyna looks at me.

My arms are crossed and I'm fixed on the stage, but I'm a little dreamy and angry, and very, very sad. "I'm fine. I just...I just fucking hated high school." I did not go into my pointless, psychotic frenzy about dresses. Stop thinking about irrelevant things. Why am I so angry? Just don't be angry. Stop it. Breathe. Exhale it away.

Gyna smiles a little somberly. "Yeah...I get that. Think of it as, instead of being all hating high school, think about how happy and grateful you are to be out of there and that bullshit and now you're with people who are way cooler than high school." She grins and does a little dance to prove her coolness.

"Yeah, I know. I should. I just suck at that."

(Why is my automatic response "I know" when half the time, I don't know?)

"You wanna move up here, so I'm not standing alone?" she gestures to her side, facial expression subtext: please stop feeling sorry for yourself and have fun. Gyna is right (she's frequently right). I take a hesitant step forward, because stepping forward means accepting that I cannot change the fact that I'm still an emotional trainwreck and a crazy over-reacter person who needs to keep her silly little thoughts to her silly self.

I relax. I'm still sad. But relaxed. People are hanging out of their apartment windows, cheering wildly, singing along with the band, waving their arms like the assholes they are, and I'm in pleasant awe of the social diversity of the crowd. Crazy. I like it when bands like the Popes get bigger, after being around for fifteen years. Jesus, fifteen years.

The show ends, and immediately Gyna scans the crowd again. "There he is! Ginger! Go talk to him!"

"I'm not going to talk to him."

"You have to. You just have to. Come on!"

"No, I don't have to. I don't even remember what he looks like. Why do I have to talk to some dude I don't know?"

"Because, he was totally...whatever, look, he's right over there. And there's the other guy! The guy with the hat! But he's not wearing one right now! Come on, you sally, talk to them."

"What would I say? Oh, hello, remember me, I'm the drunk girl that forced you into a conversation about movies?" I am deeply embarrassed that I even exist right now, after being so foolishly temperamental just ten minutes earlier. I look at the ground and shake my head. "I'm not going over there."

"Come on! What the fuck? Just go over there."

"What's the point? You think we're going to like, make friends with them or something?"

"Who cares? What's the big deal?"

"I'm embarrassed. I don't want to. I was a drunken fuck, and I really don't recognize them." Which is half true. They looked familiar when I glanced over there, and I panicked.They wouldn't want to talk to me anyway. If they wanted to, they would. They probably went home and made fun of me, and talked about the ridiculous, annoying girl that talked to them at the bar that one time. Whatever. Pout about, why doncha?

"You're a wuss."

"Yes, I am."

"Sally!"

"Yup."

"You're either going to go talk to them, or you're buying a hippy dress."

"I'm not doing fucking either of them," I snap, and regret it. "Sorry. I'm just not."

Gyna is resigned. "Fine." I know she's just trying to be helpful and fun and spontaneous, but I'm not in the mood for it. As we weave through the crowd down the street, out of the festival, I can't look up. I'm afraid I'll cry. I don't know why. Like I said before: It's a fucking stupid fear, irrationally conjured up by a fucking stupid girl.

...

31 comments:

Chris said...

Awww. Wait -- no sympathy allowed. I'll start again.

Been there. Probably be there again tomorrow. Actually, you're inspiring me to dust off an old half-finished post that's been grinding around in my brain for a while. But this is seriously like the fifth post I've read in the last few days about runaway emotions. It must be those dog days that the old people are always going on about.

renalfailure said...

Sure you could get a hippie skirt, if you really want people to not take you seriously. Though you would probably be the first woman ever in a hippie skirt to start a fight.

Mongoliangirl said...

Oh you have NO idea how much I love to fight while wearing dresses. I can punch, kick, butterfly dance, scratch, pull hair, pummle, pounce and trounce in a pair of heels and a business suit even. Damn! We SO have to be reincarnated so we can go to highschool together. And wear dresses.
And, as you told me earlier today, fuck fuck fuck.
I hear you.

hereinfranklin said...

I love my hippie skirts. I can run away fast when MG starts pummeling, pouncing and trouncing me.

The Ambiguous Blob said...

Dawg. Dresses are fun. WTF, Rassles.
Think of it as a costume- one that transforms you into a carefree twirly laughing lady. Nothing wrong with feeling ladylike. Nothing at all.
Even if you don't act like one. Put on some mascara and lip gloss and a skirt - oh, it's a lovely feeling!
Dang girl- why limit yourself?
Oh and you'll probably say it isn't limiting, but I know better.

Mae December said...

Dude I get you. Did you see MY post a few days ago? Sometimes weird shit just grasps you by the intestines and you can't do shit about it. But you see it. You see it. And that's already a big deal.

Rassles said...

Mongo, I love you, but I'm not doing that. I'm so incredibly self-conscious in dresses that I'm just this insufferable brat, and I complain about everything, and I hate myself, and I blush and I cry, and I seethe at everyone around me who can wear dresses like it's no big deal. Like they're not the fucking scariest article of clothing man invented. Ever. And I wonder how they do it, how they just wear them, as if it's natural, as if they were born to wear dresses. How does it work? Is there a password that I don't know about, and you whisper to the dress to make it carefree and glorious instead of stifling terrifying? I don't understand how people wear them. Like I said, they make me hate myself.

Le Meems said...

Love dresses. I do. I LOVE them. Luuuurve.

Because they feel swishy and are super comfy. Pants cut me off. Make muffin tops if they're fresh from the dryer. Or hideous camel toes.
no no. Gimme a dress.

Any day of the week.

Erin said...

I think dresses and skirts are different. Dresses hang on your whole body, and gravity pulls them over every curve and bump. I feel exposed, too, and I think I'm way more comfortable in them than you are. But skirts just hang from your hips. Long ones show even less of you than jeans do. I have a skirt that's long but not hippie (more like Mennonite?), and it's so comfortable. I usually just wear a hoodie with it. The people who usually get all excited when I wear a dress don't even notice this skirt.

Clothes VERY often plunge me into that same unworthy state of pathos. I show up just wanting to cry at a lot of things that are supposed to be fun, and it's all from getting dressed.

Sack Posset said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Moist Rub said...

I hate dresses, too. They make my balls all sweaty on my thighs. And then I start hating my balls. And I don't want to hate my balls.

Mongoliangirl said...

First of all, I would NEVER trounce or pounce HIF with anything but hugs and kisses. Second of all, why Rassles, why do you think I know all about fighting in dresses? They make me want to fight. OK, yes, lots of things make me want to fight. I other words, dresses? Fuck 'em. And fuck anybody who thinks I'm not gonna fight 'em when I'm wearing one.
Except HIF. I'm gonna hug her and kiss her. Even in a dress.

hereinfranklin said...

I'm going upstairs right now and put on the first dress I find. (Please God don't let it be a 20-year-old pouffy pink bridesmaid dress.)

la isla d'lisa said...

You reached inside my frikken brain and pulled that one out ... I totally get it. Now suck it up! (that last just cuz you don't want any hand-holding)

gyna said...

i likes me some dresses especially when it is sweaty out. i always just feel more comfy in certain dresses- i feel like they hide a lot.

ps- you forgot to mention that ginger totally remembered you!

Meagan said...

It was middle school for me, high school sucked too but middle school is what still has the power to put me right there. I'm 28, and definately not over it. I ran into some prick who used to make fun of me at a bookstore and he asked me, all cheerful, if I was going to the reunion. I knew I should be able to let the past go, I WANTED to kick him in the nuts and tell him to go to hell, but I just said "no," and walked away. Not over it. Seriously, I wrote a novel about how much it sucked to be a teenager.

nursemyra said...

you don't like dresses huh? so what's your opinion on the dirndl?

Kono said...

i like dresses and i'm a 6'4 inch dude, i haven't worn one in awhile but it's only cuz i've been laying of the mushroom and disco parties, i like women's polyester pants a bit better though, shit i'm sounding like a hipster, i haven't heard the smoking popes in awhile, was the show good?

Gypsy said...

I get it, about dresses. I've sworn them off for years but after renewed marathon viewing sessions of What Not to Wear, I'm giving them a shot again. I bought two the other week and wore one of them to work last week. After I got over the initial "holy fuck my legs are BARE!" paranoia, it felt pretty good. I got compliments, so that helped. But it's... I don't know. Dresses carry some serious implications if you let them.

ZenMom said...

Well, just for the record, I wear a dress once, maaaybe twice a year. Because I have to.

I love how you put ... because I don't get it either how other women "just wear them, as if it's natural" ... yeah, that's not me.

I'm the 35 year old reverting to the 6 year old tugging on both ends of the dress and constantly self-conscious.

So - dresses: Not for me.

But, FWIW, I think it's not the *dress* that makes the woman look carefree and feminine and self-confident and casually graceful - it's the fact that she's comfortable in it.

Personally, I'm comfortable in my favorite jeans and a nice top, maybe with a pair of heels if I'm in the mood. And I think that I look 10 times better in that outfit than in any dress - because I am comfortable and happy and feel like I look good.

Does that rambling make any sense at all?

Also, high school pretty much sucked for everybody. I swear. Ask Joss Whedon.

Blues said...

(Blues - hanging around lurking, not leaving a comment or anything...thinking about having a dress bonfire an initiation rite into our secret society).

Fuck 'em, Rass.

Ginny said...

I'm scared of dresses, too. I wore one to get married in, but I was so far out of my comfort zone that day, the dress was the least of my worries.

The few occasions I put on not pants, I can hear the whole world thinking, loudly, "Who do you think you ARE?"

sid said...

Rass I read your blog and can't help thinking about how completely different we are. And yet, I like you. I love that you can overreact to the idea of wearing a dress. I know you think these emotions make you a stupid girl but I think they make you more real.

A Free Man said...

Hippies piss me off. Seriously. Especially old hippies. The really self-righteous ones that tell me about how we don't know shit about protesting and lecture me about carbon trading schemes. I try to tell them about how I'm working my ass of to pay for their fucking retirement so I'll emit whatever the hell I want, at least I don't emit patchouli and old.

Fucking hippies.

I like your blog because there's something about the way you write that allows me to flat unload in a comment.

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Ok here's the thing. I like dresses, I never wear dresses. Dresses make me hate me too. What the fuck?

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Omigod, that would be so cool to see Mongolian Girl in a girl fight in a dress. That's a fun night, totally.

Love Bites said...

Wow. God, Rassles, you just write the shit out of what a lot of girls feel all the time.

High school was hell for me. My mom always told me that I was exaggerating but high school was like waking up, every single day, naked, in art class, with no art supplies, no art skills, and no idea what in the fuck to do with myself.

God i hated it. It's no wonder that I was such a drunken slut in college, I was totally reacting to the hell of high school.

Love Bites said...

I like dresses though. I wear them almost every day. But every woman has her "dress" issue, that shit that puts her right back into her 15-year-old skin, feeling completely out of her league and inept and totally not right in every possible way.

Also, I'm not surprised that the ginger remembered you. You're cool as fuck. Of course he did.

Ellie said...

You don't need to wear a dress if you don't want to.

It all sounds like a bad mood. Well, not just a bad mood ... a pendulum cracking bad mood. I've had them, and they frighten me where they can go, so I hope it was just a bad mood for you, and that now you are chipper and funky fun again ... because you seem like a fucking spark putting the house on fire ... that's supposed to be a compliment. x,e

Red said...

See, I went to Catholic school and as such am very at home in skirts. Plus, I've got good legs. But I don't really do bright colors. I have 2 chocolate brown halter top dresses - one casual and one dressy, plus another brown non-halter top sundress. I have a khaki green dress and a navy dress and some blue and black ones I inherited from my aunt. But I really couldn't do yellow and I REALLY can't do pink.

Rock the pants and shorts, Ross, if that's what feels like you.

Rassles said...

Chris: Fucking old people and their dogs.

RF: I could also, possibly, stop bathing and ask random people on the street if they have any rolling papers. It's all about respect.

Mongo: I'm so proud of you for being you.

Franklin: That's because those skirts are surprising airy, with loads of space to fling around.

Tabbie: You are a liar, and a liar. Dress. Not. Fun. No, looking doing that business never makes me feel good. I always think I look better without it.

Mae: And you see it, and you're like, fuck you intestines, why you gotta be all tangly about dumb stuff? I hate guts.

Me: Shut up, you whiny complainer.

Meems: I'm glad you like dresses, I really am. I don't mind them on other people, and they don't make me angry unless they're on me. I don't know.

Erin: I do not think they're different. Maybe they are. I don't feel well in either of them.

Moist Rub: No, you don't, because then you start fighting, and then things get physical, and the next thing you know you're either punching your balls or they're punching you. Neither is pleasant, I'm sure, but might make a funny cartoon.

Mongo: Oh, you. See? I overreact.

Franklin: It was poofy, wasn't? Please make it poofy. Please, please, please make it poofy.

Lisa: So glad someone understands.

Gyna: But you look purdy in dresses. You don't look like someone tricked you into it, or you lost a bet.

Meagan: I loved middle school. It was better than college sometimes. Fucking great. I didn't care what people thought about me, I had good friends, my clothes didn't matter as much, my teachers were better, my grades were awesome, I had detention once a week. Middle school was proper mischief and rebellion. And then we went into high school, and all of my friends started dating people, and I was left lost and alone. Sigh.

Nurse: Well, rocking the dirndl takes two things: balls and boobs. I'm sure I've got the boobs for it, but the balls? Clothing makes me gutless.

Kono: The show was great, despite, you know, the sinking depression and near crying.

Gypsy: I love that show, and I fucking hate it. I love giving people free money, but I just...I am morally outraged by the stigma associated with dressing a certain way. I take it way too seriously. Don't get me fucking started.

ZenMom: Agreed, on all counts, with the exception of the business with the heels.

Blues: This secret society is so happening.

Ginny: Exactly. I haven't earned the right to wear a dress, maybe, it's like I'm trying to be someone I'm not. It's horrible.

Sid: Thanks, Sid. I'm trying to be real, really I am, but it's just so hard, because I'm always afraid I'm going to misrepresent myself. I like your blog too.

Freeman: Seriously, fuck those fucking hippies right in the ear.

Flora: It's not weird, because I do think they look nice on other people. And yes, Mongo fighting might be worth a plane ticket.

LB: See, I'm glad I've got you around to remind me that everyone feels like this about something.

Ellie: Exactly. Bad mood. I was afraid that I was going to get a bunch of Chicken Soup for the Soul responses, and those would just piss me off.

Red: Someday, perhaps, I will own a dress I feel comfortable in, where I don't have to hide my cleavage or snap at people for looking at me.