I’m a big fan of the 90s. I play Spice Girls on the reg, watch Clueless when I need a pick-me-up, and still rock my Docs. I’m all about it. Inspired by my love, I’m introducing a series that maybe I will name when I’m feeling more creative. The gist of it is I’m gonna talk about something 90s related and it’s gonna be great.
In today’s review, I’m going to delve into the world of unrealistically labeled “ugly girls” who swan into beauties by the end of a movie. Biggest 90s example: She’s All That. Freddie Prinze Jr. plays an arrogant, popular jock whose girlfriend leaves him for a reality tv fool. His friend gives him a hard time about not dating a soon-to-be prom queen and he makes a bet that he can turn any girl into the belle of the ball. His friend then chooses Rachael Leigh Cook, a gorgeous but socially invisible artist, who wears paint-stained overalls and black-rimmed glasses. Rachael doesn’t have any interest in looking hot for jocks, because she has to worry about feeding her father and brother dinner, going to poetry slams, and painting images of her late mother in her basement.
Freddie agrees to the challenge, begins to lure her into his world, and then, eventually, falls in love with her—proving that he too is sensitive and endearing. But Rachael discovers the initial plan and ditches him. Not to worry, though, because in the midst of the drama, she gets a make over, which consists entirely of her putting on a dress and taking off her glasses. By the end of the movie, she’s realized she’s beautiful and she’s kissing Freddie under Christmas lights in her backyard.
Now, let’s just take a moment to appreciate that I wrote all of that without any wikipedia refreshers.
Ok, back to the point. We all know Rachael Leigh Cook is a hottie. She knows it. Freddie knows it. The whole school knows it. Furthermore, the director and the audience know it. I think it’s ridiculous that we’re all supposed to play along with this game. Can we have a girl who is pretty, knows she’s pretty, but also keeps wearing overalls for the entire movie? I would watch that and I think all my fellow 90s lovers would watch it too.
Some fashion choices just don’t make any sense. I can’t understand feathers on a wedding dress. I don’t get why someone would include sequins in a work outfit. I am amazed at people who walk around all day in sky-high heels. These are people who just don’t live any possible version of my life.
I think it’s ok to suffer a bit for style, but it’s important to set your limits. For instance, I like a good jumpsuit, even though it makes peeing really inconvenient. I won’t, however, wear a jumpsuit covered in bells. The noise would drive me crazy and it would be really uncomfortable to sit on a bunch of tiny metal domes. And mostly, that’s what’s important to me—how comfortably can I lounge on my couch or sprint away from criminals?
Yesterday’s Walking Dead episode again did not give me the answers for which I was searching. However, it did give me Daryl’s arms, and for that, I’m thankful.
I used to imagine what it would be like to have an older brother. I thought maybe he would pave the way for me, convincing teachers and students that I was cool by association. Clearly, in this fantasy, my brother was popular and didn’t mind hanging out with me.
He would introduce me to his cute friends, who were an acceptable two years older than me. He would teach me how to play sports, so I could be an interesting, too-cool-for-skirts tomboy. He would tell me which teachers to avoid and which classes to choose. He would be a buffer between my parents and I, providing comic relief in times of tension and snippets of wisdom in moments of sadness.
I imagined him kinda like Eric from Boy Meets World, but not quite as ridiculously void. He would be fun and strong and interesting. It was a funny fantasy to have, since I am so very much an oldest child— bossy and self-determined. Having an older brother replace me in that role seems ludicrous now. I can’t imagine having someone telling me what to do, rubbing my head, or teasing me about being a girl.
I suppose it’s best that I just have a younger sister.
I missed soccer today and I didn’t even mind. Instead, I went to an awesome kickboxing class. It was at a boxing gym, in a dark room full of punching bags. There was dance music blasting from the speakers and a bunch of fit soccer moms scattered around the space.
The leader of the class was a 55 year old ex-boxer. He looked 35 and was built like an ox. Before class, my sister introduced me to him and he clasped both my hands, exclaiming, with a huge smile on his face, that he was excited to have me and that we were gonna work. He was not lying. We busted our way through the hour-long class—punching and kicking the bag, squatting to avoid imaginary jabs, and powering through some final burpees. I sweat a lot and imagined myself beating up demons and zombies and vampires.
He gave out hugs after we finished, which I obviously avoided. However, I did take a high five and a towel for my hard-earned sweat.
Some people just need to talk. When I get on a plane, I want to put in my headphones, pick up my book, and drink my free orange juice. I don’t want to meet new people or chat about my travel plans. Unfortunately, the woman sitting next to me today didn’t subscribe to my non-interactive travel policy.
By the end of the flight, I’d learned that her mother died five years ago, her father frequented the same diner every day, she used to book flights for athletes, and she was working toward her teaching certificate. She told me her certificate program had flipped her courses, so she was taking the second semester before the first. She explained that she recently had to cancel a trip to Texas, but used the ticket to take this trip home.
She learned that I was visiting my family in Michigan.
I’m going back to Michigan tomorrow. I’m going to sleep in my old bedroom, run errands with my parents, and eat at a hipster taco shop with my sister. It’s gonna be great.
So this week’s Walking Dead episode didn’t give us any of the important answers for which we were all waiting. I’m not happy about it. I would like to know if Glenn is dead, but now, because we don’t know for sure and because no one has mourned him, I’m sure he’s alive. He definitely crawled under that dumpster.
Maggie felt the need to go find him, but she had to stay back. Because she’s pregnant with Glenn’s baby—his adorable, tough, super cool baby (obviously). Good plan on her part, because could you even imagine if Glenn found his way back and her baby-carrying self got eaten by zombies? Not a good outcome to that situation. I think I would be like the old Maggie though. I would feel like I had to go search and help. It would drive me insane to just wait. Apparently, however, they both agreed she needed to stay behind and she’s keeping her promise.
They better give me what I want next week, or I’ll… continue to watch every episode, eager and in angst.
I hung out with three cats this weekend and survived. By hang out, I mean that I happened to be in the same home as them. We did not interact. I had a quick stare down with one, but it didn’t escalate into anything dangerous.
I appreciate that cats usually want to keep to themselves, as I often feel the same way. And I always feel that way when I’m around them. I like a cat who will survey the situation, decide I’m not their friend, and move it along. I think some cats know they can fill my head with snot and purposefully come a little closer. Those cats are really not my friends. This time, I took a lot of drugs and kept my hands to myself—always a good plan in a precarious situation.
One time, when I was in high school, I caught a really bad cold and my voice got all deep and raspy. Some random guy in my social studies class told me I sounded sexy and I was actually flattered, despite feeling miserable.
Now, there’s no denying that Janis Joplin had a sexy, raspy voice, but I’m no Janis Joplin. I don’t spend my evenings smoking and belting out tunes. This fractured voice was not my own.
What he was telling me was that he found this broken, strange version of myself better than my real self. He was also saying that he was not concerned about me as a person, but only how I could be of service to him. At that point in my life, I didn’t understand that and I thought, “This is not the real me, but I will take the compliment.” I even wondered if it was possible to keep this new, illness-induced tone.
But now, as a grown woman, I say to him, “I am not here for you. I reject your false admiration, your misogynism masquerading as a compliment. I will not live damaged for your benefit.”