With a Bit of a Mind Flip


When my sister and I were young, we were allowed to watch the first 15 minutes of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. We didn’t get to see many movies and the tv wouldn’t turn on without the pliers my dad hid from us, so we relished the times we could indulge. Plus, the songs were so much fun. We would play it over and over, singing along to “Dammit Janet” and the “Time Warp.”

We memorized the lyrics and would sing them together, stepping to the right and bringing our knees in tight. We would break out in song when inspiration struck, just out of the pure joy of it. It wasn’t the result of a cool confidence. It was mostly us not knowing that we weren’t cool. This is something that has followed me through my life. Pretty much every time someone has praised my confidence, I was just cluelessly walking around as myself, forgetting that I shouldn’t.

Our expert performance of this adult classic made for a great gag at parties but some uncomfortable moments in public. One October, we were walking through a pop-up Halloween shop with our dad, looking at costumes we weren’t allowed to buy. We found glittery gold top hats and the discovery spurred a full-on performance in the middle of the aisle. A middle-aged suburban mother turned toward us right at the moment we started doing pelvic thrusts. She scoffed, gave the three of us a disapproving glare, and turned the corner.

Feeling her stare, I remember doubting my sick moves for a moment. Now, I’m sure she thought we had been watching the whole campy, scandalous film, but, even though I didn’t understand it, her scorn distressed me. I took off the hat.

Then I looked over at my dad, who was chuckling to himself. He gave us a nod of his head—a universal Midwestern father signal of approval. I’m not convinced his response to the situation was meant to show us we were ok or if he just got so much happiness out of pushing the limits of this buttoned-up woman. He’s prone to a bit of contrarian behavior, so it was at least a bit of the second. But it was enough.

This isn’t a fairytale. I didn’t gain some superhuman confidence that day, but I did put the hat back on. That chuckle showed me it can be really fun to be yourself in the face of people who are uncomfortable with that very awesome you. Maybe the woman just wished she could do the Time Warp in the middle of a shopping center. To her, I say, “you can.” It’s just a jump to the left.

Future Fashion


A lot of people watch the Oscars and the Emmys to see what celebrities are wearing. To me, they’re a major bore fest, fashion-wise. Everyone walks the red carpet in a beautiful gown or a smart suit and they all look gorgeous. Usually the most dramatic thing we see is a woman wearing pants. The bravery! If you’re interested in seeing what a bunch of rich and famous people look like when they push the envelope just a tiny bit, while still staying in line with the wishes of their publicists, stylists, and managers, then the MET Gala is where it’s at.

The slightly more fashion-forward event was last night, and it did not disappoint. For me to deem any fashion situation a success, at least half of the outfits should be failures and a good portion should be massive failures. If no one is taking any risks, then there’s no point. The gala just narrowly slides into category of worthy fashion events.

One thing I love about it is that every year it has a different theme. I love a themed party. I would have a theme for every shindig I organize if I could—Charlie Chaplin baby showers, Prohibition Era New Year’s Eve parties, Tea Party tea parties. Sometimes I over commit. A zealous shrink might say it’s a way for me to bring joyful order to a situation. Well, that shrink should really keep it to herself, because it’s really just a whole lot of fun.

This year’s theme was “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology,” which meant we saw a lot of metallic, a healthy dash of glitter, and a few steel spikes. No one brought a mini-robot side kick though, so that was a real missed opportunity. If I’m ever invited to a futuristic dinner party and have a million dollars to spare (or someone else has a million dollars to spare for me), I will most certainly bring a robo-friend as my date. He’ll function as a mechanical purse and can hold my snacks and deodorant. Robots like that kind of thing.

Survival of the Corporeal-est


I know those of you who read my post last Friday were waiting with bated breath to see if I would make it back to civilization alive. I did. And here I am.

We had a few moments of near-maiming in the haunted house, but nothing I couldn’t manage. I think the ghost-sisters were out of practice, since it’s just the beginning of haunting season for them. They still put in a relatively good effort.

First, I stepped on a nail that was sticking up from a stair and almost fell down the steps from the shock. Then I misjudged the bottom step late at night and almost fell up them. The stairs were definitely a big source of danger, but they didn’t take me down—literally or figuratively. That meant I was healthy enough to almost drown from a chemical coma in the hot tub (which did exist!).

Most dangerously, the timer on the gas fireplace in my bedroom was broken. At least that’s what someone less tuned in to the haunting would think. I know the ghost-sisters just wanted to set the room on fire while I was sleeping. Luckily, Dave outsmarted them and turned it off while I was cluelessly dozing away.

I’d deem this weekend a success, since I ate a lot of snacks, wore my swimsuit, and laughed at my friends’ jokes. Plus, bettering a pair of ghosts is an accomplishment all on its own.