Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Defining Moment

Have you ever had a moment that hits you so hard that it helps shape who you are? I've got one to share. I was seven years old. For those of you who are counting, that makes this instance 29 years in the past plus or minus a few months. What could be so incredibly noteworthy that I'd remember it this long and it would influence me to this day?

Mean girls. At church no less. I vividly remember being in "children's church" on a Sunday evening back in 1980. Remember the 80s? Wayfarers with those goofy strings with the plastic loops to keep them around your neck? Grannies would wear the metal chain ones, but the cool kids had them in neon colored cord.

Here's the scenario... Two girls who were so fashionable by the standards of the day - feathered hair and pants AT CHURCH [gasp] are trying to fix the aforementioned combination of wayfarers and neck cord. The repair was very simple. Slide the metal coil back over the plastic loop and Voila! it's fixed. Since these oh so fashionable girls were having trouble, I asked if I could help. Their response?

"What would you know? You're wearing a ~dress~."

As if wearing a dress - to church - in 1980 was such an oddball thing. The denomination we belonged to frowned on women wearing pants in general but to church in specific, so the fact that these girls wore PANTS to CHURCH was really pushing the envelope at the time.

And if you really think about it, what does having a dress have to do with being mechanically adept or smart? Madame Curie wore a dress. Susan B. Anthony wore a dress. Queen Elizabeth wears dresses.

I think the real deal here was that I just wasn't "cool" enough on the outside so they assumed I didn't know jack squat about what the "cool" kids were wearing.

And yes, I still think about this to this day. It does haunt me a little bit because in some ways, I'm still that shrimpy seven year old who is just a little behind the curve as far as "fashion" goes. Not by choice, just because it is what it is.

There are days when I'd dearly love to be on the cutting edge of "fashion". But secretly, my inner fashionista isn't House of Chanel. She's on the L.A.M.B.

True Confession Time: I'm not a conventional person on the inside. I'm loud, crazy and technicolored. I'm a round peg in a square hole. I may be sitting down on the outside, but inside I'm doing back flips.

1 comment:

meridith said...

for what it's worth - i've always thought you were one of the coolest, most creative, original people i've ever known. :)