Friday, July 24, 2009

"That tears it."

At night, things get a little hazy. Not because the sun went down, but because for us artsy emo indie types, night time is the perfect time to start over thinking or over drinking or both. Me? I'm an over-thinker personally. That's just my style. That's how I get things I done. I love to sit and really analyze a day. What did he mean "oh, that's nice"? He may as well have been saying, "Give me your friend Katie's number!" You know, things like that.

It's also when I start a-thinkin' about my art form. (Um, writing. I can only draw stick figures.) This gets dangerous when you are in the vicinity of other artsy emo indie types who also think too much at night. You end up in long, deeply drawn out pretentious conversations where I start quoting, vinyl records start playing and pretty soon I'm fornicating with some GRE words I didn't even remember I knew that I just pull out of my big black bag the way the Mary Poppins might pull out a coat stand.

I am not sure if this is just a phase because I'm a liberal arts student, but I am kind of positive I've been pretentious and culturally driven all my life. I'm not saying I'm a know-it-all (but I kind of am) and I definitely have some learning and exploring and growing to do, but you're reading the thoughts of a girl who argued with her parents in first grade that she should be able to watch Roseanne because, "how else am I going to know what's going on? The morning news tells me nothing!" In second grade, I hid my Judy Blume like it was crack. I was deathly afraid my parents would find out that Stephanie in Here's To You Rachel Robinson was totally boy crazy and that there was a really kick ass make out scene I'd read over and over again in Deenie. It was my literotica. It was my hope. My hope that some day, if I ever got braces and started wearing make up, that I too would find an Asian best friend to go shopping with and make out with boys at the Homecoming dance. I didn't want Scoliosis though like Deenie. That wasn't part of my dream.

Anorexia was though.

No, I'm totally just kidding.

I done did grow up, America. I got my braces. I started wearing make-up, and now I'm doing all those fun things I saw in all of those rom-coms with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks I used to watch. Oh yeah, America. I go to parties now. Just, maybe not the parties like you're thinking.

"I'm Joshua," a boy who doesn't look unlike Truman Capote, tells me.
"Can I call you Josh?" I ask, knowing it's bound to happen out of habit since I call my best gay friend Josh instead of Joshua.
"Absolutely not," Joshua says, and means it.
"Great," I reply.
"Joshua," Robyn pipes in, "When's your Feminist party?"
"Ooh," I turn to Joshua, "Can I invite myself? Wait, let me ask this question first; can I wear make up?"
Joshua looks agitated. "I don't know when it is," he answers. "Whenever Tom comes back."
"His Korean boyfriend," Robyn fills me in.
"Look," I say, "I'm all for women working and women suffrage, but I really believe that we should be able to you know, look nice and not butch -unless you're into that- and that, you know, maybe guys can pay for a meal once in a while?"
Joshua narrows his eyes at me, "Care to elaborate?" he asks. "You obviously know nothing about feminism." He spits his words at me like I'm a Goddamn Greyback and he just happens to be Abe Lincoln.
"I know plenty about feminism," I say, "It's birthin' babies I know nothin' about."
"Mm-hmm," he says in a very Malfoy kind of way. "What? Do you believe in the waves?" he rolls his eyes. "Did you take all of your classes at ASU?"
"No," I say, getting angry, "I took them all at Yale. I think that we are in a post-feminism era right now and that we can use traditional femininity as pastiche."
"Let me get this straight," Joshua says, "You think that women should use their sexuality to further advance? I think that is counter-intuitive and repulsive." He takes a sip of wine and I begin to try to argue my case using words like "empower," "discursive," "sagacious," and "conjecture," and phrases like, "spectacle as a form of resistance," and "male gaze," but Joshua shouts louder than I do and I give up.
I turn to Robyn, "This is the worst Woody Allen movie ever." She doesn't laugh. I think she's too horrified because she later admits to me, "I really love my boobs and I really love make up."

This is why I prefer coffee talk to parties, frankly. I have trouble keeping my opinions to myself and find that it's more fun to argue things and exchange ideas in a one on one setting. Ally and I, for instance, discuss the culture (and the epic fail of our culture in Arizona) constantly. We have grown up in an area that thinks turquoise is the beginning and end all of jewelery and if isn't denim, it isn't in fashion. Go two hours outside of Phoenix and I guarantee you will see someone with a mullet wearing plaid and packing heat. Actually, you may not even need to venture out of Phoenix to see that.

As a young girl, my elementary school always had Arizona week to try to teach us about the culture of our state, except, I'm not really sure why it was a week because it only ever took one short class period to tell us about the copper Arizona was known for and all about the OK Corral fight. Inevitably, following the lesson, some punk ass kids would then reenact the shoot out on the playground using fake guns and get suspended because of the zero tolerance rule. On Friday of that week, there'd always be a square dancing competition that my class never won (which was sad because I always wanted that class pizza party prize) and at the end of the ho-down the entire school would sing an off-key rendition of our state song, "I Love You, Arizona." I hated singing that, not just because I really couldn't sing a lick, which I couldn't, or because my music teacher was really mean, which he was, but because I felt like I was lying. Even at eight I always kind of thought I was supposed to grow up somewhere where maybe instead of square dancing competitions, everybody in the school did ballet and jazz. I apparently thought I was supposed to go to the school from Fame.

I learned later that it's not that Phoenix is so bad really. I like it here even though everything closes at eight at night and I get super proud when our sports teams win stuff even though I'm not into sports, like, at all. It's just that, well, a girl needs more than just museums dedicated to western art. I kind of crave a good air and space museum or even just a museum that didn't sell fake vomit in the gift shop. Our problem is that the state of our culture is the fact that we have no culture. Nearly everybody from Phoenix is a transplant, usually from the mid-west, who moved here because they retired and their son or daughter is now working at the Intel plant in town. They left their culture behind in Chicago for golf and Indian casinos. Their grandkids aren't getting any culture either because they're just on Facebook all the time. Meanwhile, I have to scour the net just to find out if or when a foreign movie is playing in my area. Ally is also always actively seeking knowledge and culture, we usually seek together, so high brow culture and low brow culture, we talk about it all. But we also go to ASU, and we also kind of dress like Kennedy is still in office. Sometimes, we even get mistaken for hipsters just because we have bangs.

"What are we?" I question, staring at a girl who looks like a boy wearing the same skinny jeans, thin cotton shirt, and slouchy boots as her metrosexual date at a trendy coffee shop. The oil from their hair alone could probably keep those Chanukkah lights burning for eight days and eight nights. "I mean, other than old fashioned."

"We're awesome," Ally declares simply, sneering a little at the couple who begin to make out except it looks more like someone just kissing themselves in the mirror. "That's gross," she notes quietly, and sips her drink. "Anyway," she flits her hand, dismissing the couple, "You're you. I'm me. We don't conform. We're not 'types,' whereas all these little hipsters in the coffee shop today," she motions, "are pretty much all alike in their desperate attempt to be different. Like, I didn't order soy milk for my latte just now? I swear, I got the meanest look from the barista."

"I believe you," I say. And I do, because it happened to me too.


  • At 2:46 AM, Blogger Andrew said…

    Fuck Joshua! I like Robyn's boobs and makeup, too.


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