Monday, May 16, 2011

Girl in the Hoodz

As I write this, I’m at my parents’ house, in my old bedroom. We moved to this house when I was in high school, which I’ll eternally associate with this room. Thankfully, it looks nothing like it did in the days when my friend Mollie and I spent many an hour in here, trying to bootleg Smiths and They Might Be Giants cassettes by holding a tape recorder in front of a stereo. (Hey, at least it wasn’t an 8-Track.)

In the back of the closet are my last remaining clothes from high school. Not long ago, my mom went on a cleaning spree and, with my full permission, threw out most of my old clothes that had lingered over the years. But now I wish she hadn’t. The “90’s look” seems to inexplicably be back in style. Even for the 90s, though, I wore some truly awful crap. If I hadn’t gone to a public high school for socially handicapped “academically accelerated” kids, I’m sure I would’ve been beaten up every single day because of my misguided sartorial choices.

Looking back on it, I probably should’ve been. Nobody should be allowed to wear Laura Ashley dresses with tennis shoes and homemade earrings made out of (not-small) plastic toy dinosaurs.

It may not come as a surprise that I rode to school in a short bus.

That’s not a joke. At least, I rode one briefly in the 9th grade, before I started begging my parents to give me a ride. See, I went to a “magnet” school, which was pretty far from my house. In the morning, we’d be bussed to the local high school, then catch a re-purposed handi-bus that would take us to Stanton College Preparatory School

In Florida, so-called “gifted” (i.e., can figure out a Butterfly Ballot) kids are legally classified as Special Education students. Maybe for this reason, the school always seemed a bit like an asylum.

On the outside, at least, Stanton could’ve easily been mistaken for a medium-security prison. The campus was surrounded by a large barbed-wire fence, designed not so much to keep us in, as to keep the neighborhood crack dealers out. But unless said dealers had offered, say, a magical Invincibility Potion that would allow a Level-30 Wizard defeat a rowdy Dwarf Cleric, their sales pitches would’ve fallen on deaf ears.

As much as I hated high school, I don’t remember hating -- or even particularly disliking -- a single person. In later years, I’ve realized that this is a rare and lucky thing. Having gone to “normal” public schools in 7th and 8th Grade, I still hold a mild grudge against some of the bitchy girls who were inexplicably mean to dorks like me. (Okay, it wasn’t so inexplicable, given the way I dressed, but it was still mean.) 

Going to a school like Stanton is a mixed bag. On one hand, it left me with a profound intellectual inferiority complex (let’s hear it for those of us in the bottom 10% of our graduating class, woo hoo!). But having never suffered the slings and arrows of peers who relentlessly made fun of oddballs, I came out of it rather fearless when it comes to clothing choices -- no matter how  inappropriate, or ill-advised.

For instance, a few years back, I went through a phase where everything I owned seemed to have a hood. This might’ve included things like bathing suits, and pantyhose.

Here's an example:
A thing I have worn often, to places that were *in public.*
I found this in the sale bin at the boutique of an independent designer in the East Village. There was originally a matching skirt, which got so much wear that eventually, it made my ass look like it was badly in need of a reupholstering job. I thought it was very cool at the time. In retrospect, the look was less Boho chic and more “Tess of the D’Ubervilles meets your grandmother’s rec room sofa, circa 1975.”  In other words, take the two least-sexy things you can think of, and put a hood on ‘em. 

Here’s another one:
LL Cool J, eat your heart out...
Unlike the plaid number, at least I never wore this one to work. Still, I wore it out. A lot. Paul once said I looked like the bastard child of Grace Jones and Darth Maul in this top. I was undeterred.

I blame Stanton. Had I gone to a normal high school, I might’ve known that this was not intended as a compliment.

1 comment:

  1. Guess what, I took a short but too. Did not go through a hooded pantyhose phase, that's all you. hehe :)