The non-chronological collected works of my misspent youth, with notes, for your reading pleasure. Most names have been changed because I probably didn't ask you first.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

68 Vintage Dresses: Journal, December 18, 1996

Tonight at Nana’s I was feeling super-lazy and not in the least inspired to do something so busy as decorate her bejeweled Faberge-ish Christmas ficus or whatever is happening right now by the lowboy in her dining room. Banking crisis # 429[1]had yet to spoil my fun so I went to the awesome Goodwill by Hollins and bought four absurd polyester dresses in four obscene, yet awesome shades, at least one of this a richly brocaded rust that I intend to wear to tomorrow’s bullshit exam.[2] By latest count, I’m the proud owner of 68[3] vintage dresses. Soon I’ll have to move to accommodate them all. I’m absolutely desperate, dahling, for a garment rack and a vodka tonic. Thank you, Nana, for the latter.

Over dinner at Luigi’s, Nana asked me about my non-existent love life and I didn’t tell her that I was still sort of infatuated with that guy from Olympia[4] with the punk patches sewn on his shirt who “studies revolution.” I doubt that’s the type she envisions for me. But then again, this is the same lady who watched this past election season and told me, with great affection and all sincerity, that I was just like Elizabeth Dole and I didn’t even know how to respond to that.

One thing’s for certain: I’ve got to stop crushing on anarchists[5].

[1] Number approximate. No further reference to this fiscal mishap exists, though I’m betting I overdrafted myself, which was something I did with near-recreational abandon in those days. At twenty years old, I lived like I had lots of money to spend until I didn’t, hence the difference for me between “not broke” and “broke” was simply a minus sign in front of my bank balance. I’m ashamed to tell you how long it took for me to accept that there might be a better way to live my life.

[2] My favorite creative instructor scheduled an “exam” in the last hours of the last exam day of the semester. The actual test was an ungraded quiz on our fellow students’ footwear and what sort of story we thought they told. We then spent three hours workshopping three stories (mine was one of them) and then retired to the pool hall on Tate Street for “mandatory” drinking with the professor. I left early and sober in order to drive to Asheville, thereby missing the moment when the class plagiarist (there is always one) hit someone in the head and cried about veganism outside the ladies’ room.

[3] I still have maybe six of the nicest left from this era. The vast majority were patterned polyester shift dresses of the Janeane Garofalo “Reality Bites”/Peggy Olson Season 7 vintage. Cute, but not exactly practical. I wore my favorites, generally with hole-y black tights and Doc Marten Mary Janes until the dresses disintegrated at the seams and smelled so strongly of sweat and cigarettes smoke that I could barely stand my own scent.

[4] I do not remember this guy’s name, or even really what he looked like, but I met him briefly in Portland when I went to Oregon for Thanksgiving and spent a good solid night trying to surreptitiously take a decent picture of him as sort of a souvenir of temporary infatuation, but none of them came out and I wasted at least half a roll of film in the process.

[5]It took until about 2006, but I mercifully—finally--grew out of the type.

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