Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Used To

My hair used to be straight, all the way from the roots until the ends curved under my chin. I parted it down the middle and leaned forward so it would swish in front of my face. Then I would sweep my right fingertips across my forehead and tuck the wayward locks behind my left ear.
I used to wear black combat boots. I'd trudge through crowded hallways barely lifting my feet because they weighed ten extra pounds. I always wore flannel with my boots. I liked dark green patterns mixed with gray and cream.
I used to listen to Guns N Roses, not because I really liked them or anything but because everyone else did. Same with Nirvana. I didn't get them. I never knew "aqua sea foam shame." I liked Bush and I got them. I got Buffalo Tom, Oasis, and the Goo Goo Dolls too. They spoke to me. So did Mary. Not from experience because I had none. But their words sounded how I thought they should for when I went through the same thing.
I used to like boys with chin length hair that grazed the tops of their shoulders. Straight or wavy, it didn't matter. I liked their corduroy pants, Chuck Taylors, and auto mechanic shirts. I stared at them all the time.
I used to think I was just like the girls on TV. I was going to be just like them. Weird, smart, misunderstood, awkward, yet adorable enough for a boy with chin length hair and corduroy pants to like me. I used to be able to make Angela Chase's sad face, nose wrinkled, eyes wide, mouth drawn. I used to talk to like Julia Sallinger, complete with hand wringing and head scratching. I used to close my eyes because it was supposed to hurt to look at the world. I don't think it did. But I could emote.
I don't straighten my hair anymore. My combat boots are long gone. I like men with fresh cut Caesars who wear Timbs, Uptowns, or Cole Haans. I think most girls on TV are stupid and have no interest in going through what they do. I can no longer make Angela's sad face. One of my very own replaced it. I get Guns N Roses now. I know what November rain is. The Goo Goo Dolls and Oasis aren't nearly as sad as I thought they were. I don't have to imagine what Mary was experiencing. I'm there and doing my own version of it. I think I prefer emoting. And I wish I still had my flannel shirts.

14 comments:

Jennifer said...

Think about how brief a time, relatively speaking, has elapsed between when November Rain first appeared in our collective consciousness and the time when you 'got it'. Not a lot, in the scheme of things. Growing up is just a form of evolving, but recently I've come to understand that the more things change, the more I really stay the same, where it matters.

I love this post muchly.

Lynn said...

Julie Sallinger was always so awkward and uncomfortable. You are statuesque, confident and stunning. Thank God you have to Used To's to look back on as a reference point. You can see how far you've come.

Matt said...

Apropos of Mist's site:

I know folks are making fun of my humongous Unibomber sunglasses but I would hope they don't knock my shoes.... That'd really hurt.

Rebelioness said...

Love the post.

BTW, your hair was never straight...it was straight-er than now...but never straight! =P

Anonymous said...

I wore blue and green plaid high top sneakers with farah fawcett hair. Now I don't feel so bad. :-)

~Deb said...

We "get a lot more" when we grow older and mature.

I used to like the girls who had the high hair intoxicated by Aqua Net who wore nothing but tapered down jeans that hugged their ankles. Now, I prefer women with straighter hair and flared out slacks.

A lot changes...!

mist1 said...

This is incredible. I am loving this one.

sunday's child said...

I love this post. I used to go through life working to be affected by the things I thought were supposed sad. Now I know what is sad, and I don't have to try.

Does that mean I'm a grown up?

jailbait said...

Yeah, when she started w/ the "straight hair...from roots to ends" I was like, who is she talking about? lol

G said...

I LOVE your blog girl! You can really write! Never stop!

~Fellow nappturality member trinicutie :)

Anonymous said...

Now I'm going to write a gushy note about how much I love your blog. Brace yourself. I love, love your blog. If I could marry it I would. Okay it's out of my system now!

The Chronic Curmudgeon said...

How scared am I that I had to look up who Angela and Julie even were? Man, I am old.

Nice post, and congratulations on having grown up enough to get November Rain. :-)

Serena said...

Child, I was right there with you doing the same thing.

tiff said...

You know I'm feeling this one!

Why did we try so hard back then? And were we truly attracted to that? Did we really want to be that? Or were we a victim of being submersed in that surrounding?

So glad you can just be who you are, and reflect back on what you Used To Be. I'm learning too.