I’m a freak. Always have been, always will be. But I like it. No, I really love it. Sometimes I forget that I’m a freak and I have to go back to my roots and things I love to remind myself.
I went to New York City this weekend to take my son to college at NYU. I’m beginning to think that him going to NYU is going to benefit me every bit as much as it will him. I feel alive. Incredibly alive, when I go to the city. I was born and raised near Buffalo and then lived most of my adult life in Rochester (minus 6 years in Denver). I’ve been going to NY since I was a kid. My Mother’s family all still lived where my Mom was raised in the Philly/NJ/NY triad. Then during the summers when I was in college in the early/mid 80s, I worked at a camp in Western Massachusetts and we would spend all of our days off in NY. Believe it or not, I was one of those Uptown meets Downtown kids hanging out in Washington Square Park with a boombox. I was always a punk/new wave/fringe kid that could also don the pearls for a sorority soiree’.
Now my son is going to school on Washington Square Park. And funny, going there now and looking in the stores, the 80s are back in. Oy. I’m having flashbacks. I never thought this would happen to me in a million years. Hey, and I never pushed my son to go there, I actually really wanted him to go to Cornell. lol But, maybe things happen for a reason. Yea, I know things happen for a reason.
I stroll down the streets of the West Village and I see these women in their 70s that are wearing big funky colorful eyeglasses that look like Jackie O. at the Gay Pride parade. They also happen to be wearing get ups that look like Carmen Miranda wearing combat boots. I WANT TO BE THAT LADY!
I just want to be quirky and adventurous and intellectual and and artsy and hip and eccentric. I’m a little too young to be eccentric and I think I could only get away with the Combat Carmen look when I’m a senior citizen but I want to be an eccentric in training. I want to be a 40 something outrageous Mae West meets Betsey Johnson (a fashion designer known for her whimsical/urban/new wave style). I want to be sexy, sassy, funny, and hip. Not douchie hip like those “Gallery Girls” on Bravo TV that I want to punch in the face, but just like, in the know on what’s trending and popular, maybe slightly ahead of the curve, but not pretentious about it. I’ll sit in a neighborhood dive bar in the Village and trade funny stories for cocktails. Make no mistake, I get the cocktails, they get the funny stories.
I gotta’ be me. I always dreamed of living in New York City. Not sure where that dream derailed. Oh yea, I remember, I made a misguided decision at the end of college. I decided to go the safe route, instead of striking out on my own in the big city. Of course I didn’t have a job or money either. I probably could have found some friends to live with. Oh well, what can I do? I took a different path. As kids are getting older, I now have an opportunity to reinvent myself. Maybe not reinvent, just go back to my true self. And my true self involves kicking ass and taking names… mostly those of garage band members and drag queens.
So… round two. Maybe I get another chance to be true to my heart and soul? Maybe I get another chance to be outrageous? I have friends in the art world. I have friends in bands. I’ve been trying to slowly build my wardrobe back to eclectic. I’m happy I got back to my roots and found some black and bedazzled cat eye sunglasses, that was my trademark back in college. Ah if only I had money… Looks like it’s fetish films for me, right gang? Give me enough vodka and I can do it! Fact is, I just need to get back to me somehow.
But this time I do things right. This time around I will write more and find more career opportunities, I’ll get drunk but I won’t get that drunk, I won’t sell myself short with men, and I will have more confidence, self respect, and calculated drive. Don’t get any ideas, I wasn’t a drunken lazy whore in my youth, I just uh well you know made a few poor choices along the way. Shit happens. *nervous laugh*
I keep telling my kids “You have to make things happen”. When they whine about “Nobody is calling me to do anything.”, I tell them “Then you need to get on the phone and initiate an activity, try to get a group together to go to a movie or something”. If they whine about not being selected for things at school or having trouble in a class, I tell them to go talk to the teacher, ask them what you did wrong, and what you can do going forward. Don’t just sit back and wait for the universe, get off your tush and grab the universe by the shirt collar and say, “Hey, I’m over here pal, where are we goin’?!” Well it’s time to take my own advice. So watch for me, I’ll be the famous writer lady in Doc Martens with a fruit bowl on her head. Ay dios mio… hey ho, let’s go!
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