Something I just remembered: when I was young there were certain things I was convinced I was going to do every single day when I finally achieved adulthood. Item the first: buy candy. Man! In my head, I was going to be buying so much fucking candy! I didn't understand why adults weren't constantly rolling into stores . They had all that money! Item the second: I was going to dress myself. And when I say "dress myself," I mean "attire myself in the traditional ethnic costumes of the world," because I used to love the parade of nations they had during the Miss Universe pageants. I had a whole plan for my Grown Up working Lady's Wardrobe. Like, Monday I would dress up like Miss Ecuador, and Tuesday would be Miss Kenya; Wednesday is Miss Russian Steppes day or something...I don't know. I didn't actually plan it out in that much detail. I just thought that the minute I hit eighteen and left the cruel tyrannical fiefdom of my playa-hating parents, I was going to be eating so much candy and wearing so many folk costumes.
Those [blessed, merry] few of you who read this and are parents: how do you decide how much self-expression to allow your kids? I mean, you have to see them doing stuff some times and think, Yes, that's my baby. That's who he/she is. And you see their little personality forming their choices and tastes and it's cool, right? Even though the thing they're currently expressing is bullshit? I'm just wondering, because I have been thinking about having children and I wondering what to do if I have a dork, nutball, insane dumbass like I was as a kid.
I don't know what triggered that memory yesterday, but there it is; at one point in my loser adolescence, I was obsessed with clothes. Not particularly notable for a girl-child in the promised land, I agree. But the point is, I a)had no taste and b) came from a working-class family* so I couldn't afford any of the things I actually wanted to wear. I dressed out of KMart and Goodwill, mostly. And I was aware that this marked me, in the same way that my giant Sally Jessy Raphael-glasses marked me, and my overwhelming need to talk about Doctor Who marked me, and a whole host of other unfortunate unmentionables marked me [I'm not talking Wasp Factory stuff here, so don't get excited].
So anyway, I watch these shows like My Super Sweet 16 [actually, I watch the Spanish-language version, Quiero Mi Quinces, because that shit is way better] and I wonder if maybe, if I grew up in a ridiculously wealthy family and had only semi-involved parents...would I have been able to realize my dream of dressing like a one-woman "We Are the World" video but without waiting until I was an adult?!
Sometimes I think about those things.
* we were a military family. We weren't poor, but we certainly didn't have any money. My mom worked two jobs for as long as I can remember