Category Archives: Pop Culture
Puppies, Kittens, Jerks and Jean Gray
Last night I had a dream that was so ridiculously telling, I have no choice but to write about it. I was struggling to get to my apartment door while holding a small puppy in my arms. There was a hawk circling menacingly overhead and I knew puppy was for lunch. When I approached my door, there were two kittens who had gotten out of the apartment building somehow, so I scooped them up into my free arm and began to struggle with the process of getting my keys out and opening the door while wriggling fluffballs flailed under each arm, the hawk dive-bombing us all the while.
When I finally got into my apartment, an old friend who I no longer speak to due to his constant needy and abusive nature was in my bed, wearing pajamas. I put down the menagerie and asked him if he could move to the couch because Devo (my fiance) would be home soon, and needed to sleep. The old friend refused. At that moment Devo came home and told me it was fine, that the bed was big enough for all of us.
As amusing and stupidly transparent as this dream was,(Devo would have probably drop kicked dude, for instance) I was comforted by it. It reminded me of some things. Yes, I am a class -A- sucker for all of the kittens, puppies, and jerks in the universe, but I also have a guy in my life that not only embraces this part of me, but loves it. Despite the occasional annoyance it causes, he wants to marry me.
I’m getting married next October to this patient, awesome person, and that’s pretty cool.
Married. At a wedding. Dear lord.
Weddings were always a very far away, foreign concept for me. Partly because I was a horribly teased fat kid with 30 years worth of voices in my head telling me I didn’t deserve this holy union, and partly because rebelling against it was easy. To love, honor and obey? Maybe the first two. I didn’t want to feel like a princess. I don’t like poof. The entire industry feeds on proclaiming this to be the most important day of your life, and I thought that was complete crap.
I’m not saying it’s bad for everyone, and if you’ve been dreaming of this moment your whole life, then I wish nothing but happiness for you. I’m jealous, because at least I could have had this crap planned out nice and early.
I’ve also struggled with the concept of what “I” want as an individual, which is making this process extra hard.
When I was younger and I wanted to gain perspective into ego I read Ayn Rand, and that didn’t help. It mostly just made me hate Ayn Rand. To attempt oneness and unity with all I read Heinlein, and I thought he came off as a macho pig. I went back to X-Men and read The Dark Phoenix Saga because being a telekinetic superhero seemed more fun than being a selfish douche or an alien sex slave. I mean come on, what better role model than a kind, intelligent Omega-Level mutant, constantly struggling with duality.
Having “boyish” interests had little to nothing to do with my inability to fantasize about my perfect wedding, in case that’s where you think I’m going. Feeling a general disconnect, a lonely nerdy-ness. You know, back before nerds were okay, I guess. That was the biggest culprit. It was much later in my life that I began forming amazing bonds with people other than members of my family. I wanted to keep them around and never hurt them. This is carrying into my wedding planning in a huge way.
As strange as the concept was, it suddenly became something I wanted more than anything when I got to know Devo. I was 31, and completely unprepared. I am now 35, and still completely unprepared.
Coupled with being a people-pleaser, being out of a job, and being a naturally cheap and non-fluffy individual (who is also quite fluffy on a biological level), planning a wedding is completely out of my comfort zone. Thankfully I have a mother who is a natural party planner, a soon to be mother-in-law that makes amazing wedding cakes, and a ton of family and friends to slap me around when I shut down. My amazing maid of honor who has been my rock since the age of 12 already stated her concern that she’s going to have to drag me kicking and screaming into the world of “what I want.”
I’ve found a lot of extremely helpful websites such as offbeatbride.com, romanticthreads.com and my personal favorite http://www.thebrokeassbride.com/. These sites were a fantastic conformation that there were others out there like me. People who suddenly out of nowhere wanted to marry a person, and had no idea how to practically go about it without going broke or having to haphazardly go along with concepts and expectations they were not comfortable with.
My challenge from now until October 26th of 2013 will not be getting married. That’s the easy part. My challenge will be the same challenge most people who are about to get married have. Being conscious of others while throwing yourself exactly the kind of party you want…
…And not go insane in the process.
I’m willing to tackle this head on because Devo is worth it, and I really do want a big party. That’s the best part of weddings and why I like going to them. I’ve always loved and have thrown big parties. You get to see tons of people, you get to dance. You get to be married because you met someone that made you want to be married.
That is the essence of this union, whatever you want to call it. I want to be with this person, and I want to have a party celebrating it where my friends have fun because I like them a whole lot.
Now If I can muster up the strength to tell them to go to hell midst a chorus of “booing” because I’m not having open bar, that’s a good start.
Haters gonna hate.
Juggalos, Justin Beiber, Emos, Hipsters…everyone’s got their hate bandwagon.
In my youth I saw it all around me and kind of took it as canon.
In the goth clubs. Don’t dance to Manson. Manson’s a poser. Don’t shop at Hot Topic. Suburbans goths suck. New York goths are snobs. DC goths are hicks.
At the punk shows. Spiked hair is for posers. Short mohawks are for posers. Skinheads are all racist, no matter what they say. Hardcore punk is crap. American punk is crap. Pop punk is crap. UK 77 era punk is crap compared to US 77 era punk. Crust punk is for kids that don’t shower. Glam punk is for kids that shower too much.
Now that I’m older, my effort to justify my relationships with people by what music they listen to, or don’t listen to, has officially ended. And frankly it was half-assed to begin with because you can’t keep up. My old crew (and mostly still current crew) was a mix of every kind of misfit, and everyone got along fine. Somewhere in my late teens to early 20’s, who you were seen with became immensely important to many of my friends. Being a fat, awkward weirdo and being graciously let into some inner circles felt great at first. After a while, keeping up with the do’s and don’t of scene life was exhausting. Have the wrong friend? Wear the wrong T shirt? Listen to the wrong album? Forget it. GTFO.
I found myself in an odd state of envy towards people who could blindly listen to pop music and thoroughly enjoy themselves without apologies. Of course, this envy was deeply embedded between a layer of self doubt followed by an even thicker layer of belief that they were brainless hive-minded morons and I was way smarter and more enlightened!
As I got older, things changed. That happens when you get older. Those base and stupid things we think tie us all together started to fade into the background. Deeper relationships (although less of them) were founded on a sort of mutual energy. A feeling of “you’re really neat even though you watch reality TV and like Nickleback”.
I’m not writing about suddenly becoming the Dahli Llama and loving everyone no matter what. I’m also not writing about over-tolerance of things like hate organizations. I’m writing about the weird, seemingly growing intolerance of other people’s completely banal shit. Hipsters and Justin Beiber come to mind almost instantly. Some of the folks I know that hate on Hipsters the hardest…actually kind of look like them. Hipsters, to me, seem like the amalgamation of all the scenes I grew up watching kind of…coming together. Why is that so bad?
The Beiber thing is a bit easier to understand, as pop music featuring kids has been a boil on the butt of outside the box thinkers and grumpy old adults since the dawn of time. The Beatles, Menudo, heck my brother had a “New Kids Suck” all caps T shirt that got him sent home from school once (and it was hilarious). It’s always existed, but this was before the internet. Trolls had to work harder then. If you truly wanted to piss off a fangirl, you had to walk into a building full of them with neon letters painted on your chest that said “EVERYTHING YOU LIKE IS DUMB.” Now you just write it in bold white all-caps on a picture and share it on Facebook. Instant Troll.
So I get it, it’s irritating. You don’t like it. So don’t listen to it. Here’s a kid who got famous doing what he loves and I really hope it doesn’t screw him up. That’s my end thought on the matter. His existence, and the existence of those before and after him will continue to please and annoy until the end of time. I’m choosing to be tolerant of it’s presence because I have many other delightful things to steam up about. My rights as a woman, the future of my career, and the government peering into my vagoo every five seconds just off the top of my head.
The easiest to understand may be Juggalos. Here are some fun people who believe in a Valhalla of weed and ax murder founded by two insanely chauvinistic guys in clown makeup. There’s SO MUCH THERE TO RUN WITH! But should I? They’re basically just another group of kids who found an accepting subculture.
Where to draw the line.
For me, it’s drawn on how you effect my life. This is perhaps more selfish a move than condemning them outright, but I look at it this way. Racial intolerance effects my life. Violence against men, women and children effects my life. 12 year olds looking for some sweet and dulcet teen pop tones to ease them gently into womanhood does not. Someone wearing lenseless glasses (seriously why do you do that) does not.
I attempt to carry this tolerance of hoomans beyond music genre. I carry it into religions, political differences, and completely different sets of beliefs. I can think of some amazing lessons learned from staying judgement. Some of my most favorite conversations have been with people who are nothing like me on a surface level.
So although it’s very easy to pick on subcultures, it’s even easier to let them do what they’re designed to do. Give kids a way to feel like they belong to something bigger than themselves.
I spoke to a friend recently who lamented her daughter’s obsession with My Little Pony.
“I hate it, but she’s got no idea. She’s five. I don’t want her dressing like one at 35 because mommy didn’t like ponies.”
There will always be cool and uncool, and there will always be a dichotomy drawn on which is which. Rage up about things worth raging about. If that thing is Hipster glasses, count yourself lucky. You’re doing alright.
PS. You totally sound like your parents.