Monday, March 8, 2010

Fashion Plates

March 1985 Monday (no date)

Dear Ophelia,
"I just read a great book called The Catcher in the Rye. It was great! I think I want to marry Holden. He was just so real and looked at life the way it should be looked at. I've read it before but I didn't understand it then. 

I loved the way Holden pegged phonies. He could spot a phony and phony things a mile away. It was great. He was so casual and laid back except he was nervous too. 

I loved his ideas about totally leaving and going off to a cabin or something. If he would of asked me, I would have said yes. That's exactly the kind of thing I want to do. Just get away from this phony, stage front life and go somewhere where people aren't so damn phony and naive.

He is kind of negative but I'm sure he has his happy moments. Lately, I've been real depressed. Mostly cause I don't have many good friends down here and because I don't think Luke likes me or understands me. I went to a shopping mall and all over were fluorescent clothes and shit and phony people. I got so pissed. They even have fashion mod clothes and fashion punk clothes. I could have puked. I hate shopping malls! It depressed me. Clothes are just meant to cover up a person's body and keep them warm. But in a mall, everything is dedicated to fashion. I hate fashion, it sucks. 

I wish I could make the world understand how unimportant clothes are as far as fashion and stuff. I know how phony it is but I wish everyone could know. I dress mod now and some fashion plates down on me cause I'm not wearing their preppy fashions and that pisses me off because I'm the one looking down on them! They think they're so cool for their clothes but it all sucks

Anyway, let's talk about depression. Holden really pegged depression good. Phony people depressed him. They depress me too. I can't stand them. On St. Patrick's day I saw two old ladies walking down the street with green spray in their hair. It depressed the hell out of me. They were walking around as if they were in a parade and people were hooting and they were smiling. I couldn't stand it. Old people really depress me, especially ones that are hunched over. I never want to be old with white, skinny, wrinkly legs with blue veins and frail skin and brittle bones and a saggy body. I'd rather be dead. Weakness has always depressed me. 

Anyway, my foot still hurts so I didn't run much today. I think it may be a little psychological because I kind of don't want to run track, even though I do good at the races. Oh well, I should decide soon. 

By the way, I talk to myself. I've always done it but in a way it worries me. I kind of think I'm partly insane but I'm proud of it (if I am). I love talking to myself. I did it in Alaska too, even when I had good friends and I was happy up there. I always pretend that there's someone in the room with me. Sometimes a friend or an enemy or someone I made up. I talk to them and it's the most realistic thing in the world. It's gotten so real that I sometimes think that there is somebody in the room. I always check under the bed and in the closets. The only place I feel "safe" is in the bathroom, maybe cause it's so small. Maybe I'm just insecure or something. Oh well, I gotta go. Love ya, Jennifer. P.S. Friday night I went to Mike M.'s party. It was ok but a lot of stuck up people came. I got a little stoned. On Saturday, Luke and I went swimming in Luke's pool. Robert was there. I was so embarrassed to have Lara there. I really don't like her anymore. She's phony, more later."

The 80's were not good for fashion, truly. I remember the florescent clothes, the leg warmers, the preppy polos and sweaters over the shoulders, the gloves with the fingers cut out, the rosary beads and the big hair. The movie, The Breakfast Club, kind of summed up the different social groups and their fashions. Jennifer related to Ally Sheedy's character but life would have been easier as Molly Ringwald (or so Jennifer thought). As much as she despised phoniness, she envied the girls who fit in.

 The Breakfast Club, Released 1985

I think it stems from all the moving. If Jennifer had stayed in one place, she and her set of friends would have grown up together. They would have shaped each others styles and tastes. Jennifer didn't grow up with anybody. She changed friends, parents, pets and even siblings on a regular basis. She did not share her childhood with anyone for more than a few years. She had no social identity.

She knew what she wasn't--she wasn't a fashion plate, a prep, a jock or a punk rocker. She tried to be "mod" because it was California casual and cheap. When she saw the name brand stores begin to copy the thrift store look--it was the ultimate fashion betrayal. She just wanted to give up!

The florescent look!

Jennifer vaguely remembers the green-haired ladies. The scene upset her so much because she felt like people were laughing at the old ladies. It reminded her of how people laugh at chimps wearing clothes or bears riding bikes in the circus. In hindsight she thinks the ladies were pretty cool, but at the time, she thought they were making fools of themselves. Jennifer lacked a sense of humor, which was probably one of her biggest problems. It's not that her life was so bad, it's that she took everything so seriously.

Also, regarding Jennifer's fear of aging, she had no living grandparents and no aunts or uncles who visited her. She did not know one elderly person. She didn't see any upside to being old. She was lucky enough to meet Jeff's parents later in 1985. They ended up "adopting" Jennifer as a granddaughter.

Once she got used to them, she fell in love with them! She enjoyed listening to their stories. Where once she saw weakness, she learned to see wisdom. She is so grateful for them because they opened her heart to the elderly and they loved her when she felt unlovable.

Jennifer writes about talking to herself. She worried that she might be crazy. I don't know, but I think that if you are truly crazy, you aren't aware of it. She knew it was odd and she knew that she was only talking to herself. It might have felt real, but she never thought it was real. She never heard anyone talking back to her. I think that talking out loud was another way for Jennifer to express herself. She had Ophelia and she had herself--the only things in her life that moved with her!

Did you talk to yourself when you were a child?

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