L-A-T-E-R that week…Posted: September 10, 2006
So, after watching the team I despise only a little less than Notre Dame brody Texas, I decided to bathe and meet up with some buddies at a bar run by some noble Mexican chaps. As it’s going to be probably two or two point five more weeks before the sun never returns to New Haven, the streets hummed with the electricity of smart kids with limited social options and less limited resources.
Walking the streets on this particular eve gave me some unoriginal thoughts that nonetheless tickled my brain grundle as I walked toward my Aztec destiny. Outside of the fact that it took me about four years to realize that the big kids in college (e.g. juniors, seniors, grads, former dropouts) actually go places to drink not called Davenport Lower Court or Bingham C72A, I also had occasion to ponder the pageantry of Saturday night.
Now, I can’t pretend that somewhere like South Beach holds a candle to the shenanigans of Park Street on any given weekend night (Sidebar 1: For those of you who suffer the unfortunate plight of the employed, you’ll bitterly recall that the weekend in college begins on Wednesday), but I am willing to bet a hypothetical amount of money that the pageantry is essentially the same, just adjusted to regional sabor (word to my Argentine duns).
Anyway, as I stepped out in my standard red t-shirt that pre-dates my face hair, jeans, 991s, and, of course, the ever-ubiquitous High Life, I became aware that a good deal of the denizens, and certainly a majority of those of the vaginal persuasion, were dressed to the sevens (to say they were ‘dressed to the nines’ would be getting a little carried away). Pumps, chunky necklaces, skirts with the occasional tights underneath, big belts over what look to be sweater dresses rebelliously slid off one shoulder… the ladies and their eyeliner said, “Hey, we probably won’t bang, but you should talk to me anyway.”
I would go in to similar detail about the fellas (no Roman), but we all know it essentially consists of either: a button down shirt (often of the vertical stripe ilk); a polo shirt; or a kitschy park and recreation t-shirt that pre-dates the bearers face hair. Throw in some form of pant and unremarkable footwear, and you’re all set. Still, the thing that struck me was not the manner of dress (I mean, you’ve pretty much seen it all when you’re working on a half decade) , but the fact that we go through this ritual of costume and camouflage for people that are not strangers to us.
Although Toads’ Place is a hole-in-the-wall lounge off the beaten path, many a smart nut case find themselves there week after week, high fiving and risking infection at the touch of nearly any surface. Moreover, they, more often than not, dress themselves to do it (Sidebar 2: By “dress themselves,” I’m making the distinction between how people dress during the school week which, in its pajama-panted and sweatershirted glory, is generally un-spiffy while the weekend addition of the wardrobe is at least trying to give spiffiness a reach-around).Among the social, there is the feeling of being compelled to follow the impulse that says, “it would be hilarious if I wore a D.A.R.E. shirt,” or “If I let my box hang out of my skirt but put a Juicy belt around it, my outfit will say ‘sexy’ rather than ‘nut receptacle’.” What really trips me out is that all of this is done for people we all already know.
Why do people put on these costumes? Am I not going to know you were that girl from section who never recognized me when I half waved on the street? Maybe it gives people a little more confidence; acting as a sort of buffer between us and another human being because, in reality, we’re too terrified just interact with people, which only goes to demonstrate alcohol’s appeal as it is a costume for our senses. Our garbs protect us from being what we fear the most: Being naked.
Clothes and accessories are our agents and that’s why many of us are willing to pay top dollar for them (that and the fact that spending money makes any self-respecting person feel better about themselves). They sell whatever image we care to portray at any given moment. More important than what they sell is what they hide: vulnerability. Maybe thats why the smart nutcases get dressed. Smart n’ Nutties want to tell other Smart n’ Nutties that they are indeed appealing enough to talk to, and in case there is any confusion in this, the former is draped in a shirt with an ironic slogan or multiple tank tops. Thankfully, I have the to confidence to buck trends, instead opting to consistently wear red t-shirts and a clever mesh hat, so I can’t really say I know what other people are going through. Peace to TJ Maxx.
Penultimate Thought: Word up to people wfor having the stones to admit they know what ‘penultimate’ means because of this journal.
Final Thought: I think my cell phone has sickle cell.