There were two things that I wanted to be as a high school freshman: a Varsity cheerleader, and the lead in the school play. As a quiet, mousy, afraid-to-even-raise-her-hand-in-class kind of kid, these seemed like totally normal things to want. I was too shy to ask a question during English class, but getting up in front of everyone during a basketball game and jumping around in a short skirt? That sounds GREAT! Sign me up. There was a guy I liked on the basketball team.
I mean, of course there were OTHER reasons I wanted to be a cheerleader - because it's a SPORT. And a healthy extracurricular. And a great opportunity to build life-long friendships with my other cheer... mates? Cheermates? Is that a word? Cheer friends?
Whatever. It was mostly about the guy. And everyone knows cheerleaders are hot.
So I dragged my friend to try-outs with me - you know, because I was too afraid to go alone - and together we learned all of the basic chants, stunts, cheers, I think there was a dance involved? The only thing I can remember is thinking how they made everything look so much easier in "Bring It On". I couldn't even do a cartwheel, let alone the front handspring-stepout, roundoff back handspring-stepout I had planned to blow everyone away. You know, if I practiced enough. How hard could it be? It's just, jumping around. On your hands.
I did the splits for my "stunt" portion during try-outs. That was one of the things - you had to do a "stunt": a cartwheel, a roundoff, a handspring, you could even do a forward roll if you weren't coordinated enough to do anything else. Which I wasn't. But I chose to do the splits, because I decided that a forward roll might be too dangerous for someone inexperienced like myself.
Also I thought the splits would be more impressive. Which they would have been - had I actually done them, instead of whatever I did. Because what I did was slide down about halfway to the ground, until my knees started to bend and my legs made this triangle shape with the floor, and I was like "Ta-da!"
Oh, Instagram. It took me forever to figure out that it wasn't Facebook. I mean, I obviously KNEW the difference - but you know what I mean. If someone Friend requests me on Facebook without annnnny sort of mutual connections ("Did we at least go to high school together? Grow up in the same town? Are you a friend of my mom's?"), I immediately feel violated. "How did they FIND me?", I think. Like I just caught them with a telescope peeping through my bedroom window. (Sometimes even if there is a mutual connection, I think to myself: "Why are they adding me? Do I KNOW them? Did we meet once and I forgot?") But Instagram? Haha. That's totally fine. Follow me. Ask your friends to follow me. Encourage random strangers to follow me. FOLLOW ME. I NEED MORE FOLLOWERS.
If you're a fashion blogger, you're probably already on the 'gram, and you probably already have more followers than I do. (Maybe because I just referred to it as "the 'gram".) Anyway - my goal right now I'm trying to break 300.
Not 300k. Not 300 million --- (haha, does ANYONE have 300 million?) I have THREE. HUNDRED. followers. Well - actually, no I don't, I'm trying to GET 300 followers. I've been batting around 287-295 all summer. I don't know if I can even call myself a 'blogger' at this point, even people who set their accounts to private and only follow friends and family have more followers than I do. When I hit 300, I should buy balloons and throw myself a party. You know, like the real bloggers do after they've hit substantial numbers.
Fashion bloggers consider Instagram to be a faucet of their business. They have a fashion blog on the Internet - they post pictures of themselves wearing a bunch of different outfits, what better way to advertise that than Insta? It probably helps them to get a ton of new followers. I say "probably" because they have thousands, and I have - ALMOST - 300. But I also don't post as many #ootds. Mostly because my "photographer" is my boyfriend and it is a special occasion when I can get him to take a picture of me. I purposely try to look extra fashion-y when we go out, so that I can pull him aside as we're leaving a restaurant and say "Hey, can I be weird for a second? Will you take a picture of me looking out into traffic?" And he says "Ugh." and then gives me two minutes to be weird, because he loves me.
Is "debunked" the right word? I don't know. I used to think that I looooved vintage fashion. The idea of a string of pearls sitting around in a jewelry box that's been passed down since the Titanic? Maybe it belonged to Rose De... Dewitt? Google says "Dewitt-Bukater", but I'm just going to call her Rose Dawson because we all know she should have scooted over and let Jack climb up on top of that door with her. He didn't have to freeze to death. It's not always all about you, Rose, people are dying.
But the pearls. Let's get back to the pearls. Did she have pearls? Oh, wait - no, she had that gaudy necklace that she chucked it into the ocean at the end of the movie. Way to be a hero, Rose. People have been looking for that.
But when you say something is "vintage" - that's what people imagine. That's why they say "ooh... ahh...", because they're envisioning something that somebody wore back in the day. It's a romantic idea that something has been around longer than, you know, a Forever 21 t-shirt that you ripped and threw away after one wash. It tells a story. It's been around the block. It's seen some stuff.
When I was in high school, one of the girls came to school one day wearing dangly paperclip earrings. Like, dangly earrings, made of paperclips. Tiny paperclips clasped together dangling from her ears. And when everyone said, "Oh! Those are... different!" - she told us that she found them in her grandmother's jewelry box and that they were "vintage".
Vintage paper clip earrings. From Grandma's jewelry box. Like Grandma was a true fashion pioneer back in the 40s who just strung a bunch of paper clips together and then said, "Yea, I'm gonna keep these. Let me just put these in the jewelry box next to my pearls."
Did they even have paper clips back in the 40s? When did they start making paper clips? Were people even writing on paper back then, or was it all parchment and quill pens?
Okay, I guess it's the 1940s, not the 1800s. You shouldn't come here expecting a history lesson. We're here to talk about clothes and stuff.
I don't know how to ask someone to take a picture of me "for my blog" without sounding like a... like a total... what's the mom-approved-PG word for douchebag? Because that's what I sound like. A pretentious douchebag. It's hard for me to take myself seriously when I'm saying, "Hey will you take a bloggy picture of me in front of this fountain?"... which is usually followed by, "What should I be doing? Should I, like, look off into the distance? Or, look over my shoulder? Should I smile? Is that weird? Smiling is weird, right?"
Sure. Smiling in a picture? Totes weird. Only serial killers and ax murderers do that.
Rarely is this magical moment complete without me asking, "Is it cute? Will you take another one? What should I do with my hands?"
I never know what to do with my hands. And I alwaaaays ask if it's cute. Like the person behind the camera is ever going to tell me: "I don't know, Jenn. You're twenty-seven years old and still pretending to be a model. Is THAT cute?"
It's not cute. In fact, the whole thing usually feels so awkward that I fidget for about five seconds in front of whatever fountain/brick wall/lake front/rooftop view I'm standing in front of and then ask, "Did you get it? Is it cute?"
Seriously. Like I'm Beyonce or something. "Did you get it? Are we done here?"
I'm not big on superstition, but I once held a rabbit's foot in my pocket while I was taking an important exam.
And by "important exam", I mean a sixth grade science test, and by "rabbit's foot", I mean a picture I ripped out of magazine of Justin Timberlake. It was earlier that year when I discovered a "lucky rabbit's foot" was legitimately supposed to be, like, you know... a rabbit's.. FOOT ... and I was like "EWWW!!! What kind of sick person carries around some dead rabbit's chopped off foot? How does that bring them good luck?"
It doesn't. When you think about it, the concept IS a little Jeepers Creepers, ya know?
But a picture of Justin Timberlake during his Ramen noodle hair and N'sync days? Yes. That will TOTALLY bring you good luck! Probably. If you write the answers on it somewhere in very small print and only look at it occasionally when the teacher isn't paying attention. Ya know, for luck.
Of course I wasn't smart enough to do that. Which is probably why I thought I needed a "lucky charm" to get through a sixth grade level science test in the first place. As long as I had a picture of my fake boyfriend "Justin from N'sync" in my back pocket, I was sure to do well. It was magic, and luck, and the Gods and a higher power - and my crazy little eleven year old brain that legit thought some sort of voodoo could make me a really good guesser - all working together.
Ah, to be eleven and weird again.
Here's something I never thought I'd say: "We need shelf liner."
Shelf liner used to be just one of those dumb "extra", "Mom"-type things that somehow found it's way into every apartment that I've ever lived in - cut up, and laid flat in the kitchen cabinets.
I say "somehow" like it magically appeared there. It didn't. My mom would buy this stuff for me - because she's a mom, and it's kind of a "mom" thing - and say "This is to line the shelves of your kitchen cabinets before you put the dishes away." And I would say "Oh, okay, cool" - even though I had no idea why. Does it stop your plates from sliding around? (Can plates really just "slide" around in there?) Does it stop your glasses from smelling like *shelf*? (Aka, wood). Can it keep you from getting splinters?
I don't know. It might just be wallpaper for the kitchen cabinets. But - whatever it does - I knew that I needed it for our new apartment before I could put the dishes away. God forbid we put away our Target brand plates and funny wine glasses that say things like "I make pour decisions" into a cabinet with naked shelves.
So, I went shopping today. And I walked into this little store called The Buckle. Or is it just Buckle? I don't know - but you know which store I'm talking about, right? It's supposed to be this very boho-trendy/Coachella fashion/"I paid way too much for this t-shirt" kind of vibe-y store. (I know, because I've paid way too much for a t-shirt here before. )
But I was in the mall, I'd had my Starbucks, and I was feeling pretty good. (Plus I've been saying for the last, like, week and a half that "I reaaaaally want some new clothes for summer". There is no reasonable explanation for this. It's not like the only thing I have in my closet are clothes made of wool and fur and winter-y things.. But apparently all of the t-shirts and shorts that I have in my closet from last year are, like, sooo 2016.)
I know. I'm the worst. Some people collect dolls, some people eat trash, my addiction is that I buy a lot of clothes. We all have our things.