Let me set the scene: I was slugging about on the sofa New Years Eve nursing the mother of all hangovers. This does not mean much, as every hang over I have is the mother of all hangovers and the sure sign of impending death and liver implosion.
It meant a bit that I was nursing it on New Years EVE rather than Day. I combined my fear of crowds and driving among drunken fools who had not the foresight to marry their very own designated driver and decided that Sacco and I needed to head to the local pizza joint and celebrate with weird toppings and beer (TRY sauerkraut, spinach, and ricotta–you will be exceedingly happy. Or hate it. If your like that.) the day before the main festivities turned Kansas City into a seething pit of Hell. Interestingly enough, five Grolsch in an hour combined with my standard cocktail of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications equals a bit of a cheap date followed by that date you wish you had banged at the bar in the loo because she is currently doing the Technicolor yawn all over YOUR loo.
As I was feeling the bit of the old lady on the sofa, I was under the dictatorship of Sacco’s television choices. His clicker found the usual plethora of “brain in a pan” sort of shows in the form of NCIS and Criminal Minds as well as some episodes of Two Broke Girls. I was letting the sound just sort of wash on by while inhaling some take away Chinese (Lo Mein applied 8 hours after last yawn does WONDERS for one’s constitution) when I realized I had missed something he said. Something directed at me, no less. I asked him to repeat himself.
“Have you noticed your in all of these?”
Huh? I failed to see his point really. I mean, sure, half my guild in World of Warcraft calls me their Abby once they had seen my book of face photos, but me? In all of these? What the hell was he on about?
Pauley Perrette’s character, Abby from NCIS, I saw easily. If not me now, I saw her roots anyway. When Sacco and I had met, I had the black hair in pig tails and the dark and interesting closet of a Goth trying too hard to hold onto her early twenties. Lolita is not so hot on 30, but on 20 it goes damn well. I enjoyed computers and often wore dog collars. I still smoked cloves like they were not putting me into early emphysema and went out dancing wearing all the black eyeliner I could get my paws on. My heels were high and black and spiky.
He explained the rest to me starting with Two Broke Girls and the character of Max. Played by Kat Dennings she always made me think of a girl I would have liked to be. She is sassy and streetwise and has an attitude I would kill to own. I have always sort of identified with her because in NY, prior to my Western travels, I held down three jobs at one time to live in a place that is both secure and not roach/vermin infested. Sacco sees that attitude I envy so ALREADY in me, which makes me both tickled to death and vaguely apprehensive. Sure, I am a NY girl, but not a NYC girl. There is a bit of a difference in sass level. Can I maintain his expectations? Do I even need to try?
Then, he really hit me with it. He nailed down, with the use of a line of dialogue from a television drama, EXACTLY the change I have sort of seen in my life. He pointed at the goddamn DOLL of a woman behind a computer and said “That is you, my love.” Penelope Garcia, to him, was what I have become as I aged. I am no where near as techy and colourful but I sort of see his point. According to him (I could find no evidence online during my cursory search), but at one point in time she is talking to another individual about having been Goth in high school and how she is still very much a Goth now. According to Sacco she says “The inside does not change, I only changed the colours on the outside.” Kirsten Vangsness plays her character over the top with a huge helping of sass and smarts with different glasses to match her different outfits. I see a 50’s sort of flare to her dresses that I try hard to instill into my own closet. There was a time when I only wore pants or short black or plaid skirts. Now my closet boasts full dresses with bell skirts, wriggle skirts, and anything that may reminds me of Mad Men.
Unlike Penelope, I do not have a cute little beauty mark and most of my clothing IS still mainly black, with just a bit of navy and dark purple for variety. Growth none the less.
In High School I had to go to counseling right after Columbine because the teachers feared a copy cat sort of thing; as if I cared for anything more than to be left alone with my bloody damn books. I wore black and chain and fishnet and wore far too much makeup. Makeup bought for the African-American skin tone, so the colours looked even more striking against my pale features. In College, I ramped up the makeup and channeled my best Dr. Frank-n-furter and tried my damndest to be dark and “interesting”. I was Goth, I was Pagan, and I read a FUCKLOAD of books and could argue almost anything with anyone; even playing Devil’s Advocate to my own beliefs just to keep the argument going and be truly annoying.
Growing up has changed a lot of things, as it is wont to do, and Sacco’s simple observation has brought clarity to the stage I am currently at. Subculture out–a name, or lack thereof, cannot change or ever really define what a person is on the inside. The outside trappings can never be assumed to tell the full story of the inside. I think I enjoy this process I am undergoing. I doubt I will ever be as candy coloured as Penelope’s hacker, but I do think I can retire the dog collar. The holier than thou attitude about religion and how smart I am compared to anyone else was retired long ago. That sort of bullshit is just hell to maintain and not worth MY headaches.
So, I am changing some colours, but not the me. Well played Sacco; you are truly an attentive man.