Friday, January 27, 2006

Fashion Angst

Mine were completely white with a bright red stripe. These are newer ones I believe.Junior high was a tough time for me. I started school a bit earlier in age than most (probably to get me out of my mother's hair) so I was always a bit behind emotionally and socially than those in my grade. I tended to hang out with kids in grades below me, in fact my best friend from 4th grade to 6th grade was two years behind me in school, but she also lived across the street so the grade issue didn't matter to us.

When I was in 6th grade, we moved from Oregon to Texas for economic reasons, so I started junior high in a completely new arena, knowing nobody. 6th grade had marked the beginning of my awareness when it came to fashion and really trying to fit in. At the time (early 80's), San Francisco jeans were really in style (bell bottoms) as well as the first Nike tennis shoes (close to the style in the picture above). We could not afford to buy either of them, but at some point my mom was able to get me some jeans called Seattle Blues that also had the bell bottom on them. I had exactly two pairs of them and I would wear them everyday, alternating between the two.

When we moved to Texas, that style was still in and I proceeded like I did in 6th grade to alternately wear the two pairs of fashionable jeans I owned. At some point in 7th grade, the butt wore out in both of them from all the non stop wearing I was doing. My mom sewed heart patches on the butts of both pairs, almost in exactly the same spots. For some reason, this made my jeans stand out in the eyes of the other 7th grade students and I started to get comments. One boy in particular, who seemed to have a lot of pull with the other 7th graders, would not leave it alone. He was convinced that I was wearing the same pair of pants everyday because his little narrow mind could not fathom that I would have two pairs with exactly the same patches on them. I eventually had to bring in the second pair while I was wearing the other to prove to him and his prepubescent population that I was not full of shit.

Anyhow, 1/2 way through 8th grade, we moved back to Oregon to the same town. I was devastated as I had made some good friends in Texas eventually, and didn't want to go back to the cliquey little town and deal with all the same shit all over again. We went anyway.

So I got to start school after Christmas break in a new/old place. Our district was such that the five elementary schools came together in junior high so I knew about 1/5 of the students in my grade. People would come up to me and question whether they knew me or not...I would have to explain where I had been and done. At this point, the bell bottoms were back out again, and that pretty much nixed me wearing my patched Seattle Blues anymore. I was thankful that I would not have to prove my double wardrobe again.

Anyhow, some where around this time, I got my hands on a pair of the Nike shoes pictured above (there were still in style along with the emerging Levi 501 fashion). They were second hand and didn't completely fit my growing feet but I was not going to pass up the opportunity to wear them and finally feel fashionable. I remember squeezing my feet into those shoes long after they barely fit me, just so I could be "in". I had some Levis from Goodwill that were not 501 button fly's but at least they were Levis and I wore them as much as I could get away with. I don't think having some clothes that were considered in fashion helped me much in the social arena, but I felt better about myself when walking through "9th grade hall" and past the scrutinizing eyes of all those "big kids".

There are many other traumatizing stories from the halls of that school that I can go into later, but for some reason, I will always remember how much I wanted to fit in and didn't really. Those shoes will always be a image marker in my brain of that tough time in my life (I know, real tough, huh?).

This of course all passed when I entered high school, became my own person with my own style and said to hell with cliquey fashion.


kilgorsky said...

In junior hight I was fashion unconscious. I was a metal head in high school and hung out with the crowd that was as brok as I was. So, cool clothes were not an issue. What mattered was music.

Mishka said...

Music was a huge part of my life growing up the entire time but in Jr High, I really wanted to fit in. Once I got into highschool, I started to enjoy being my own person, thought the cliquey kids were full of shit and sad...