Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Fashion Fo-Paws


As you may or may not know from previous blog posts. In my art mind there is a town and in that town are some super quirky folks who live above average lives. From time to time I find it good to drop in and see whats going on there.
Two recent events inspired this new work. One is retold in script form below and the other has to do with one of my most favorite people EVER. First let's talk about her.

It's odd to say but for some things I have a bionic-super hero-steel trap of a memory. Ask any of my close friends they will vouch. To be clear, those things I can recall in great detail are unfortunately of little universal importance and they do not include spelling words, foreign languages,or algebraic formulas. But if you want to know the exact location of chick peas in Kroger? I got that with GPS-like precision. If you want to know what song was playing while we tried on dresses for the 8th grade prom in a store that no longer exists, or what brand of perfume fell off the shelf at Kirk's Drugs breaking the bottle and spilling onto the floor when I was 3? (No I was not running or playing or dancing and no I did NOT deserve that lady with red fingernails taking me by the fat part of my arm to help me find my way back to my grandmother) I'm your gal. It's a blessing and a curse. (A: Take My Breath Away. In fact the soundtrack from Top Gun was playing. and B. Estee' Lauder)Point is I am fortunate to have such vivid recollections of what was a great childhood. If I filed my memories in any sort of order (really? please!) I would create a whole folder just for things that involved my friend/baby sitter/confidant/"aunt" Missie. I can not begin to explain how much she and her family have meant to me and mine over the years and it would be ill advised to elaborate on any "adventures" she taxied me and my pre-licensed friends to. (She was always more than willing to drive...the get-a-way car). I Can tell you though, she was the best! She would offer advise or silently listen depending on the need. She would help you hide out till the storm passed or encourage you to take off your Keds and dance in the parking lot while the rain poured down! All the while her make up was perfect and her fashion sense was impeccable. Now...HERE is where the crazy-brain memory is good to have. As I said the woman was all about fashion, Missie was one of the first people I knew who treated her shoes like family, bags too. I loved to look through her closet full of neatly stacked shoe boxes and carefully attended purses. She didn't mind if  I wore every twist-a-bead necklace she had as long as I put them back. Bracelets? Watches? Broaches? Oy! Carrie Bradshaw has nothing on this girl. My admiration and appreciation  are not easily expressed, suffice it to say, to me, Missie was "it". A fashion icon. (music swells....readers sigh....annndd...the record scratches!!!!!) OH yes! friends-trendy and fabulous and beautiful as she is, even my dear friend fell victim to a few "what were we thinking???" moments. I won't elaborate on the height of bangs-after all we grew up in the Pentecostal church. The memory that recently moved me and my sister to laughter is that of those clip on koala, panda, teddy bears people wore. Let me tell you all something...not only did my girl have all of the above, in true MRLC style, she was one step above the norm. Just a slight above the others... she had an ACTUAL clip on animal type thing. I gotta say it again. It was an ACTUAL DEAD ANIMAL FUR. A chinchilla as I recall. and do not mistake my shouting for judgement-oh no! As a third grade kid who admired miss priss and was well on my way to becoming one myself (thank you very much) I wanted nothing more than to wear that thing! I'm all grown up now with a shoe and bag and jewelry collection I believe would make Missie proud. I will spare us all the rehashing of other random fashion regrets (lace collars on sweat shirts? leg warmers? anyone?) We've all moved past those things now and the best thing to do is laugh. or perhaps write about it. and draw.

And excerpt from "lunch in the Caff" (That's short for cafeteria for future reference and is not pronounced cafe', let's don't be pretentious here kids)

AK: "What should I wear on Sat?"
Lucy: "For sure you should wear the cow neck sweater"
Harriet: "the blue one"
AK: "I don't like turtle necks-but I do like a cow neck"
Lucy: "I don't know what color-but I know it looks good on you"
Harriet: "The blue one- ohhh or grey- I like the grey one, you look good in grey"
AK: "And I don't know if they exist-but I wouldn't like a goose neck sweater either"
Lucy: "you know I don't remember things"
Harriet: "Remember the grey dress you tried on that I loved? Oh-grey is your color"
AK: "I also have a red cow neck"

The following Saturday, AK wore the red cow neck, with dark jeans and killer boots. Everything was perfect until she grabbed her bright yellow wool coat on the way to the car. Once inside the restaurant, catching a glimpse of  the red and yellow combo in the mirror behind the bar she couldn't hide her disappointment and said out loud "oh no! I'm ketchup and mustard!"
So close close.