Above: my fingers open the hole shop lifters left in the Nirvana sweater my sixteen year old sister bought me from the mall for Christmas.
I hate shoplifters (my parents’ pet stores loss thousands because of teens who stole puppies), so this is my first sweater emblazoned with the lifter’s symbol. I would’ve worn this same sweater as a fourteen year old. (I owned this sweater as a shirt in middle school.) A fourteen year old made this sweater forever his or her’s: the hole represents their misdemeanor offense. (Hot Topic charges criminals, y’all!)
Although my cheeks grow facial hair and my high school friends now work as strippers (the living room in the background belongs to one such stripper), I still dress the same and ask my lifelong hair dresser, Cherry, to shape my bangs so they hang toward the left. Only difference is the badge of teenage rebellion, the lifter symbol/Angela Chase style woes, shows in the juxtaposition of my stubble against my Nirvana sweater instead of in my grumpy, Courtney Love singing baby-face.
Walking through a mall, people will think I’m a loud mouthed shop lifter who never grew up. “He’s a townie and community college junkie,” they’ll say. I’m neither (I’ve never even smoked weed), yet in many ways I’m still a loud mouth queer punk: I listen to the same music; read the same kind of books; look up to the loud mouths from the past who saved me from drug addicted family members during adolescence (Courtney Love, Britney Spears in 07, and Christopher Isherwood); and piss my peers off, because I speak my mind.
Even as a five year old who wore mismatched Gymboree outfits, my clothing represented those facts.
I thought I would find myself in my twenties, 2011 included. I thought I would change my looks, but all I’ve learned is that I am who I am, and I like myself. I need to accept to love flaws like my inability to match. Without my cons, I lack my pros: without my snarkiness that alienates peers I look up to, I’d lack my friends who turn to me for my honesty.
Let’s accept each other for whom we are in 2012. Happy New Years, y’all.