Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I Ain't Livin' Vicariously

When I'm at work, I like to have someone talking in my ear.  Not someone I know, mind you.  Random strangers on the Internet.  I usually have a podcast happening or last night's Rachel Maddow.  But since I'm at work, and working, I generally don't really take in what any of these people are saying.  It just makes me unavailable to the other folks in my office because I am exactly that kind of asshole.  Today I listened to an hour and a half long episode of the Marc Maron show in which he interviewed Jimmy Walker.  My takeaway from that is that Jimmy Walker says "fuck" sometimes, which I was surprised by.  I also discovered that Jimmy Walker is only eight years younger than John Amos (who played his dad on Good Times).  But I didn't learn that on the podcast.  That showed up when I decided to look up John Amos on Wikipedia because I remembered hearing that he was disappointed by the mugging and dyn-o-mites of Jimmy Walker.  According to Wikipedia, it was a little more complicated than that.  But seriously, isn't that crazy that only eight years separated the actors who played J.J. and his father? 

Anyway, I digress.

This morning, I clicked on a video of Lana Wachowski giving a speech as she accepted an award from the Human Rights Council.  I don't know what she said because I was working through other stuff, but according to Gawker, it was really wonderful.  Here's the speech in case you want to pay attention.

But let's take a look at her:

Doesn't she look like someone you'd like?  Well, I don't know you.  Maybe she doesn't look like someone you'd like.  But she looks like someone I'd like.  She looks nice.  She looks fun.  She looks smart.  I actually don't have any fucking idea what she looked like when she was Larry, but I bet Larry didn't look nearly as great as Lana.  I just love the way Lana looks.

But enough about Lana Wachowski.  Let's talk about me!  I'm going to take her heroic act and make it all about me in the shallowest way possible.  Aren't you excited?

I've long regretted my misspent conservative youth.  I don't mean politically.  When I was a Sophomore I wore a "Fritz is Hitz" button to school (ask your parents). I've always been a liberal politically.  But socially, culturally? Look, it was the 80s.  It was the south.  I went to Catholic schools.  I had bangs and wore Firenze sweaters.  And my hair was dirty blond, and completely natural.

In my late 20s or 30s (I can't remember exactly when ), I started coloring my hair.  But always blond.  Lighter blond, but blond. Well, there was this one time when I flirted with red. But when I showed up at Aunt Katty's house in my temporary red dye, she looked at me with such profound disappointment.  "But, Meg," she said.  "You're a blonde!"  I am.  She was right (and blond too!).  I dyed it back posthaste.

And then there was this Girl Scout Meeting last year. We were doing hair and nails and girly stuff like that.  I brought some of that spray on hair color and put a pink streak in my blond hair in between dolling up the girls.  I loved it.  I loved the way it looked.  I loved it way more than I loved my hair when it was red.  I loved it more than I've ever loved my hair before.  But I washed it out because I am a woman in my 40s and, as such, far too old for such frippery.  I sighed and sighed through that shampoo.  And afterward, I told Laney, "Oh, I hope when you're in high school you dye your hair crazy colors!  It's so much fun.  And I wish I'd done it."

But today I looked at Lana Wachowski and thought, "well, look at her!  She's got pink hair!  She's in her 40s!  And look how great she looks." And goddammit, she was brave enough to make herself the gender she wanted to be and that's, man... that takes real courage.  Also, and not for nothing, I'm not going to get a chance to relive my misspent conservative youth.  And it's not fair of me to put the pressure on Laney to relive it for me. 

So I bought some pink stuff and I put a pink streak in my hair.  And I love it.  I don't wear much jewelery and I ain't hardly a fashionista.  But I love my pink streak.  And I don't care if it makes me look like I'm clinging to a distant youth or being silly or inappropriate.  It makes me smile when I see myself in the mirror.  And, lordy, couldn't we all use a little of that?