Friday, January 4, 2008
on fairies, kings, and vampires
inga introduced me to goodreads.com, which is yet another networking site, but i really enjoy it because i get to see what my friends like to read and what new books they’re interested in reading in the future. if you’re not on it already, you should be, because i’d like you to be (see above reason).
anyway, when i was adding books into my digital library, ann rice kept popping up on the site for me to review and i kept avoiding it. i didn’t want the world to know i poured through her novels the moment they hit the shelf. and it wasn't just interview with the vampire, but her whole friggin’ collection of perverted ghosts and antebellum-era blood-suckers. but i finally broke down and realized i had to be fair. i am not just a connoisseur of the classics like great expectations and othello (which to my credit, and i need it, are among my favorites). no, between austen novels i was also enjoying much more explicit, and a lot less classic smut. i’ve come to grips with the fact that i will never be “cool” because most of my truest pleasures have been guilty.
after acknowledging my rice addition in my digital library, inga mentioned she had a rice phase too (though didn’t admit to the extent of her shame). but it got me thinking about my tastes and modes of thinking as an adolescent and how much those can change. it was strange going back and rereading (or really glancing at) a book of rice's, because i kept thinking, 'why??'
so, i made a list in the spirit of that nostalgia. and i hope that if you’re reading my embarrassing admissions, you feel like sharing too.
a short list of things about my adolescence i often roll my eyes at myself for:
-lace chokers (especially matched with doc martens): i missed boarding the glam-grunge boat when it floated aimlessly through the early 90s. but when i discovered, finally, how cool flannel shirts were (and i still feel strongly about that), i was all about it. i have an old photo of me from some informal school dance next to a boy from my trailer park (in flannel) with me wearing a floral printed “baby doll” dress, with fake docs, and a thick lace choker. i never smoked pot in high school, but i guess i unwittingly looked like i did.
-tori amos: i was a huge fan, saw her live, owned all the albums and most of the vinyl (under the pink was actually pink). i imagine that i used to sing her songs aloud often, which is cringe-worthy considering just my singing voice. and yeah, i have to admit she’s an extremely talented performer. it’s just, well, the dark, dorky fantasy of it all that i can never quite feel right about today. and yes, i know some of you still love her, but i just find myself wanting nothing to do with anymore melodramatic, croony songs about fairies.
-early engagement: i fell stupidly hard for the first boy that ever touched me down “there.” and three months after we were “going out” after the homecoming dance, he got on bended knee and proposed marriage. and i literally thought ‘um, i guess that sounds like a good idea’ and said yes. six years later and after many break-ups and make-ups, he broke it all off over AIM one christmas eve because he was bored (and i guess, so was i). love's first sting!
-king’s quest (and worse, the fiction related to it): computer games are much more prevalent now, so admitting that you are into a computer game isn’t a big deal. well, unless you’re my friend’s 50-something, single mom who is a huge (and successful) WOW fan, which is weirdly endearing. more than ten years ago, though, i was playing the whole series of king’s quest games, which was an rpg-style game in which you went around a country-side as a disguised royal solving a family mystery. i spent so much time playing these games that it seemed only natural to buy and read the helpful, yet really unecessary fiction that went along with it. let’s just say that the only person i had to talk about it with was the pasty, socially-latent kid from high school nicknamed “richard underwear.”