jolie laide

jolie laide

I started this when I lived in Brooklyn and struggled for grace in a city that grants moments of beauty and ugliness breathtakingly close to one another. Now I live in a place where things are a different kind of ugly and the beauty is pedestrian. I struggle with that.


I love going out with my best girl buddy. She has a cool job, lives in a cool neighborhood, has cool friends. So yeah, I like to bask in her reflected coolness.

We are planning to hang out in the East Village for drinks, dinner. I'm OK with what's going to happen. What's going to happen is she is six feet tall and blonde. Yes, I hear salivary glands starting up. I'm OK with that.

It's Friday and I'm in dress-down wren-wear: a grey t-shirt, jeans that are neither super-low nor skin tight, nerd-girl glasses. I am a total Mutt to her Jeff, save one thing. I have one weapon in my arsenal against her towering blonditude.

I have red lipstick.

And so I put it on and so I have the confidence to stride down the street with her high-heeled, mini-skirtedness, I can pretend to be chic and glamorous, watch her her swing her hair and flash her enormous smile.

I think I am doing a good job of it. After dinner I reach into my bag for a re-application of lipstick, and that's when who I really am is illuminated. I pull out what feels like my lipstick. It's a pen. Then another pen. Another. We start to giggle. I put my hand back into my bag--this time it will be my lipstick! Another pen. Pen again. I have a clown car of pens, and now we are laughing openly as I pull out more and more, one by one, line them up on the table, twelve in all. The illusion of a crimson-lipped sophisticate fades into the reality of the preponderance of ink, and I am laughing at myself.


Blogger Dr. S said...

This is perfect, and so much my life. I got to class a few weeks ago and reached into my bag only to find that I had six identical click-pens, in addition to all my good pens in their zip case, and the pencil I was actually looking for. I held up the six pens as I pulled them out, one by one. The students laughed.

7:59 PM  
Anonymous famjaztique said...

Power to the nerd girls! I may be blonde, but trust me, this does little to raise me out of nerd girl status.

10:15 AM  
Blogger slickaphonic said...

you coulda gone goth, yo--"if you can't go hot, go dark."

--every high school girl who went goth.

11:10 AM  
Blogger ttractor said...

Let us not even pretend, we all know how hot nerd-girls really are! There is something incredibly charming about the turned in feet, the messy hair, the clutch of pens, the total unawaredness...(or at least I hope this is true, because then I am smokin, and not just smokin crack).

Although, on a deflationary note, I did get a "hey, guy" from one of my neighbors this morning, on the way back from the grocery store. Must be the baseball cap.

On a more honest note, if I allow my friends to define me, they all yell at me that I AM a writer. They also yell at me that I AM beautiful. So, I think what I am tapping into here is not that I am really a retardo mutt, but that everyone feels like they are, 7th grade girls locker room is never too far away.

11:59 AM  
Blogger cherrydragonut said...

It's like that Bruce Springsteen song, devel with a blue dress, blue dress, blue dress, devel with the blue dress on....writer with the lipstick...
Funny part is that it's all you and your purse too.

3:30 PM  
Blogger cherrydragonut said...

"the turned in feet, the messy hair, the clutch of pens, the total unawaredness" is part of our charm. It's whant attracts and frees people to be real, to let down their guard, and it also embarasses the actors. I think it is our lack of self consciousness or possibly our self absorption, our preference for our own uninterupted thoughts at times to the company of others that forms an appeal. Weird how the ugly girl with a brain is suddenly seen as the pretty girl who should stop reading and studying so much so she can have more time. I'm blahing again, but honestly the unselfconscious gives the uptight controlled masses freedom to be imperfect, to geek, to gawk, to fall down. Freedom to fake says the bashful nerdy girl. Freedom to be expressive says her fans. Rambling on. Pefection is in our meter, or rhythem, our verse, and our dishevled windbownness is part of the spontaneity.

3:53 PM  
Blogger cherrydragonut said...

Maybe it was the stockings and garter that made him leave. Maybe he saw for the first time, that I was being a fake, and that it wasn't flattering to me, nor was it what attracted him to me in the first place. It was my truth, I think. My vulerability and my incredible love for him, my submission to him, my need to please him. I was puddy in his hands. The garters were not for me. They just reminded him of the leggy blond, perhaps one with an accent, a Swedish one, who he wasn't with, who belonged in the stockings. It was like a Doberman-Shepard mix trying to pull off a ridiculas poodle haircut, instead of sporting that wide striped blue, gray gold and maroon sweater short sleeved sweater that looked so adorable. (I saw a dog just like this on my way to the Seminary today, and yes, I still feel like a Shabbas Goy whenever I go in there and wonder why didn't I go to Schecter until I remind myself that I never in a million years would have been happy there, given who I was who we all were)

4:39 PM  

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