1.4.10

holy shit magic


Do you remember the first time you realized you were growing up? I don't mean like a subtle understanding of landmark birthdays signifying time passing, I mean the punch you in the face realization that you were becoming a woman.  My very first pair of cutoff shorts were directly responsible for my distinct transition from innocent girl to, HOLY SHIT, I have magic powers (I think every woman has magic powers).  I wish I could remember the day, or the month at least, but I know I was 13 when it happened and it was very hot outside.  Gary Blackwell, the cuter of the Blackwell twins, pulled into my driveway in his beat up pickup truck and honked his horn.  "OH MAN OH MAN OH MAN, Holy shit I can't believe this is happening! Hurry Hurry Hurry, get out there and see what he wants!"  The Blackwell brothers had tattoos, wore cowboy boots and hats, sat in the back of the bus (until just earlier that week when Gary got his truck) and only dated really hot older chicks.  The fact that he was in MY driveway was bewildering, exciting and terrifying.  I ran out, barefoot in my shorts and a tank top, both from the previous summer when they fit loosely, now they hugged my undiscovered curves in a way I hadn't noticed.  He LOOKED at me. I recognized the look from movies and TV, but it didn't mean much more to me than, "Wow, he thinks I am pretty!!" I think we exchanged a few words, they are inconsequential now, but I know he wanted to take me to The Branding Iron, a bar that allowed minors in to play pool and dance before 9:00 pm.  There were a group of people going and he thought "I" might be fun.

Before I could even answer, my dad had a hold of my arm and was pulling me into the house.  I was so embarrassed.  "What!! What are you doing!!" When we got inside I was so mad I pulled my arm away and looked at him.  "You can't wear those shorts anymore THEY MAKE YOU LOOK LIKE A PROSTITUTE."  The most painful words I had ever heard.  I burst into tears and overcome with embarrassment, completely destroyed, ran to my room.  I was so confused.  I wore those shorts all the time, for maybe 3 years straight.  They were jeans before they were shorts, cut off when they became high waters.   What was so different?  Why did my dad look more FRIGHTENED than I had ever seen him EVER?  I took my shorts off and put on my pajama pants.  I moped.  I understand now that my dad was not calling me a prostitute.  No.  As he clearly stated after he apologized over and over, "I just said the shorts make you LOOK like one, not that you ARE one, and I don't even know why I said it now, I am sorry." I know why he said it.  He realized before I did.  I was growing up.  "Bad" boys were beginning to show up at the house.  I was the first born oldest Daughter.  Protective Instincts are not always accompanied by eloquent language.

I never wore those shorts again.  I folded them and put them in a keepsake pile.  I still have them somewhere.  I remember thinking, "These shorts have special powers.  I am going to save these and show my grandchildren that when I was young I wore Daisy Dukes."  Gary never came to my house again.  He knocked a girl up later that year.  I respect my dad and feel so grateful that although it must have been very uncomfortable and embarrassing for him, he interfered and set the precedent that he would not allow me to be harmed in any way. Respect yourself, and demand respect.  Rules were put into place. We had several conversations about how the way I moved and played with my hair sent messages to boys I may not be aware of.  I think I was aware that I was doing SOMETHING, but I didn't understand the power I had.  Learning about that power and how to control it was very valuable, and knowing that my dad valued me made me value myself.

I wear cut off shorts a lot now.  I think I understand balance. This outfit is not necessarily an example of using magic woman powers or anything like that but I can't help but remember this story every time I pull these shorts on.

38 comments:

Natasha said...

That was a brilliant story! I love how you styled this outfit..I used to think it was a bit strange to wear longsleeves with shorts...kinda like an oxymoron...but with boots it definatly works!!

Morgan said...

Great, just great.
It always surprises me how clothing can bring back such vivid memories. I still have some electric colored hair clips from when I was in elementary school and I remember how cool I thought they were way back then. And my favorite pair of jeans from middle school. I just can't seem to part with them, so much happened in them.
And you sound rejuvenated. Yay to every other day.
www.morganandlua.blogspot.com

Ce qui m'inspire said...

That's a really great story. It's true that women have powers, and it's nice that your father was so protective of you, and able to be so open about why he was stopping you from wearing those shorts.

Ce qui m'inspire

what i would have worn... said...

Where to start? I feel like we’ve lost touch a little so I’m sorry if I haven’t been around so much- life and all that...
I loved your shorts story. I have several pieces of clothing with magical powers, you have to be so careful when you wield them!
I am particularly enamored with the hat. I always love your hats. I need more hats...

kjlangford said...

Thank you so much for this story. I think some people might have skewed it into a story where your dad was suppressing you, not protecting and teaching you.

I have trouble talking about sexual messages we send (sometimes unknowingly) with our clothes and actions, especially young women in their teens. On the one hand I think that young men should be taught to respect women including their peers no matter what they're wearing. On the other, I think we as women have to take some responsibility for what we wear, how we wear it, and that that cute backless shirt on a high schooler might make the boy next door start thinking things that she never intended.

Sal said...

I've never felt like I had those powers. None of the attention I ever got from boys was super sexualized and I never felt like I could charm or mesmerize.

Sounds like some tough love your dad gave ya. I'm glad you two reached an understanding and that you're able to don the short shorts once more!

Panty Buns said...

Yes, I distinctly remember the first time I became cognizant of aging. I was seven years old and suddenly realized that I had already lived one tenth of the then life expectancy of 70. I was horrified and began to get preoccupied with the fact that I was alive and the idea of dying. The realization of how old I've gotten always seems to come as a shock and it's always hard to accept. It's too bad when we have traumatic experiences like the painful shaming by your dad at that critical age. I'm afraid my sis and I received that too, but there was never an apology. I'm so glad that you've been able to deal with your angst in a healthy way and achieve a balance that is right for you.

the hollister abolisher said...

wow amazing story! Your dad is great;)

tess said...

This post was fantastically written, I felt like I was reading an essay by one of my favorite authors. The way you conveyed growing up through a pair of shorts was genius and so true. I've never had one of those moments and for the most part I've always looked "too young." But part of me never knows what to do when I get hit on. I remember going to a community fair one summer with my tall blonde friend who was wearing a mini skirt and I was in short shorts (go figure) and we got whistled at multiple times. she was used to it at that point, but I don't think I ever will enjoy being whistled at. yes, someone finds you hot, but is that really how you want people to perceive you? the minute the horndogs start cat calling you have to stop and think is that really who you want to be? even if your dad may not have communicated the issue at hand in the best way, in the long run, it was worth it.

Francine said...

LOL I loved everything about this story. I didn't start getting noticed until I was in college because that was when I started wearing clothing that actually fit near my body. Oh, the powers of women...

Unravelled Threads said...

What a great story! I've still yet to have that moment... I'll keep waiting, haha. I just came across your blog. You are so cute and i really like your style!!

unravelledthreads.blogspot.com

Steffi said...

this story was amazing. i am german and i don't understand a lot.. but WHTt a understood was great! :)

Linds said...

I love this story! And I admire your dad for being brave enough to have those conversations with you. My parents were not and it led to a great deal of confusion.

Charmalade said...

That story was bittersweet, but it had that lingering feeling of wise humor throughout it all (at least, that's what I felt it was like). I honestly can't recall a time when I was like WHAM I'm a woman... I sometimes think of myself as a girl. I wonder if it had to do with the fact that I never really had curves to begin with, which I feel is the usual physical indicator that you're becoming a woman (nasty once-a-months aside). But I did have instances when I got attention from boys that just floored me, as in the "oh crap wow, they're noticing me???" I also can relate to the shorts story because I was told about three or four summers ago that I shouldn't wear these short shorts out in public. I must've been around 16? I never even gave it a second thought then. They were shorts and they were comfy. Skin was just this thing that covered my body and prevented me from burning. Now I know there's a certain stigma attached with how you dress; but I wouldn't say it's a crime to don some Daisy Dukes every once in awhile. ;)

Ah, I rambled too much! Long story short, I really liked your story, and I'm very glad that you had a dad who took time to explain the complications of "the magic power of women."

Toast with Charmalade

Alexandra Hoover said...

This was such a fun post- you're a very good writer! I love reading reminiscent stories from other people... Memoirs are some of my favorite books. Maybe because I'm jealous I have never had such a vivid memory, who knows.

Kayla said...

I love your style. It's so inspiring!

http://senseofstyleiseternal.blogspot.com/

miss jane said...

Simply put, you are awesome. From the story to the outfit, perfection.

Alix said...

I was about 13 or 14, shopping with my grandmother. She grabbed my arm and pulled me in "im going to smack you" she said. "why?", oh my god what had I done, i was just looking around...? "Because those boys keep looking at you" HAHAHAHA I laughed, I hadn't even noticed. This was when I realized that without trying boys were starting to notice, those creepy creatures. I have used my powers for evil once of twice..or a few times, but mostly always for good. haha.

mahayanna said...

I love love love your hat

Jilliebeanie said...

Aw, I love a good teen story. My mom said I looked like a "woman of the night" once...I was older...like, 19. Gave me a good cry, followed by an even better laugh. After she said it I changed from strappy high heel sandals to chunky mary janes. Mom let me leave the house. :)

Tina Z said...

This made me think of my fuschia one piece cut-out bathing suit story when I was 13, except it was my mother who had a reaction and she never was able to explain it as well as your dad. I JUST threw away the suit last week and it was not easy. I distinctly remember that summer, and the first time I wore that suit on the beach, and it was the first time I knew I had some kind of magical power. Such a strange experience.

Tina Z said...

This made me think of my fuschia one piece cut-out bathing suit story when I was 13, except it was my mother who had a reaction and she never was able to explain it as well as your dad. I JUST threw away the suit last week and it was not easy. I distinctly remember that summer, and the first time I wore that suit on the beach, and it was the first time I knew I had some kind of magical power. Such a strange experience.

tywo said...

I love every single piece of clothing you wear!

LOVE!

Taylor said...

What an incredible story. You should publish this. Really. You should. I don't know why, but my eyes totally watered as I was relating to every, single word you wrote!

Desiree said...

I look forward to your little stories so much. It sounds like you had an insightful dad.

And, of course, you look great. I am loving the camo.

Alecto said...

I think my first experience with gender-induced paranoia would be around 12. Since that point I had lived in a leotard, slept in a leotard, performed in a leotard in front of hundreds of people and thought nothing of it.

I remember I was walking home one day from the bus stop after practice (I used to live in a teeeeeny tiny town) when a female of undetermined age and her male significant other walked by me and I heard her whisper,"You w**re" while her significant other just stared.

I was wearing a pair of gym shorts, a sweaty leotard, a pair of giant flip-flops with a cardigan in one hand and a gym bag in another. Did I say I was only 12?

I would have to mark that point in my life as significant as to how I appeared to the rest of the world.
I wasn't negatively impacted, per se, just more consciously aware of the people around me. In middle school I was harassed by the vice president and half the football team. In high school it was the president and then the assisting vice president (who was actually female). I was told constantly that my skirts were too short, my shorts were too short, my shirts were too tight, etc.
I had practice every day at least twice a day- I LIVED in gym clothes. I constantly smelled like chalk dust & leotards. I had NO IDEA what they were talking about.
Even as an adult I've had to put up with inappropriate remarks from those in a senior position. In the military I was harassed constantly to no end (until I finally did something about it). Professors have stared and made rude comments. Simply because of...? My gender? For some reason I don't accept that.
The negative attention hasn't stopped, but at least I've become accustomed to other people's lack of manners. And that's how I see it.
I wish it didn't have to be this way [for anyone] and I am truly sorrowful that someone with such a sweet smile also had to endure it.

Jessica said...

Aw, I loved this little story. Your blog is always such a treat to not only look at, but to read as well.

Silvara said...

Sigh...it's a confusing time and age when that transition happens but sad that girls/women are still made to feel like THEY'RE the ones doing something wrong for getting the attention.

It's worse when "culture" is put into the equation as well...believe me.

Agree with kjlangford - it's about education rather than a strong reaction because that in itself can send mixed messages.

That all being said - love the outfit and the story. Sometimes tough love can be the best education....

Robin said...

Fantastic story enhanced by the way it was told. I visit most fashion blogs for the photos, mainly, so this was a pleasant surprise.

├Ądchen said...

Great story! Like a chapter from a very good book. Your blog is my favorite personal style blog- not only great style, but also fantastic writing.

cocojones said...

really great story, and you're so lucky to have had such a caring, responsible father, good for him for doing the right thing by you!

Mandy said...

you are seriously just the most adorable and lovable human.

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness; it's been so long since I've thought of those times! For me, it was in ninth grade. I was sitting in class next to a guy friend who I'd grown up with. I stretched backward over the desk chair, reaching my arms up and arching my back. Something I'd done a million times without thinking. My friend Jon looked at me wide-eyed and said, "You shouldn't do that, you know." I laughed, and only later realized what he'd meant. Fun to think back to those times. Now I'm a little more accustomed to (and jaded by) how guys perceive things.

RETRO REVA said...

You so rock! What a great story behind your cut-offs!!!

Emma said...

I don't think I have these magic powers. Did they skip me?

Laura said...

A wonderful story I'm so glad you had such a good dad and that you listened to your dad because you are right every woman has special powers and they must be responsible with them.

Merissa said...

AWESOME story!! I like the idea of women possessing magic powers!

Desiree said...

Great, great entry:)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...