My Formerly Hot Life

My Formerly Hot Life by Stephanie Dolgoff Read Free Book Online Page B

Book: My Formerly Hot Life by Stephanie Dolgoff Read Free Book Online
Authors: Stephanie Dolgoff
nope. I know not to mess with that, because I have some wisdom. All that other stuff, it’s fleeting.”
    As for me, let’s see … I’m wisely steering clear of fluorescent colors, jeans with zippers on the tapered legs, T-shirts with block capital letters shouting “RELAX!” and anything that has been made to look distressed with a grain thresher or doused with acid.
    I’m not saying that I need to wear the same thing year after year with no variation (and no fun) and now that I’ve found my style I aim to be buried in it. I’m just thinking it through before I throw myself like a fashion slut at every trend that looks my way.
    The whole vintage thing is a big mess now that I’m old enough to have actually lived through some of the eras being ironically re-referred to in fashion. Part of what makes vintage clothing so excellent is the contrast between the age of the outfit and the age of the person wearing it. A 20-year-old hipster boy wearing ’70s polyester or a 30-year-old going a little
Mad Men
is hot. A 42-year-old woman wearing a fringed suede vest, a paisley blouse and bell-bottoms? Cue the ballad of the sad clown. It’s time to put those clothes back in the Salvation Army clothing pool and let someyoung chick discover the 1970s for the first time. She’ll think she invented it. It’ll be sweet.
    Retro irony in general, Restraint says, should be left to those who didn’t actually eat Froot Loops as part of a balanced breakfast when Toucan Sam was still the Bruce Springsteen of cereal mascots. That means Formerlies such as myself are wise to avoid T-shirts with Sam, Mr. Bubble or Wonder Woman on them. Your own youth can be nostalgic, but only other people’s childhoods can be ironic. Oh, and I implore you to share this with any male Formerlies in your life. If he still has that Stones T-shirt from the
Tattoo You
tour and it miraculously still fits, he should feel free to wear it. But kindly discourage him from going to the Virgin Megastore and buying the reissue of the tee from a concert he once attended. That makes me want to cry. If his T-shirt looks 30 years younger than he is—because it is—there’s something tragic about the whole endeavor. He knows he was at the concert. It ought to be OK if no one else does unless it comes up naturally in conversation. It’s also OK to handcuff him to the radiator, if that’s what it takes to stop him from getting the shirt. Even if he doesn’t thank you for it, you’re still right.

6
Unpopular Culture
    I didn’t want to get my daughters the American Girl dolls in the first place, mainly because they cost north of $100 apiece, and there was no predicting whether they’d wind up wedged between the bed and the wall like so many please-oh-please must-have toys before them. “No way. Not a chance,” I said. But even as the words left my lips I had a feeling I was going to cave.
    Sure enough, as fast as you can say, “Accessories sold separately,” I did. I was no match for the instinctively manipulative campaign of cuteness my ladies launched. To save face (and money), I told them that (okay, okay!) if they could convince their grandparents to spring for them, I’d bestow my reluctant consent. The grandparents acquiesced, as grandparents are programmed to do.
    In truth, by the time we were to place the online order, I was reluctantly grooving on the dolls, in particular the historical series. For those not familiar with the American Girl industrial complex, along with modern ones on skateboardswith little schoolbags, they have a line of dolls of various ethnicities from different eras in American history, for which you can get storybooks, costumes and other accoutrements. There was Felicity, the one Vivian wanted, a plucky, horse-loving rebel growing up in colonial Virginia; Addy, an escaped slave, and Josefina, a Mexican-American from the southwest of the 1820s. I noticed some dolls from the 20th century, too, such as Rebecca, a Russian-Jewish

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