"We are what we are; we gain nothing by copying othersâ€ – Unknown
Not sure if it was my hair, my jewelry, makeup or clothing. Whatever it was, it got attention. Hey, it was the 80s. Days of big hair, neon clothing, punk rock. Yes, I wore a spiked studded leather choker, neon clothing, bad hair and more.
And it still makes me laugh and half of it I would still wear today.
Its rather interesting that I make such a statement (or think I do) in my own style when the truth is that I am intensely uncomfortable being looked at, noticed or stared at. Yet who could miss the girl with the purple hair, the black lips, the crazy clothes? Itâ€™s all rather contrary. But then again, thatâ€™s a Gemini.
To me, my style was self-expression, creativity. It was something I prided myself on (and still kinda do). I am a tad bit edgy, different but not too much so. I wear a lot of jewelry, I color my hair a lot of different colors, I have my nose pierced and three tattoos. All that AND I work a corporate job.
Oh, I can put on the Ann Taylor mask if I have to. I can slide into a suit and jacket and tone down the â€œstuffâ€ and look rather stuffed shirted if I must. But itâ€™s not my nature. My true skin, that I am most comfortable in, is my own creative, slightly off one. I am not trendy, I am not traditional, fashionable, eclectic, vintage or other. I am all of them and none of them.
Over the past 20 years, two of my close friends attempted to imitate me. They would buy what I would buy, wear clothes I would wear, do their hair and jewelry like mine. AND I HATED IT. Imitation may be considered the best form of flattery to some. It is not to me. Donâ€™t cop my style. I donâ€™t find it complimentary. I find it annoying as hell. I am me. You are you. Be you. Donâ€™t be me. Your lack of individual self expression is quite boring. Get a life.
One of the offenders was an old roommate in Chicago. Gack. I would boil when she copy me. Again, not flattery but dilution. You looking like me makes me look less like me. I never told her. I should have.
I did tell a second friend a few years later. This woman took it to the extreme (important to note she was also mentally ill). She not only wanted my husband, but literally bought the exact same furnishings for her home AFTER she would see them in mine. It was actually kinda creepy. Ever see that movie â€œSingle While Femaleâ€? I was the Bridgett Fonda character and my friend was Jennifer Jason Leigh.
I did discuss it with her. It didnâ€™t help. She didnâ€™t stop. We eventually ceased our friendship (for other reasons). But like, ewwwwww.
True to so much in my life, these negative experiences taught me something that was helpful with my daughter.
She and I discussed â€œThe Necklaceâ€ topic. I told her how her reaction made me feel and why and she told me in more detail what she felt. We both made perfect sense and our feelings were justified. And we got passed it and I was glad. I am so glad we can talk about our feelings without getting all angry at each other. Talk, resolve, its over.
Interestingly (but not the least bit surprising) part of her issue was someone copping her style. She considers herself insanely independent, unique and despises when someone copies her. (Like mother like daughter). It made me laugh. Yes, love, I get that.
Here I thought she would find it comforting to finally see someone that looked like her. Turns out it annoys her. While I find that contrary to what I hear from other adoptees, as an individual female, I can understand her point.
Who woulda thunk?