21.10.07

The Mothership And I

When I first left home to go to college, the thing I probably looked forward to most of all was not having to hear my mum yelling "Comb your hair!" at me every morning- after a combing had been done (my hair and hairbrush/comb will never be friends. Sad, but true). Back then, I'd just chucked my school uniform out and was struggling with the idea that I would actually have to choose what to wear every morning after this- a prospect I found more than a little daunting, since most first-years at college tend to desire inconspicuity of appearance, at least in their first few months there. And frankly speaking, I didn't really have anything by way of style at all. I more or less lived through that first year in t-shirts and jeans and the odd oversized checked shirt, with the addition of equally oversized sweaters when it got cold.
I'm not sure at what exact point I actually started wearing things I liked, the way I liked them. I didn't even realise I was getting that way till I went home for the holidays, and the inevitable Mummy Wars began. My mum is a woman who is a tad straitlaced as far as attitudes to clothing go. She wouldn't blink if I wore fishnets, but she really doesn't get why people mix up the things they wear. Or the aesthetic appeal of anything punky, grungy, louche, loud or otherwise unladylike, which is a bit annoying if one of your early heroines happens to be Corinne Day. She very definitely does not understand why messy hair can be considered hot. We're entering our fifth year of occasional bickerings over the nature of my appearance, which inevitably pop up every time I'm back from college- the last point of conflict was my fringe (too long and thick, said The Mothership: but it has to be, since I'd have to get my eyebrows done if the fringe didn't cover them, said I. Then there was a full-fledged debate about why I didn't get my eyebrows done any more). I do know some of the slightly odder clothing configurations that have emerged from my cupboard in these years- skirts as dresses, chopped-up sleeves and hems, weird hair ornaments, sneakers with anything and everything- would not have been possible had I been living with my parents all this while. It's a lot more peaceful now that I'm older, but I do sometimes wonder what I'd look like if I'd done just that.
In Mum's world, pretty dresses go with pretty shoes and other pretty things- she made that vision work excellently on me as a toddler. In mine, pretty gives me the hives if I don't tone it down with a good dose of ugly first. If we were shoes, I'd probably be a Doc Marten boot (or one of the Balenciaga 'goat' shoes of last year): my mother would most certainly be a stiletto. And just you try wearing both of those at once...

18 comments:

Allure said...

The last two posts were great: very well written and dealing with interesting and not trite issues. Congrats.

Yohan said...

Nice post.

My dad still combs my hair when he's not satisfied with it. It doesn't help that I often forget completely to comb it. I let him do it. He can get his kicks for a few weeks a year, I guess.

Yohan said...

Any comment on the gayness of Dumbledore?

Not good for children's literature I think. They books will no doubt be banned now in some places in the US.

Perakath said...

The gayness of Dumblydorr??

Yes, two nice posts...

Meg said...

I understand exactly what you mean. A compliment from my mother about my clothes or hair is the rarest thing of all. My stepfather tells me my hair makes me look like a mop...which I pass off as banter because I think it's down to the generation gap. Though he may have a point because I once walked a mile and half after a night out before realising I had a bunch of keys in my hair. Oh well.

Yohan said...

JK Rowling said Dumbledore was gay a couple of days ago.

A gay wizard. Imagine the gay pride parades now.

Blue Floppy Hat said...

Allure: Thanks!
Yohan and Perakath: I'm not discussing that here. Not the place for it.

discothequechic said...

Ha, great post; made me chuckle!
Luckily my mum isn't like this.. I feel sorry for you! But at least she doesn't dress the same as you. because that woudl certainly be worse! Ha.

I agree though, I rarely brush my hair. Only my fringe to avoid the flyaway fringe look.

xx

Yohan said...

http://lifeandhealth.guardian.co.uk/fashion/story/0,,2197239,00.html

Hee hee. I come across fashion type stuff pretty rarely. And this is about bangs!

susie_bubble said...

Wonderful post...and brought back a lot of memories of myself and the mothership....

Fortunately, the mothership finds it amusing the way I put together clothes and seeing as it gives her the daily chuckles, I'll just carry on being the clown that I am and leave her laughing at me....

Blue Floppy Hat said...

discothequechic: You're lucky, you know. I had to pack off to college before I got any control over my hair, and it's actually easier looking decent when you can't be dragged to your mother's hairdresser, who insists your fringe has to be 'thinned' and ends up feathering it like a bad 80s thing. I still haven't gotten over the horror of the fact that that look ended up on my ID card.

Yohan: I read the article, it sounds like Imogen Fox has no idea what it's like to have a fringe. Half the blogverse has had them, or has them, and I don't see myself reaching for the hair grips.

Susie: As I said above to discothequechic, you're lucky. At least getting older means I'm too old to be bullied into a different set of clothes every time my mum disapproves of what I've got on.

Emma said...

I see your blog is every bit as intelligent, well-written and fantastic as the last time I read it.

The Clothes Horse said...

Ha-ha, my mother is the same way about fashion. She sometimes even asks, "why would you wear that?" I don't really have an answer, other than "why not?"

The Clothes Horse said...

Of course I don't mind if you link me, I hope you feel the same way, since I'm linking you!

Yohan said...

Here's something relevant to this blog that I found without trying to.

http://www.radaronline.com/photos/2007/10/kate_moss_magazine_cover_vogue_bazaar_amica_glamour_1.php

Blue Floppy Hat said...

That was cool...it's kind of good to be reminded of the days when Kate Moss was actually a great model (she still is, but there haven't been too many decent pictures taken of her in ages).

Juliet said...

I have the same ! My mom describes my otfits as 'od' , 'special' or 'new' .. Usually i have no idea what she is talking about.

juliet xxx

Yohan said...

Yeah I think Kate Moss's best years are behind her.

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