I went to Downtown Chicago yesterday to meet up with Kelli Perkins and Judy Coates Perez. It was in the South Loop. I had mapquest directions going down there because I don't get to that part of Downtown very often. Well, my mapquest directions sucked! I got lost and decided that I was never going to find it. I pulled over and got out my iPhone. Yes, it has GPS in it. I put in where I was and where I wanted to be. It ended up being about 1/2 a mile the other direction. I still got there early. I sat there on a bench going over the bead booty from the Bead Show in Naperville yesterday. The weather was great yesterday. It totally sucks today with tons of rain - cold, damp wind to go along with it.
When Kelli showed up, her family was with her. I loved her teenage daughters. I am often more comfortable talking to kids than adults. Part of the reason I am an elementary school teacher. I forgot what it was like to be a teenager. The angst and unfairness of it all. If you listen closely enough, you will hear some real insights that we take for granted as adults. Her youngest daughter had the most groovy eyelashes. I couldn't do it because it would bug the crap out of me with my contacts. Gotta give her credit though for having her own look. The oldest daughter had on the most fun jewelry. I can imagine the type of jewelry I could crank out in an afternoon with those two. They are both musically talented. I can play basic piano. I play a killer "Mary had a little lamb". I always admire what I cannot do myself.
Since I am a 6th grade teacher, I see a lot of conformity especially among the girls. They do not want to be ostracized because they are different in some way. Don't want to give other girls a reason to pick on you for several years. I'm not saying that it does not happen with the boys. I just don't see it as severely with boys as with the girls.
That made me think about myself. I conformed to what my parents wanted me to be - brainy, studious, and college bound. I was the dutiful oldest daughter who always fought with her mother. I was very focused on getting into a good college and getting a good job when I graduated. Yet, I still found small ways to rebel within the confines of what was expected of me. I always wore black and was never happy or cheery. I am still like that today. Love black and I am not the rah!rah! type. I don't crack a big smile very often and it's not because I am afraid of wrinkles. I don't think I could have been punk rock because I don't like the music, the piercings (personal preference), or boys who look more like a girl than I do. I like men with short or no hair. I guess I like a lot of testosterone. Yes, I spelled that correctly. I checked with Google. I so could have done goth with the blackness, darkness, gloominess, and black eyeliner. I could do spiky hair. I wore a funky black lace dress to my prom. I used to have several holes in my ears. It is not a big thing now, but it was back when I was a kid.
I still rebel in my own way. I have 5 tattoos ( I still think it should be spelled tattooes). Only one is obvious when I wear a skirt or shorts. I did not get my first tattoo until I was divorced and 30. I was the first one in my family to get divorced. I think my parents lost all hope after that. I was redeemed though after I gave them two grandchildren. I wear my hair short and spiky instead of the long Chinese black/blue mane. I still wear a lot of black and funky Belinda-made jewelry. I don't wear a lot of the latest fashions. My favorite thing to wear with skirts are my black Doc Martens or Champs. I still do odd things except when it comes to my children. I can swear like a trucker when no kids are around. I poke fun at things in my mind. I loved Zetti for a long time because it was different. My favorite stamps are of these two girls. I find bugs fascinating. I like doll bodies separated from their heads. I like to cut off the hair from doll heads and open up the doll heads to fill them up with little things. Am I scaring you yet?
Kelli's kids reminded me about being different - being yourself. Thanks for the reminder. I hope that their futures are as bright as their hopes and expectations.