Tag Archives: childhood

The Reclaiming of My Pizazz

25 Mar

You know what? I’m going to start dressing ridiculously.

I want to wear daring things.  I want to express myself through my clothes, even if it’s not very well.  I want to make people wonder what the hell is going on.

When I was in the 8th grade, my favorite outfit was a pair of leopard pants an electric blue t-shirt with a bright yellow picture of Buddha on it.  I kid you not, my friends.  I wore it about once a week.

You know what the real beauty of that is?    You can’t just go around wearing easily recognizable pieces like that.  When you’ve got an article that makes a statement, you have to sprinkle it.  But I didn’t care.  I just simply did not care.

When I was in the 3rd grade, Reebok came out with this shoe line that was all one color.  The bottom, the laces, the tongue – everything was the same.  It came in red, orange, and bright green.   I thought the bright green ones were the coolest things I’d ever seen in my life (you can check out the 2011 version here).  I couldn’t imagine my life without them, so I got them and wore them every day until my mother made me get rid of them because my toes were wearing through.

I was also a little choir geek when I was in school (one step in the grave of theater into which I later fell) and my mom used to take me shopping for a new outfit for the annual choir concert.   I remember we were in Kmart – like the fine, classy white folk we were – and I found this bright purple silk (read: polyester blend) skirt with a crazy paisley design on it.    I was so in love with it that I left the store cradling it in my arms, dreaming of the perfect key lime blouse to go with it.   Mom and I raked the sands of every store in town until we found one.  She gently suggested other options – reasonable ones.  But I forged ahead telling her I had an artist’s eye like dad and if she could just see in her head what I saw in mine, it would be glorious.

God bless my mother.

I showed up to my choir concert in the most out-of-this-world outfit, lined up next to my friends in their charming, well-accessorized dresses.   And I felt like a million bucks.

I don’t know what made me stop.  I don’t think it’s that I started caring what people thought because well into twelfth grade, I was still glamming up my gym outfit with matching knee socks.   Maybe it was college.  Maybe I moved out for college and lost some of my pizazz.

Yeah.  I want my pizazz back.

I can’t recall a single truly daring thing I’ve worn since high school.  I’m not talking plunging necklines – I definitely did plenty of those in college.  I’m talkin’ straight up ridiculous.  I believe that doing so will reinstate whatever amount of pizazz I once had that has been beaten down and lost somewhere in the unspoken rules of society.

And so I shall.  Let it be effective immediately that I shall save a portion of my earnings each month to contribute to the Wacky Jackie fund.  And shall use the contributions therein to go on a shopping spree of daring and pizazz.

It will be most glorious.  


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