When I excitedly texted my husband the news that A John Waters Christmas was coming to DPAC in December, I got the response, “That’s so… you…” I got the same response a day later when I revealed that I was going to be a drag queen for Halloween and, like the time before, I felt myself get a little discouraged.
What did that meeeeaan? To knock off “I [heart] Huckabees”, how am I being more myself? And why did the idea of being so remarkably predictable depress me so much?
Was it because I don’t like the idea of being pigeonholed? Maybe I have a fear of someone “figuring me out” before I do. Or maybe I’m scared that everybody else has defined the “me” that isn’t really the “me” I want to be judged just yet… I’m not ready to submit my work…
Or maybe it’s the fear of being defined by something so tiny or insignificant that freaks me out. Like, people have immediately started thinking of me when they hear about the Muppets, which touches my heart because I do, incidentally, adore Jim Henson’s work, but I never want to be “that girl who really likes Muppets” with no other attributes to my name.
I think that’s one of the reasons I feel the need to justify my ridiculous passions for things so often. And, after visiting a friend of mine a few weeks ago, I kinda realized how unnecessary that is.
I have this friend who’s always just been open and happy with the things about life that she loves, regardless of whether or not it’s socially chic. She’s been like this since I met her and presents her love for things like Cheerwine, Waffle House, and thrift store shopping in such a way that you, too, feel the need to love it and kind of wonder why you don’t have such an inherent passion for these things like she does. There’s never been any apology from her to anybody, nor does she try to justify her love for whatever it is that she has allegiance to… she just loves it and kinda doesn’t care whether anyone else does or not. Unfortunately, like most things, I didn’t bother to learn from her example until just recently – like, just before I wrote this thing.
Seriously, what the hell is wrong with just loving something just to love it, anyway? And why the hell did it take me so long to realize that it’s perfectly okay to embrace the things I love instead of trying to play them off like they’re the annoying younger sibling I have to drag around with me? Why don’t I just start the party wagon and get excited when other people jump on board instead of trying to act like it’s some deep, dark secret?
Yes! I love John Waters! And drag queens! And the work, life and mind of Jim Henson fascinate and move me! Yes, I know more about Sesame Street than most people know about their own families! Yes, I spend too much money on books every month! Indeed, I really do love spending time with my almost-3-year old because she’s more fun than most people. Yes, I get a high from writing a really well-thought-out paper on something intelligent; I also love karaoke like its a drug! I love the band STYX and I have seen them in concert! Yes, I have a crush on Peter Dinklage because confidence is hot and he’s got that, talent and a sexy voice! Yes, I want Tina Fey’s career so bad it hurts! Yes! I still wear bellbottom (not just “bootcut” or “flare”) jeans on a weekly basis. I still listen to Ace of Base’s “The Sign” album when I’m having a crappy day (except for the title track, actually)!! Yes, I love Girl Scouts and look forward to leading my own troop and singing all the campfire songs and doing all that stuff I used to do when I was in it! Yes! I think abandoned tobacco barns are beautiful and I want to make a coffee table photography book of them!! Indeed, I still listen to grunge or early-90′s-alternative at least 40% of the time I’m listening to music (another 40% is devoted to classic rock.) Yes, I love fresh produce and eating lunch outside and foreign films in tiny cinemas and living in North Carolina and singing the harmony of old protestant hymns and playing dress up and showering outside and “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends” and the Powerpuff Girls and stopping at weird places on road trips and terrible local advertisements and old old books and yellow umbrellas and Greek coffee and redneck flea markets and tunics and hilariously irreverent old people!! I love all this and more!!
And, honestly, if people define me solely by the potentially lame things that I adore, I’m kind of just flattered they were paying attention in the first place.