Saturday, January 5, 2013

Femme Gone Wild

You may have noticed from reading thus far that I have a tendency to just throw myself into things, once I've decided I'm going to do them. I find it very hard to do things halfway - this is not always as helpful a trait as you might think. I get it into my head to put more effort in at work, and then I turn around and find out I haven't taken lunch in a week. I then decide I have to chill out more, and turn around a week later to find a really important document hasn't been posted because I wasn't paying any attention at all.

I've noticed this tendency particularly flares up when I am trying to do something I find counter intuitive - like staying out late at a party with lots of people, or having a "girly" day. I'm very bad at tempering the "oomph" I put into something in order to push myself to do it, and can end up in some very unfamiliar places just by virtue of overshooting.

My mother was in town yesterday, which is of relevance to this post because my sudden enthusiasm for all things femme and "girly" has given her a foothold to relate to me from. We haven't always gotten along well, not for lack of trying on either side. But for a long time we just didn't have anything in common, nowhere to even start conversations from. She's currently in the middle of a "Doing Things I Wouldn't Have Done Before" phase too, co-incidentally, and so she suggested we go get a mani pedi together, since this is something neither of us has ever done.

Well, technically, I HAVE had a pedicure once, but it was enormously grudgingly. A group of friends wanted to get one together, and then have cocktails, and I thought the whole thing was just appallingly "girly". I went, but seem to recall flailing and rolling my eyes a lot and generally being a dick about it. Neither my mother or I are particularly fond of having people touch us unless we know them well, or we're prepared for it. You can see then, why letting a stranger mess with our feet was such a challenge. But if she could do it, dammit, so could I. This time, I was determined to just jump the fuck in.

This meant that when they asked me to pick a colour, I deliberately found the girliest, most ridiculous colour they had - OPI "Let Me Entertain You."

Fuschia. Fuschia Glitter. Fuck. Yes.
There was this little voice in my head, bouncing around like a boxer gearing up for a big fight. "Yeah! Come on, do it! Let's be GIRLY! Let's be GIRLY AS FUCK! Let's FEMME THE SHIT OUT OF THIS!! YYEAAAAAHHH!" ...and so on, and so forth. This is how my brain gets me to do things I'm not entirely sure are a good idea, like letting a stranger mess around with my feet.

My mother looking deceptively calm.
To our credit, we made it through without kicking anyone reflexively, or being overly rude. I did have a moment when the manicurist picked up the clippers and asked if she should take any length off my fingernails though. I said what I hoped was, "No thank you, just shape them please," but I'm pretty sure it came out as "NO!" in the voice I use to tell our cat off, because she dropped the clippers VERY quickly.

After making it through without really ruining anyone's day, I was pumped.
"YEAHH!," said the voice in my head. "FUCK YEAH, let's do some more shit! Let's go buy NAIL POLISH!! Let's get our HAIR DONE! LET'S FEMME THE FUCK OUT!!!"
So I did.

Every time I saw something and thought automatically, "Oh, that's not me," this roaring Femme Hulk in my head screamed "BUY IT!! DOO IT!! WHY THE FUCK NOT!?" I got...I got a little over-excited, it's true.

Pro Tip - Paddy's Markets is a surprisingly rich nail polish mine
When I got home and unpacked all the things I bought, I did have a moment of doubt. I wondered if I had gone too far in the name of challenging myself - if I'd wasted a bunch of money on stuff I would never use, just because I got all over-excited about being so different to how I used to be. It was pretty late by then, and I was pretty tuckered out from a long day of being quite amped up, so I decided to think about it some more in the morning.

I got up today, and was packing away all my new purchases, when I pulled out this lovely little thing.

The Boy was disappointed the glitter wasn't shaped like Hello Kitty's head
A Hello Kitty chunky holographic glitter? Really!? Firstly, I've never been a fan of Hello Kitty as such. I always liked her sidekicks better. Secondly, I've been quite vocal lately about my disinterest in chunky glitters. But if I remember, these are exactly the reasons Femme Hulk used to make me buy it.
"Meh, Hello Kitty?", I remember thinking. "That's so cliche. Everyone likes fucking Hello Kitty."
"BUT YOU WANT IT. Your excuse is STUPID", she replied.
"But I don't like chunky glitters," I thought.
"Do you not like them because everyone else likes them?" she replied.
"Maybe," I thought.
"BUY IT. MAKE IT YOURS!! Give in to the GLITTER!!" she bellowed. So I did.

And you know what? I fucking love it. Heaven help me, I'm in totally uncharted territory here, but I love it. I especially love it over my fuscia glitter base.

I got this colour thinking to myself, "Heh, it'll be a bit of fun, and I'll take it off when I get home." But I LOVE IT. I don't want to take it off. I see my nails twinkling out of the edge of my vision and it makes me smile.

When I started this whole femme kick, I was totally unprepared for how much what I wear could change my sense of identity. I figured that what I wore on my nails, or how much effort I put into my hair couldn't change who I really was. And in some respects, it hasn't. I'm still writing this sitting on the couch in a slouchy jersey dress that hasn't been washed for a week. My nails look fabulous, but my hair is bundled up on top of my head. But in other ways, I feel totally adrift. I tweeted yesterday that if I time traveled to that salon from five years ago, I wouldn't have recognised myself. And you know, I really wouldn't have. That is a very...unsettling sensation. But I don't hate where I am. I LIKE wearing mascara to the markets just because I feel like being pretty. I LIKE having sparkly nails, even though I'm just slobbing around the house. Getting my hair cut yesterday made me feel more relaxed than I have in a week. I am really enjoying all this "girly" stuff. I just have to come to terms with the fact that I love it.

I'm sure I'll have deeper analysis of this for you all once it's filtered through properly, but I just wanted to share my initial impressions, and the fun of my Femme Day Out.

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