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Hip to be square 10 April 2013

Posted by uggclogs in Life.

On my recent travels, I ended up in a lengthy conversation with someone who was quite ‘alternative’. In hindsight, there may have been a bit of flirting on his part that I did not detect at the time, but the conversation was interesting, and it has had me thinking for a while since.

He was saying that there seems to be a ‘wicked’ side to me, which was undetectable until you speak to me. He said something along the lines of, I hadn’t expected someone who looks so ‘normal’ to be this interesting.

Set aside the obvious dripping of a compliment that was shooting my way (and in my slightly inebriated state may have been a little flattering), it had me thinking.

We all know that the way you present yourself, the moment you walk into a room, you make an impression of sorts. People glance at you and make up an opinion of what you are like.

On this occasion, I was wearing a knee-long dress, a blow dried bob, and black heals, as well as some simple jewlery. Very straigh forward, very demure, and, turns out, in this man’s eyes, square.

Long gone are the days that I so desperately wanted to be different from mainstream that I tried to stand out by joining a group of non-conventional people in what was probably goth-light. Oh, the irony of being different by copying others. Gone are the dreadlocks and the blue hair. The left-overs from that time (a small tatoo and a piercing) I mostly cover up, not for lack of pride, but for wearing clothes that cover more of my body.

In fact, I am far more comfortable in being mainstream now than I would ever have thought I would be.

It’s been a process of maturing with age, as well as understanding my own psychology a little better. That need for being different originated from trying to find myself. And finding myself was finding a place to belong, oddly. Which, at that time, may have been influenced by music, boys, and the fact that I ‘was not my parents’. All very familiar to the psychologists out there, I am sure.

The time I was the most unique was probably when I was the least accepted, an outcast of a small Scandinavian town, and I had little to no money. I wore clothes that I wanted to wear, whether they looked good on me or not. I was so uncomfortable with my body (where did those boobs and curves come from?) that I would rather wear oversized jeans (which used to belong to my dad) and sweatshirts. Years later this morphed into sub-culture-but-mainstream-goth-light with black nail polish and studded belts.

But now, I am finally understanding the song ‘it’s hip to be square’. I am comfortable with who I am, what I wear, and what I stand for. I don’t mind going for a ‘look’ (1950s housewife dresses do live in my closet) but I cannot help but reverting to square.

I like normal. I don’t mind a bit of trashy TV and pop music on the radio. I still have ecclectic tastes and sometimes I get all nostalgic over my old Machinehead or Rancid CDs (remember CDs?). But I simply don’t have the energy or the willpower to maintain an ‘image’. And I certainly never had the money for designer clothes or those incredibly expensive band-tshirts.

Maybe that makes me a sell-out. But by selling out, I have made you more unique.

So let’s face it. My Target-brand clothes and my 9-5 desk job makes me the squarest of square. We all find happiness in different things. But I am true to myself and to my bank account.



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