the Bucky Four-Eyes Cotillion

Saturday, August 05, 2006

We are the goon squad and we're coming to town, beep beep

Sometimes I wonder if I could sit on a streetcorner, clad in clothes I've picked out myself over the years, and beg for money with a little sign that proclaims me "Fashion Challenged." Don't you think people would take pity on a girl who couldn't find her own size in the women's department and instead went around clad in baggy men's clothing, and found that completely acceptable? Doesn't that count as some sort of handicap? My color matching skills are slightly worse than Helen Keller's, so I always bought everything in solid colors, preferably black. I wouldn't know what looked good on me if it knocked me down, gave me a full-body hickey, and said "I would look fabulous on you."

When I worked at my last job where people had to see me, I was the anti-dress code. When I started with the organization, I'd followed the letter of the law by wearing skirts and such, but I had no idea what to pick and they always looked frumpy on me. And that is a kind and gentle assessment. Balulah once told me that she'd seen me walking around in my skirts and heels before she knew me and thought, "Wow, that girl looks really uncomfortable in a skirt." When I was in my early 20s and still sickeningly skinny, I had a few slutty skirt outfits that were probably not too bad, since sluttiness was the point of the clothing, and I don't think anyone was paying attention to how badly the pieces matched when I was wearing a miniskirt that covered my ass just enough to be legal and showed three miles of leg. But for clothing to be worn someplace other than bars, my picks were disastrous.

Once I had moved jobs within the company a few times, and had gotten into a position with a little bit of clout, I abandoned the skirts altogether. Well, there was a bit of practicality to that, too; it was always possible that I might have to crawl under a desk to see what was what with a computer, or bend into some pretzel shape in the server room to get in between the rack and the wall, and it was just polite of me to be wearing pants so as not to traumatize my co-workers with a peek into the cavern. I could have worn nice pants suits, but I had no idea how to find my fit in the women's department, was convinced it couldn't be done, and so spent my time in black dockers and button-up shirts with some nondescript blazer over top. I gave the suits fits with my attire. One time, when my boss and I had a fairly important meeting with some vendors, and I knew there would be no crawling or bending for the day, I actually took it upon myself to wear a dress and some tall boots. I do not exaggerate when I say that everyone in the building ran up to have a gander at some point during the day, most with a breathless exclamation such as, "So-and-so told me you were wearing a dress and I couldn't believe it - I had to see for myself!" You know when a middle-aged woman in a dress is occasion to come screeching through the halls for visual verification that there's something terribly wrong with that middle-aged woman's daily wardrobe.

Things have changed drastically since my life was graced with a true Fashion Diva. It's not that people haven't tried to give me gentle advice over the years, but I trust her taste as I've trusted none other; because I have taken her suggestions to heart, I've found a whole new world of fashion and clothing options available to me -dare I say it? - in the women's department. I now have at least a dozen pieces of clothing that were intended for a female to wear. Even my bras come from the ladies' section now. No more manssiere for me.

Now, don't think I'm claiming that I could stand on my own two fashionably clad feet when shopping yet, because I'm still largely clueless without my wardrobe advisor by my side. But to my credit, I've started to become acutely aware that some item or other is more than likely on the "You are not wearing that!" list, and that's a huge, chunky-heeled step for me.

The scariest part to me is that I'm starting to have opinions about other people's clothing.

When I first moved here, Bravo was in the middle of its first season of Top Chef. That's not the kind of show I'd ever have picked out to watch for myself, but as I idly watched it the first time, I found myself drawn into the drama of a group of high-maintenance kitcheniers competing for the golden spatula. Each succeeding week, it would be me who would start asking, "When is the new episode of Top Chef on? I can't wait for my fix of competitive, bitchy gay men!" I was told, "Oh, just wait until you see Project Runway." It just didn't seem to me like I could be as invested in a show about high fashion; I may not be the best cook in the world, but I've fixed lots of food, and Top Chef had elements with which I could identify. How could I possibly keep the same level of interest in a show revolving around clothing design? It would be like people speaking a foreign language and showing colors outside my range of sight.

The first episode aired the night I got back from my long trip to Flint and then Grand Haven, so I ordered some Chinese food and collapsed on the couch, happy to watch anything so long as it was on the TV at home. As they wound through a retrospective of the two previous seasons, and an overview of how the new season's group of designers were chosen, I realized somewhere about my second helping of Mongolian beef that the show was actually fascinating to me.

Not all the male designers this season are gay, but most of them are, and that can only mean one thing: catty, catty conversation with lots of drama. They have not disappointed. My money for the most irritating designer was on Malan, a snooty, smarmy, smug boy with a pretty face and a horribly fake British accent. My vote for most out-of-place designer was Bradley, a scruffy fellow who looks so much like the lead singer of the Spin Doctors that it's all I can think about when he's onscreen. Little miss, little miss, little miss can't be wrong...

Really, I could handle the fact that I'd already picked designers to love and hate based on their personalities. What I wasn't ready for was the fact that as they began sending the models down the runway to show off what they'd made that week, things were coming out of my mouth like "Oh, I like that." and "God, that is so fucking ugly!" and "That's really cute."

I see clothes on a TV show and declare them cute. Cute. I decided, all by myself, that clothes on a runway model were cute. And last week, when the designers had to make complimentary outfits for the models and a small dog, I was truly outraged that the judges gushed over Bradley's creation, which consisted of a top that looked like a child's pumpkin costume that was barely pinned together, a totally nondescript skirt, and a simple blue collar for the dog. It was horrid and badly executed and substandard, and even I knew it.

What's happened to me? I'm worried, so worried I may create a new brow furrow before all is said and done. What's next? Sudden idiot savant design talent?

Luckily, that will never happen; my ninth-grade F grade in Home Ec sewing will make sure the world is safe from Bucky's Autumn Assless Chaps Bonanza. Breathe a little easier, folks. I might sketch it, but I'd have to have help to execute my ideas, and no sane person with sewing skills would contribute to that kind of nightmare.

But still, don't try to call me on Wednesday nights; I'll be sprawled on the bed watching Bravo and making declarations of cute.

10 of you felt the overwhelming need to say somethin':

Blogger Candy said...

The only reason Angela won this last challange is that she had Micheal and the skeleton of death red head to calm her ass down. Or everything would of been covered with rosets and poofed up like balloons.

And I used to dress up like a teacher and spank myself on stage to Little Miss Can't Be Wrong.

Just so you know.

5:07 AM, August 05, 2006  
Blogger Dixie said...

Now I'm gonna have to watch to see what all the hype is about. It better be as catty and bitchy as promised!

And I'm not gonna be ablt to get the pic of Jess dressed like a school teacher, spanking herself out of my head.

8:45 AM, August 05, 2006  
Blogger Squirl said...

I can't believe it. Bucky is into fashion! Even colors! Who knew?

It sounds like a really funny show. I might try to catch it sometime.

9:06 AM, August 05, 2006  
Blogger Unknown said...

You know, I was hoping you would post a picture of Bucky looking all girly, complete with girly clothes.

And, like dixie, I'm now having entirely too vivid of images of her spanking herself. Damn you people and all your shinanigans and goings-on!

10:09 AM, August 05, 2006  
Blogger Nilbo said...

(smirk) A girlie girl. You are a girlie girl. I could NOT be more fucking amused.

Would you like a tall pink drink with pretty umbrellas, girlie girl? Ohh, look ... a mouse! Quick, up on the chair, and don't forget to scream.

Hee. Like Missy Buckykins ...

Jaysus. The Apocalypse approacheth.

8:49 PM, August 05, 2006  
Blogger Unknown said...

Fashion? Bucky the Diva?

I’m with Oscar Wilde: “Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.”

12:23 AM, August 06, 2006  
Blogger Opera Gal said...

you know something Nils? you may be onto something there.

Excuse the liberties I am now about to take with scripture:

"...And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great blog, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her vulgarity! for in one post is she made desolate..."

4:12 PM, August 06, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bucky, I didn't know you needed a hot tub cover?

Okay, I just have to say this: Dockers and button down shirts? Clothes from the men's department? And you didn't know you were a big lezzie?
I'm glad that you have your own personal Lesbian Fashion Consultant, otherwise I'd have to do an intervention.

12:02 PM, August 07, 2006  
Blogger Katy Barzedor said...

RSG - oh, I knew. Um, about being a muff diver, I mean, not the hot tub thing.

1:46 PM, August 07, 2006  
Blogger Spilling Ink said...

Don't worry too much, a poor fashion sense is easier to remedy than brow forrows. That said, I still don't know what I should do about my own fashion victim status or when I should do it. I have a thing for tacky, faded T-shirts, pull on pants and of couse the obligatory pony-tail. Can you say "house frump"?

4:14 PM, August 08, 2006  

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