Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The fine line between participation and caricature

When it comes down to it, this is actually quite ridiculous. My dad would call it a "high-level problem." It's not like I'm worrying about dying of cholera in contaminated drinking water or where my family is going to sleep tonight.

I've been sitting here in tears because my daughter won't nap, and I'm supposed to be writing about Betabrand "Cordaround" pants (with horizontal instead of vertical corduroy), but I absolutely cannot do it because, well, all I can think about is what I'm supposed to wear to the Def Leppard concert tonight.

Yup. That's my stress.

I think the last time I felt this anxious about what to wear was the first day of seventh-grade, which, incidentally, was around the height of my Def Lep fanaticism. Now, I'm what you might call a serial sarcastic-concert-goer. I wore stirrup pants to Bon Jovi and a baggy tee and tight jeans to Bret Michaels. I even curled and ratted my bangs, just for good measure.

When attending such a concert, you must swathe yourself in the right amount of ridiculousness, in order to securely draw the line between participation and caricature. Otherwise you could be swept into the sea of serious Cherry Creek moms, swaying and holding their hands over their hearts/Mom Jeans' waistbands (same location), while nodding that yes, every rose does have its thorn. Sniffle.

In a way, concert slumming is simultaneously owning and chuckling at your past -- a way to indulge in excellent power ballads like "Love Bites," while rising above the fact that Tommy checked "no" in the letter you passed him, even though you carved a "T" with an eraser on your ankle for him. Or so I hear. (The "T" on my ankle is a totally natural scar from some injury that I can't seem to remember.)

You see, if I just hopped in my car without crimping my hair, people might think I seriously like the greatest stripper song of all times ("Pour some sugar on me," obviously), or that I regularly dance around my house to it while sweeping when my husband works late on Thursdays.

Yet my costume creativity is depleted, and like any art form, you can't force it when uninspired. I used all of it for a photo shoot this weekend for my husband's business,, whereby I hula-hooped while wearing a latex dress and stilettos; Lisa ate Astro Pops in a kiddie pool of squirt guns; and Caleb sipped fine whiskey in a beach chair in a graffiti-covered alley. How could I possibly one-up a photo stint with a pirate piƱata and mermaid costume? I don't even know what's normal or bizarre anymore, much less what a proper '80s costume entails.

Plus, we're going to the concert with our friends Mike and Renu, the ultimate hair-band couple. Renu is a mad scientist who can infuse glitter into any substance, from lip gloss to cocktails to a curry dinner. She's the only human more sparkly than Joe Elliott himself, with his matching silver glit-sneakers, mic and stand, guitar, belt and (probably) man thong.

Whereas Mike, with his long, curly brown hair, is a dead ringer for Vivian Campbell. Did I mention he plays the bass? Mike, not Vivian. See? Even I'm confused.

As for my husband, I caught him cramming on Def Leppard's Wikipedia page so he would have some "limo banter." (Of course Mike and Renu rented a limo, because they are the ultimate.) My shaved-headed man won't even paint his nails, and he doesn't own one single pair of leather pants or glitter shoes.

We are doomed for a very serious night out in our regular clothes.

I guess I'll just wear what I already have on: a short leopard-print ruffle dress, pumps with socks, one single fingerless fishnet glove and this cropped leather jacket.

Sigh. Maybe Tommy will be there.


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