Flaxen Haired Darling

“I’m the blonde! get to be the princess!” the words echo in my mind 25 years later. The year was 1989. The location, Hillsborough, California. I lived across the tracks in the less ostentatious suburb of Burlingame. Preschool was cancelled that day due to the rain and we’d just finished watching the biggest blockbuster since E.T., The Princess Bride. When the movie commenced, we decided to play the characters. “Well, I’m the prettier one! I should be the princess!” I stomped my foot indignantly. The girl’s mother frowned and picked up the phone. I’d insulted her flaxen haired darling. Play time was over.

I don’t remember her name now, but the point is moot. Blondes learn from a young age that they are special. Now that I’m an adult, the argument is less over who’s the princess and more over who gets the guy. Instead of, “I’m the blonde! should be the princess!,” they know they already are. It’s more like, “I’m the blonde! should get the d*ck!,” and they do.

Fast forward to 2011. After just 3 months of lessons, I’m dating the hottest guy in the studio. It’s against the rules, but we are barely discreet about it. A sideways glance across the Ballroom, a giggle at an inappropriate time, a hickey in a visible spot make it glaringly obvious. All the Orange County Stepford Wives at the place change their demeanor toward me. Instead of hello, now I’m paying $900 a month to be snarled at by spoiled brats on the sidelines and disgruntled divorcees. 

The whirlwind ends and another gets him. She gets him the same way I did. She’s older; crow’s feet show the wear of her ravaged mind. She’s like them. A golden haired mold of homogeny and silicone. She broke the rules but they don’t care. They flock to the golden one. Instead of hello, they get to know her name, inquire about the kids, invite her out for drinks. She broke the rules but it’s OK because she’s sameness and I’m different. He, too, adores the golden one, and not just because of her gold. He speaks to her in soft tones. He strokes her arm like the mane of a timid puppy. He stays with her for years, buys her petty things. He becomes a live in lover, masseuse, and nanny. He does all this because the light of this golden trophy enshrouds him in the glow. Society approves of this match!

Like the raven black of my hair, I fade like a shadow on the wall, a shadow in his mind, and then I’m not at all.

Music is a transcendent experience. We gravitate toward

Music is a transcendent experience. We gravitate toward a band or artist because we like their sound, but more than that, we identify with them in some way. I have never agreed with worshipping the 3 minute, 3 chord pop songs of a poster boy for a musical movement just because it’s the sexy, trendy thing to do. Organic artistry often gets passed over for the one who sells the most records, but that kind of listening experience is so empty to me. It’s the Britney vs. Christina scenario. It’s the Kurt vs. Billy argument. I’m willing to take the brunt. I’ll choose the music that transports me to vast emotional landscapes over the hollow echoes of sold out arenas any day.

Never be ashamed for reacting to something in

Never be ashamed for reacting to something in an emotional way. Art, music, dance, people, and circumstance can evoke passionate responses in us, both positive and negative. Whichever way you’re feeling is correct. Feeling emotional doesn’t make you moody or unstable, it makes you human. Give thanks for your emotional capacity. It means you’re not numbed out or desensitized to the beauty, pain, and pleasures of the world.