Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Grease Lightning

Woman 1/29/09

I didn’t pay her much attention at first because initially only her back was visible to me. She had just walked into the subway car, and almost immediately a trio of tween girls started giggling and pointing in her direction. Kids can be cruel, and their amusement could only mean she was interesting.

She had on a high school letterman jacket. A red and white number. The sleeves were white leather, and the jacket was mostly red wool. The large white letters on the back spelled out Stuyvesant. Could it have been for the famed Manhattan public high school for over-achievers where everyone hopes to send their children? I actually know a lot of people from that school.

On the left sleeve was a patch that indicated “Capt”, and stitched on the left breast was the name “Wendy”. No sport was indicated anywhere on the jacket. Perhaps it was something I had overlooked.

The jacket itself was about two sizes too big for her. It literally overwhelmed her frame. That oversize was exacerbated by her skinny jeans. Basic American Eagle skinny jeans in faded indigo. She had on what looked to be Uggs-not-Uggs on her feet. The jeans were not tucked into the shoes, so clearly they weren’t your typical chunky winter boots.

It was really her hair and make-up that set her so apart. The hair was platinum blonde. It was probably a little longer than shoulder length, but worn today in a ponytail. Her make-up was thick. Very white, very deliberately applied, and very Dita von Teese. It was a Fifties vibe with a modern twist. Her lips were ruby red, and aside from long black lashes, she also was wearing glitter eyeliner. It looked like there were a line of rhinestones attached to her eyelids.

She finally sat down and pulled from one pocket a small paper bag. Pulled out a cookie, and starting eating. She probably only went through about three cookies before she stopped and put the bag away. From another pocket she pulled out a small notebook. The cover was glittery and the color was a reflective shade of red. She had a pencil with her and jotted down a few lines before putting that away. As she got up to exit the train, I noticed her hairclip had the Yin and Yang symbol on it.

So many questions. But then again, that’s the fun of this. I can’t tell if this is a uniform, lifestyle or costume for her. It was definitely a cultivated look. The time and effort she put in is admirable. I hope she dresses with this kind of swagger for the rest of her life.

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