I was 14 at the time and my majestic transformation consisted of hacking off my long brown hair and bleaching it, stealing a hardware store chain off my brother to wear around my neck, and hitting up Value Village and buying lots of weird mismatched plaid and men’s jeans and a maintenance man style work jacket.
I got a skateboard from a friend and practiced ollies in the evening under the streetlight in front of my house. I listened to punk and ska, as one did. It wasn’t the typical fashion punk look, but living in a small town in BC I didn’t have easy access to spike belts and other classic punk accessories so I did my best. Lol.
I started to hang out with other punks and belonging to this group gradually took over most of my identity though I never gave up playing sports or excelling in school like a good punk is supposed to.
I was kind of a crappy punk now that I think of it.
I loved skipping school but still getting As. I quite enjoyed being the only person on the volleyball and soccer teams with a weird haircut and mismatched socks. I took special underdog pride in going to track meets with the ugliest outfits I could think of and still winning the occasional race in my ratty cleats from like 1973 or something. I dug em up out of the track shed at school and used them to ironically beat the girls who had shiny uniforms and came from ‘fancy’ city schools.
I probably could have gotten new cleats and a shiny uniform. I chose to look decrepit and weird.
On top of that, I lived in a lot of cluttered chaos, ‘making do’ with the junkiest junk I could find. My room was a total mess and I took pride in being, well, dirty. In not caring.
I eventually jettisoned the punk fashion side of things in my 20s, feeling constricted by the rules of dressing in black, wearing patches, chuck taylors, only certain colours...cuz.... I got bored.
However, the mentality still clung in other ways.
Mostly in the way that I treated my living space and my belongings. I was taking a painting class the other day and looked around me at the other people in the class, with pristine brushes and neat and tidy paints. Not this girl. Except for brushes I recently acquired, all my old ones are crusted in paint, barely even usable because of how badly I cared for them.
Because I WAS TOO PUNK.
My apartment has often filled up with junk that I found on the side of the road, and I would let my stuff pile up in disorganized heaps.
Again, because I WAS TOO PUNK. LOL!
It’s not because I’m really that forgetful, or because I’m lazy. I swear I’m not. Well actually I am forgetful, who am I kidding.
It’s just that I had this mentality that it’s cool to not care too much, to be messy, to be nasty AF.
OMG. Like as if I had Joey Ramone over my shoulder all the time, tsking away at me for caring about my belongings, for like, folding my t-shirts.
And look at me now!! I’m making freaking napkins and teatowels and showing work in galleries. How domestic. I’m a sellout, I’m a punk disgrace.
Ponyboy and Two bit would be like, you are basically a Soc. A Soc, guys!! NOT COOL.
My inner punk is totally making fun of me as I do all of this, that little scamp.
And you know what. I don’t care.
I’m punker than a punk.
Because the punkest thing I can think of right now is to CARE.
Not even just try- to DO.
To be happy with what I have and not be too cool to scrub my brush handles and bristles after every use.
I’ve never felt so bold as I feel when sewing a napkin.
Perhaps you can relate? Or perhaps you’re judging me at the moment from one side of the fence or the other? (you and Ponyboy and Joe Strummer and Martha Stewart all judging me haha)
I don’t mind though. Maybe my point is there IS no fence.
I don’t think my inner punk is going anywhere, I’ll keep her around to fight with from time to time.
It’s fun to call her out when she’s dragging her heels and basically being a big chicken. (And don't get me wrong. I'm basically an expert thrift shopper )
Because in the end, punk or domestic goddess, I think fear of rejection has held me back in really weird ways. Like organizing my cutlery drawer. Too punk for that! Because Punks have forks all over the place! ????? logic???? none.
It's just so funny, because in the end the only one who's paid the price is me- wasting money replacing things that could have lasted had I cared for them, going crazy living in my own clutter. No one else knows or cares how punk I am.
Um thanks so much for reading this all the way to the end, I’d love it if you’d leave a comment here and tell me all about your rebellious self and how punk you are on a scale of 1-10. :D
Yes, that would be very rock and roll of you. Debbie Harry told me so.
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Whatever you do or don’t do, I hope you have a most excellent Thursday! For real.