Wednesday, December 28, 2011

an unlaced christmas

Christmas is always very festive in our house- much to most everyone's chagrin.  While I love Christmas and all of its trimmings, it can be overkill with my dad.

My dad is the obnoxious one playing Christmas carols nonstop, insisting everyone sit in the "Christmas Tree Room" (a.k.a. the living room) complaining like a little kid when certain Christmas traditions are no longer honored (the fact that everyone in the house is now a legal adult has left him rather heartbroken that Santa no longer gets cookies and milk and the "toys" have switched from Legos and Barbies to crock pots and sewing machines) and meticulously setting up his 1940s train to go around the Dickens' ceramic Victorian London buildings he has set up on a platform beneath the decorated evergreen.

I was sick this entire weekend.  Instead of letting me veg out on the couch with the remote, my dad ended up plopping himself down next to me, acting like I wanted to watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas as if I was still eight.  I have nothing against Christmas movies, but if you're in my family you see the same ones every single year, and so are genuinely sick of them.  But I had bowed out of most Christmas movies during my high school and college years, so I played along and let him put the DVD in.  Then I fell asleep.

When I woke up it was two hours later and we had apparently already watched the Charlie Brown Christmas Special and were in the middle of A Christmas Story.  I just went upstairs to bed at that point.

On Christmas Day proper I was very grateful when my mom switched off one of the many versions of "Silent Night" in favor of her new Adele CD.

I got a pretty nice haul of Christmas gifts- mostly clothes, and nothing neo-Victorian.  With the exception of my twin sister Leigh and my little sister Jordan, my family does not really understand my love of neo-Victorian clothing.  I find that rather odd because my mom proclaims she believes she was reincarnated from the Victorian Era.  But her love for that historical period seems to stop at the trappings of a Victorian home.  Victorian fashion would have suited her if she had, in fact, been born in Victorian times, as she's always about the most recent trend in popular mainstream fashion styles.

But as a subcultural fashion style?  Definitely not.  My parents, being the respectable middle class family they are, trying so hard to fit in with the masses, tend to look down on anything they deem to be too bizarre or odd compared to the bizarre and odd things the majority of American society does according to the dictates of pop culture.  In the past it has resulted in verbal insults, snide comments, or put-downs.  With me and my interests, however, my mom gave up trying to put me down in any way since this past summer because I just don't respond to it as if I care what she thinks, so she knows such a task would be futile.

That doesn't change the fact that the majority of my family members think there is something freakish and unnatural in my explorations of the neo-Victorian fashion world.

The best example is a recent exchange that occurred between my older sister and my mom regarding my steampunk interests:

Lindsey:  She's 24 years old and still playing dress-up!  How immature!

Mom:  Well, at least she's not doing drugs...

There is hope, I guess, because my mom "defended" my interests by pointing out how it could be worse.

On Christmas morning I opened a box containing a beautiful black metal bracelet with purple gems on it- a piece of regular retail costume jewelry from The Limited.

I was pleased with the item- it goes with my normal work wardrobe and any other outfit with an element of black in it.  But then my mom shocked me by excitedly saying, "See, it's steampunk!"

My jaw dropped as I realized that my mom thought she was trying to help out my "freakish" fashion interests.

Now I was faced with a minor dilemma as a dedicated advocate of the fashion.  Do I try to educate her on how the bracelet, while it would be a nice accessory for a steampunk-inspired outfit, is by itself not steampunk?  Or do I shut up and thank her for being so thoughtful?

I chose the latter.  She was obviously pleased with herself for "successfully" understanding my fashion interests.  And she had cared enough about my happiness to try and support something that I enjoy doing, even if she does find it beyond weird.

My dad, meanwhile, bought the family a collective gift to represent our love of a certain 19th century literary figure (and a Sullivan's Island watering hole that we visit every year dedicated to said figure and his brief military service on that island).




If you guessed that that flying spinner yard decoration is a raven, then you are correct.  I just wonder if Edgar Allan Poe has turned over in his grave as a result....

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