I’m not a good girl. I’m not exactly bad. But, man, am I miles away from being good.
On my way to work last week, I watched a blonde Goody Two Shoes step
onto my train. She was one of those dimpled, bright-eyed innocents who
smiles so chastely and courteously at passersby, you’d think she was
about to curtsy. As opposed to me in my knee-high boots and rumpled
leather jacket, she wore pearls, a pretty headband and a blouse that
apparently had been ironed. Hell, she was wearing a blouse. The gal was darn sweet reading her Martha Stewart Living magazine and grinning like a Girl Scout.
Maybe Goody Two Shoes has a whole world of mayhem inside her. Maybe
she secretly pulls the wings from butterflies and is a monster in the
sack. But the fact is there are “ladies” out there. And I’m not one
I’m not a bad girl. I can hold down a job, I don’t have an
unhealthy relationship with substances, my friends can count on me.
I’m loyal in love, not crazy or manipulative. And while not all my
smiles are chaste, I offer them to everyone I see. But the word
‘unique’ has been used to describe me. So has ‘marches to the beat of
her own drum.’
I wanted to be a good girl. As a child, I fantasized becoming Sandy Dumbrowski in Grease.
I preferred goody goody Olivia Newton-John singing “Hopelessly Devoted
to You,” over tart Olivia singing “You’re the One that I Want.” But
then stuff happened. Dramas and intrigue and complications. Boys.
Life has been messy ever since.
Seeing Smiley McHeadband on the train the other day made me wonder
if the problem is I’m just no good. Maybe if I was a good girl, a
nine-to-five job and house with a white picket fence would be all I’d
expect from my time on the planet. Maybe I wouldn’t see photographs of
European capitals or remote corners of Asian countries and feel I’m
missing out on life sitting behind a desk. Maybe I would see writing
and art as a charming way to pass leisure time, but not worth the
heartbreak of devoting oneself to them. Maybe I wouldn’t care so much
about health care bills passing and whether children in third world
villages are getting enough to eat. Maybe a friendly guy with a
well-paid job would be enough to keep me romantically satisfied. Maybe
I wouldn’t need the emergence of Nazi paraphernalia to finally convince
me Jesse James is no longer hot.
I imagine Smiley looks at women in knee-high boots and wonders what
life would be if she had a few more edges. And I know we booted women
look at ladies in pearls and wish life were sometimes more refined.
But what’s special about living is you get to have those moments on a
subway train where you lock eyes with someone from the other side of
the tracks, admire the choices she’s made for herself and secretly wish
**Reprinted from Laura K. Warrell's blog Tart&Soul at www.TartandSoul.com.