I was a bad-ass, always matching my head-bands to my shirts, to my shoes. My glasses spoke for themselves, each lens hysterically (and bad-ass) demanding from the other: Hello! WHAT IS HAPPENING HERE?
My head-band is lifted from my head because I have a gigantic cranium. As an adult I have finally accepted that the “tuque is not too small” but rather that — on occasion — my gigantic head forces me through doors sideways.
As I’m sure you can tell from the photo, my idol was Olivia Newton John. Because she and I were so alike, I have sent both images to Porter that they might use them for their next issue’s “Can you spot the differences?” game. Print this up and be the first to play. You’re welcome.
One could argue that there was some serious ethnic perversity to my idolizing a blue-eyed blond; but one would fall short of touching on just how deep that psychosis ran because have I ever mentioned my childhood obsession to look Chinese?
Something I did by constantly pulling at my eyes.
Please don’t yell at me. I didn’t mean to be a bigot; I just thought that I would be prettier if I looked like an Asian Olivia Newton John which, to my ignorant child ass, was all about the eyes. I was dedicated to the process: a very tight ponytail, a lot of tape and KAZAAM! I was Chinese.
I wish I could tell you that I kept this to the privacy of our home, but I didn’t. In fact, I was proud enough of this look that I tried to emulate it at school, only by the time I arrived after my walk, the tape would have usually slid off and I was left with a messy ponytail instead. Pretty sure this is why Tommy St-John liked Elana Trainoff more than me, my Jewish girlfriend who naturally (and suspiciously) looked truly Asian. There might be some childhood trauma there that I will have to work out when I get married.
I’m not done yet. Because there was the car; always the car. I would sit quietly in the back pretending to read when really, I was staring out the side window with my hands pulling at both eyes. Smiling at the other cars passing us, I would wave with my elbow. Very few people waved back and this made me a sad Chinese person.
See? The deeper you go into my head, the more terrifying it becomes. Don’t say I never warned you.
Back to Olivia. One of my very first albums purchased, I used to #OccupyTheLivingRoom in my child-sized pink spandex, t-shirt, and one of my mother’s rope belts tied around my head tightly enough that I achieved my desired look of Chinese. Never mind that I stopped seeing properly because my eyes were watering for the duration of my eye-pulling, or that I had to keep my glasses on else I would have fallen down our steps to my untimely demise, with my white panties over my pink spandex because that’s how Olivia did it.
My mother would find me off-beat gyrating to Physical, with eyes watering and face tomato-red because tape on your hair hurts like a son-of-a-b/tch. She’d look at me, laugh and then walk away. Pretty much the same reaction she gives me today every time I try something new.
At that age, I didn’t understand why Olivia wanted the men who looked like they were hard to cuddle. As an infant, I gravitated towards the overweight men of the video because they looked soft. In my imagination, I would propel myself at them and I would land gently (a conclusion I still look for when eyeing a potential man), whereas with the others, I would bounce off and maybe break a hand or a Chinese eye.
Another thing that scared me? The men had bulges in their panties. WHAT IS GOING ON HERE, my lenses would yell at one another and at the Chinese eyes. Inevitably, I would stare fascinated at the video wondering what would happen if I poked at said panties, and how are they staying on when they are so small? This, a habit I have not yet undone.
Prey I never do.
On that note, and for your homo-erotic viewing pleasure of the day: