During my high school and college years, I attended dozens of concerts. I've always loved listening to live music. Since college, I'm lucky if I see a concert once every two years. Tonight, I'm going to see Lady Gaga. I'm getting excited, and am once again facing the age-old question: What am I going to wear?
When attending a Lady Gaga concert, attention must be paid to one's wardrobe. Her fans are very creative and theatrical. I certainly don't want to show up dressed like Meg Griffin. While considering the possibilities, it reminded me how much I've always loved getting dressed up to go to concerts--and then I remembered one concert in particular. Of course I'm going to tell you about it, but first: a little background information:
To appreciate this story, I need to introduce you to my 10th grade biology teacher. She was considered a beast by many. A former Army soldier, she was hardened by her years in the military and her time spent overseas fighting in the first Gulf War. She never, ever smiled, and on the first day of school let us know that she already hated us. In case there was any doubt. Sitting among my classmates, many of whom were mumbling the word "bitch" under their breath, a fire lit inside me. I have a strange need to please authority figures. Earning an "A" in her class, along with gaining her respect and acceptance would be my primary goal this semester. By Christmas, Mrs. H. was gonna like me. She would be my Everest.
I accomplished my mission. She loved me.
Over a year later, I'm going to a concert with my best friend. Let's say it's the Matchbox 20 concert. They're playing at the Amphitheater, and so we park a few streets away and are making our way through the Applebee's parking lot towards the main entrance. I know, that sounds sketchy, but trust me when I tell you that "through the Applebee's parking lot" is a totally valid point of entry. I'm dressed to the nine's for the occasion: an Express black cropped tube top (with the optional spaghetti straps), low-rise hip hugger Mudd jeans, and Candie's platform sandals. Not to be outdone, my bestie was in a halter top and mini skirt. So there we were, bonafide jail bait, struttin' that ass through the Applebee's parking lot. I bet you can't guess who is also in the Applebee's parking lot at that exact moment, taking her daughter to dinner: Mrs. H. What a pleasant surprise!
"Samantha?" Mrs. H. asks with a puzzled expression. She's never seen me decked out in my finery.
"Hi, Mrs. H!", I wave with enthusiasm. I am so happy to see her!
"Samantha! Does your mother know you're wearing that outfit?"
"Oh, Mrs. H," waving my hand dismissively, "my mother bought me this outfit!"
Mrs. H. gasped and hurriedly ushered her daughter inside the restaurant, as if she were trying to shield her pre-teen from my exposed midriff. I had completely misread her look of horror as one of mock-horror. I always do that. My It's A Wonderful Life Violet Bick, "Oh this old thing? Well I only wear it when I don't care how I look!" moment just blew up in my face.
Excuse me, but I was a good girl and an honor roll student, and if my mama let me out of the house in that outfit, I don't think anybody else should have an opinion about it. Seventeen-year-old Samantha had a 25-inch waist and was celebrating the moment.
After that, Mrs. H. didn't like me. Between classes, she would stand in the hallway and monitor the students as they changed classes, and was always questioning my mini skirt or plunging neckline. She even took issue with my "conservative" clothes! I never thought my clothes were inappropriate, but my interpretation of the dress code was like the proverbial tree in the forest: "If I'm showing a lot of leg, but the boys still don't notice me, is it a dress code violation?" I had to re-route my path from chemistry to algebra, taking two unnecessary flights of stairs while wearing five inch platform heels, just to avoid being hassled. It was great for my calves, but I always arrived to Algebra class late (and feeling winded).
All that being said, I still don't know what I'm wearing to Lady Gaga, but it will be considerably more subdued than my past outfit choices.