Friday, April 25, 2008

Outrageous, Or Not

I'm not a particularly outrageous person, not on purpose anyway. While I will freely confess to being a bit (ok a lot) of a free spirit I don't often consciously cross the line to truly outrageous. I've never dyed my hair pink, or worn fabulous vintage clothing complete with feather boas guaranteed to provoke stares of both horror and envy. I can't belch the alphabet.

Sometimes I wonder if this is a character flaw.

How it might feel to be so self-confident that you would dare to appear in public with shocking red lipstick and a fabulously large hat. To be so far ahead of the trends that you become the trend-setter, rather than the follower. (Or worse, so hopelessly out of touch that you wouldn't recognize and up and coming trend if it jumped up and bit you in the ass. Or is that just me?) I remember a girl named Pam that I knew in high school. She was outrageous. Before the rest of the school knew what New Wave was she had shaved one side of her head. Then she dyed the other side purple. Purple. Pam was outrageous. She'd say anything to anybody. Do anything. Take any dare. I'm not sure she was liked, but she made one hell of a splash. Everyone knew her name. I knew I'd never want to be like her, probably couldn't be even if I'd wanted to, but deep down I did admire her spunk. I wonder where it took her in life.

This week I feel too beaten down by circumstances to even consider putting on an outrageous front (or even an outrageous hat), but I wonder if I could even when things were brighter. If I would dare. If I should do it anyway, just for the release. Say something shocking, or do something shocking, or just wear something utterly extraordinary.

Would it be liberating, or would I be a small girl playing dress-up in her mother's closet? Would I in fact be liberated, or just gawked at and humiliated?

I'm not sure I'm brave enough to find out.

On second thought, maybe I think I'll just stick to my own style, Bohemian and outdated though it may be. I'll just call it timeless. Yes, timeless. Timeless and a bit unique. And utterly me. What you see is what you get. Not outrageous, but familiar and very comfortable.

25 comments:

Lis Garrett said...

I would *love* to be more outgoing. But I've learned that trying to be someone you're not always, always backfires.

Greyscale Territory said...

"I can't belch the alphabet"! What a great thought!

I'm not super outgoing, but I have slowly chipped away at my extreme shyness. It's been a work in progress for a long time. But then, I really wanted to change my personality a little. That's different.

Your musings are wonderful!

Gemma

laughingatchaos said...

I wish I had the guts to wear bright lipstick and a red hat and a purple boa. But I can't. That's not me. So I settle for doing what I can. And I keep working at it.
I hope you're doing better, hon. ;)

angie said...

I think sticking to what's comfortable is always good. Because its real and it's you!

Lucy said...

Smart decision to stick to being YOU! I have found if I try to 'experiment' with a look or attitude that is not really me.. I am SO uncomfortable and THAT feeling comes through instead of ME.
To some who are conservative... YOUR bohemian laid back style may Seem outrageous! so there you go.. perspective... You actually MAY be outrageous! :))

Fairly Odd Mother said...

I would love to able to belch the alphabet too.

I say stick with what makes you comfortable unless what is comfortable is making you feel like you aren't showing your 'true self'. . .

keith hillmasn said...

Red lipstick isn't my style either! Hey, I want to belch the alphabet too. There are nearly enough of us to form a belching choir!

Scribbit said...

Writing has been a way to help me feel more confident--I love the you that I get to read about every day.

Kelley said...

You ARE outrageous!

Sometimes a comment from you on my blog is so shocking, so out there compared to this blog, I actually gasp. And then pee my pants laughing cause you are so freaking funny!

Domestic Spaz said...

I used to be much more outrageous. When I was 20 I actually DID dye my hair pink.

Now I don't even wear lipstick.

Bahama Mama said...

You can't be anyone but you - and obviously the you that you are is pretty darn cool or you wouldn't have so many people love you. Even when my husband informs me I don't have a specific positive character trait he always ends it with "but I wouldn't want you to because then you would have to give something else up to make room - then you wouldn't be you". And outrageousness isn't necessarily a positive character trait :-)

Lilibeth said...

I had an old teacher in high school who used to quote this proverb: "Be not the first by which a thing is tried, nor yet the last to lay the old aside." I thought it made a lot of sense. As far as doing outrageous things...usually, when I try to be outspoken, clever, and funny, I end by hurting someone's feelings and my reputation suffers.

paisley said...

just be yourself.. you nailed it when you said if you decided for a day or a week or a moment to be something outrageous... you would in fact be playing dress up....

jadey said...

comfortable and not so outrageous isn't a bad thing timeless is always classic but just think grab a tube of bright red lipstick and do your lips you can be bohemian, comfortable, outrageous timesless and still you. Great post.

Mom not Mum said...

I've never had the guts either. I saw a girl at the store the other day with thigh high green and black striped socks underneath a pair of green plaid shorts - it worked with her and HER purple hair. I wouldn't have dared.

Geraldine said...

Sometimes it is fun to shake things up a bit, wear something totally out of our usual comfort zone, pull out the bling and the paintbox. I agree though, it does take some courage to get there. I always thought as I got older, I'd be less inhibited by what other people think. Have made some progress but I have to speed things up and do better. Times a tickin'

Thanks for sharing this interesting take on "outrageous" thought provoking.

www.mypoeticpath.wordpress.com

anthonynorth said...

Stay with what you're comfortable with, I say. To do anything else would be outrageous.
One little point: from my experience the truly outrageous tend to be the most insecure when you get to know them. Their outrageousness is a plea for validity.

Selma said...

My son can actually belch the alphabet - it is totally disgusting. I used to be outrageous when I was younger but I have certainly calmed down now. And what I realised is that it's no fun being the centre of attention because people make assumptions about you that are mostly incorrect. Be yourself. Then you'll be comfortable in any situation. I have a bohemian look too, but my friends very kindly call it 'vintage.'

Medhini said...

Being familiar and comfortable is better than coloring your hair purple. I have the same fear as you do about getting humiliated while trying to be outrageous.

Joy T. said...

Catching up on blog reading AND coming out of lurk mode to say 'unique' is the way to go :o) Hope things are better now!

Rambler said...

I think I can relate to everything you have said here..I miss being outrageous too, many a time I want to be the wild carefree person..may be its our character flaw ..

rebecca said...

i had only ONE outrageous moment in my life, but it was a good one: I wore black at my wedding! Yes!

my future in laws were not happy we were marrying so young and thought we were making a huge mistake and couldn't show their disappointment more even if they tried. so i did the only logical thing: join them symbolically in the death of what they thought was the end of their son's life. my mother was mortified; my father laughed at my nerve and told me job well done. my husband? he thought i looked cute. the inlaws? not amused. they predicted the marriage would fail in a year's time -- update: we'll be married 30 years next year. and, yeah, all was forgiven and we all laugh at it now and we're all a big, happy family. ohh, the nerve of the young! only when you're young!!

AnnieElf said...

There is always at least one memorable student who seemed to be ahead of things. To this day, I have not forgotten "Carmen". She was edgy and elegent, walked to her rhythm and I'd bet she still does, 42 years later.

Janet said...

i like you the way you are :-)

tumblewords said...

I used to be a little more on the outrageous side, but have settled in to a boring side. I think if you learn to belch the alphabet it would cure you of wondering. LOL I love this post!!