"Alwayz Chaos:" A High School Mix CD from a Friend
I had a lot of house parties when I was a teenager, and a lot of them kind of sucked. I surmise that has to do with me being a controlling party-zilla, my insistence on themes and that they were all dry until I started drinking in the 11th grade. One party that I recall straddled the suck/not suck boundary was inexplicably “Chaos” themed. Chaos, I think, had pervaded my inner circle’s vocabulary in that awful way inside jokes dominate teenage girl language. “Chaos” was an appropriate response to most things, the way “random” was for a bit. “Look at that line for the Music Ride! Chaos.” Orderly and expected line up for a popular ride? The very definition of chaos, apparently.
So this was a pre-drinking party. As in, no one drank at it because I was “pre-drinking.” There were kiddie pools filled with soap and a tickle trunk of costumes, I guess in order to foster some chaos in spite of the lack of liquor. There’s photos of someone in a miraculous Budweiser tank that my dad has since trashed by staining the deck, but I’m pretty sure it’s where Supreme got the idea.
Most importantly though, Jennifer, who was a new friend, made a mix CD for the event and presented it to me as a sort of proto-hostess gift. It was the best CD of my life well into my first forays as a licensed driver three years later. It was titled “Alwayz Chaos,” because “always” was another yearbook worthy joke of ours.
Here’s what I remember being on the mix:
Disco Duck Scorpions - Rock you like a Hurricane The Ramones - Rock n Roll High School The Sex Pistols - God Save the Queen Bruce Springsteen - Glory Days and/or Tom Petty - American Girl? Weezer (Labeled as the Rentals) - Love of my Dreams Weezer - Pink Triangle (I took this to mean that Jenn thought I was a lesbian. Oh, bourgeoning teenage sexuality, you are so silly.)
Pretty sure I just swapped it out after two listens for some Frosh 3, but I think it’s amazing that you could play a few of these tracks at a house party now and I would get just as excited as I did when I was 15. Hint, they’re not Scorpions. Oh, and Jenn’s my old friend now, though she probably still thinks I’m gay.
leggings as pants, Silly Bandz, “sort-of dating” a DJ, listening to songs on YouTube instead of buying them, expensive fake athletic clothes by Alexander Wang, MISSHA makeup, dancing with your eyes closed, mochi icecream, Sony Dreamcast, making a .gif of yourself for Tumblr, wearing a t-shirt with the Unknown Pleasures design without knowing where it’s from, www.lookbook.nu, preferring Ciara to Beyoncé, Cheap Monday, straight girls with queer haircuts
Oh bless The Awl for comparing the stupid riot to Cardiff and bringing me back to this glorious set. When I was in Cardiff, I followed a bunch of posters for a ska/punk night and ended up at some carpeted club filled with 16 year olds who went batshit for Ruby Soho but were less than thrilled about Train in Vain. Both my requests, apparently. I also ordered lots of Smirnoff Ice, which was served in plastic bottles. These photos are a clue as to why, I guess.
I suspect because the manic pixie dream girl persona is “in” right now and everyone wants to feel like they choose their own choices. In this case, that means that some women want to believe that their predilection for rompers and kittens and baby voices reflects their individual personalities and not some trend toward retro, non-threatening femaleness. But no one chooses their choices in a vacuum and certainly it means something that so many women seem to be finding this super-girlish, childish part of their personalities at the same time, while Katy Perry’s sex and candy persona is tearing up the charts and actual little girls are being bombarded with pink, purple, princesses, tulle and sparkles.
The cult of domesticity defined idealized womanhood centuries ago–and that definition included both perpetual childhood and whiteness. The wide-eyed, girlish, take-care-of-me characters that Deschanel inhabits on film are not open to many women of color, particularly black women. We can be strong women, aggressive women, promiscuous women…we can do Bonet bohemian and Earth Mother (as Andrea pointed out), but never carefree and childish. Even black girls are too often viewed as worldly women and not innocents.