Friday, May 15, 2009

Get Your Patchouli Stink Out Of My Store

A few years after knowing Steve, he confessed that he thought I was gay when we first met. He heard that I was gay from other touring bands and he just assumed I was because I wore lots of jewelry and had painted fingernails. He failed to remember that when we first met he was the one wearing Daisy Duke jean shorts, a jean vest with medals pinned to the vest, and ratty leather tennis shoes with no socks. Oh yeah, and there was no shirt underneath the vest. If Steve and I had participated in a "gay off" at the time, I think he would’ve won. Pipe down, Steve.

The gaudy jewelry stayed with me until I got arrested in Chicago. I protested as I took off my rings, necklaces and nose rings at the Police Station, but they explained they were potential weapons. They also took my shoelaces.

After a weekend in jail for disorderly conduct and rioting, I quickly jumped bail, leaving all the tacky jewelry in Chicago. Steve had moved back home, but I thought of him as I drove Interstate 80 back to San Francisco.

It was awhile before I went fully straight. The earings and nosering and eventually found its way back on my body, fulfilling the need to be different. It took Tim Robbins’ character in High Fidelity to finally free me of my terrible style.

Tim Robbins played Ian Raymond, John Cusack’s sexually active upstairs neighbor and eventual fling to his girlfriend. Peaceful to the core and reeking of scented oil, he wore lose, yoga-inspired clothes, pulled his long flowing hair back in a ponytail and wore two hoop earrings in both ears. He was the type of guy that would ask if he could wash your hair while you were taking a bath. Gross.

By the time I saw the movie, my jewelry infatuation had decreased. Two small hoop earrings in both ears survived, but all the rings, piercings and necklaces were gone. As I watched his appalling character, I realized that I was in danger of looking like him. My friends had moved on, cutting their hair and removing their piercings of the late 80s. (They couldn’t do anything about the tribal tattoos.) The toe-gazing, lo-fi indie sounds of the 90s was calling and it wouldn’t put up Ian Raymond characters. It was time for a change.

That night I took out my earrings for good.


  1. Ah, you and Annemarie. Remember, that was when she took out her nose ring??

  2. You took them out? I never noticed. You've always been the same, to me. (Although I recently looked at the Short Dogs page on MySpace and was shocked by how young you, Tom and Carmela look) Tim Robbins in High Fidelity...HILARIOUS! I cut my (Willie Nelson style) braids off about the same time.

  3. Tom and Mel look the same to me in person, but when i see pictures of us form SDG, we look like kids. Damn aging!
    I remember looking in the mirror at earrings and thinking, "Tim Robbins!"

  4. gay offs are very popular in california.