Sunday, July 3, 2011

Grown-Folks' Business

A lot of my Atlantic City adventure yesterday with K, A, and I revolved around grown-folks and the concept of being/becoming one. 

Like all trips to AC should, ours started with blowing lots of money hitting up sales at the Outlets. We went to H&M and G by Guess, then K wanted to check out the Gap, Ralph Lauren, [side note, I'm lolling at Oxford's attempts to get rid of the Oxford comma and WILL NEVER LET IT GO. NEVER.] and Nautica, then my aunt hooked us up at Banana Republic (the whole store was 50% off and we got 30% off on top of that!), and I am not embarrassed to admit that I went to Old Navy on the way back and got some good deals there too. But K had never been to the outlets before, so while we were walking around he kept asking me what kind of good stores they had. I told him to tell me where he usually shops and I can tell him if it was there or not, but he said he doesn't even know where he usually shops anymore. This led to a conversation about fashion styles growing, changing, and maturing as we get older. We are 21-year-old about-to-be-seniors at Princeton who are destined for big wonderful things in the very near it time we started dressing towards that future? Is the era of the graphic tee coming to an end in our lives? Does it have to? This conversation reminded me of a post on one of my favorite blogs, Black Girl With Long Hair a couple weeks ago about "Buying Grown Woman Clothes". And I just don't know how I feel about this whole change I'm evidently supposed to be ready for. Clothes from the stores that K wanted to browse felt either unnatural to me or like they belonged to 10-years-from-now-Professor-Maya, not 21-year-old-student-Maya. One day when I have a real job in the real world (let's pretend academia is the real world for a second), I can buy a $40 shirt and a $52 skirt and not feel as though I've committed a crime against my wallet. Until then, however, I will do my best to stay under $20/article of clothing even if it means I replace things a lot. I'm not ready for a wardrobe that'll stay with me forever. But the question, I guess, is should I be? And if the answer is I care? 

Then fast-forward to the show itself [which was phenomenal, see the previous post]. The first words out of K's mouth when we walked into the House of Blues were shock at how adult an environment the venue is. It's a standing room only, dark, interesting blend of Harlem-Renaissance-era and crazy-shit-from-the-70s black art on the walls, painted ceilings, three bars. It's the kind of place you dance during the show. This was a grown-folks' music hall, and he didn't feel old enough to be there. I said K, we are grown folks, and he said he felt like he was skipping school. The four of us were definitely some of the youngest people in the crowd. This was the kind of show people got dressed up for--onlyforthegrownandsexy dressed up, not slutted up--and I felt a little like I should have brought a dress to change into like originally planned. The DJ called out: "If you 25 plus make some noi-ise" and I swear we were the only people who didn't. [Side note: it was weird making noi-ise when the DJ called for single ladies too. K shot me a look like damn. What can I say? Fact: I'm not in any way happy about the reapplicability of this status to my life, but #Iwasjusttrynahaveagoodtime? I know what he meant didn't feel right. Maybe I'll think twice next time.] What really made me feel young was the fact that drinks at the bar were RIDICULOUSLY EXPENSIVE ($13 for a Long Island. $14 for a rum and coke. BITCH PUH-LEASE.) but people were getting them like they were free! A noted that the guys standing in front of us bought so many drinks that they spent more on alcohol than on tickets to the show, and evidently someday that will not be ridiculous to us. It was weird being surrounded by people in their 20s/30s/oldheads and realizing that a) you are actually a part of that first group of people, even if you don't feel like it, and what really struck me was b) we'll be doing things like this for the rest of our lives. Someday some other youngins will come in and see us and wonder if they're old enough to be here. I guess most of the people in our range of this generation were at the Rick Ross concert...we have a grownandsexy musical taste. Going back to the day's earlier thoughts, I loved looking at the range of styles sported by the women around me and wondering who I'll grow up to be. In semi-related news, never in Jersey have I been surround by so many naturalistas! I guess it takes some grownandsexy funky eclecticism along the lines of Erykah Badu's amazing voice to bring us out of the woodwork. 

Anyway, I'm pondering this: I can accurately say that I feel like an adult most of the time, especially more recently as I've done all sorts of adult things for the first time (note to self: I have a utilities bill to pay), and I can say I'm a grown-ass woman, but last night I felt like I was around ACTUAL grown-ass women and thus wondered if I'm really there. I wonder if that wondering ever goes away. My mom says even she doesn't feel like a grown-up sometimes...

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