Sunday, August 19, 2007
Brenda and Holly
In the early eighties, Brenda and Holly were the Cool Chicks in high school.
They weren't cheerleaders and they weren't on homecoming court. Their cool factor was beyond all of that. They were intelligent, though--we were in Honors classes together--and they were modest about it.
They were cool because they knew how to dress creatively. They weren't afraid to take risks with different looks, usually combining thrift store purchases with brand name mall staples from Contempo's and Judy's. They were able to pull off unusual looks that most girls wouldn't even dare to attempt.
I'll never forget when Holly wore a pair of old, silver metallic saddle shoes which had clear, see-through vinyl as the saddles. She had built a whole silver and plastic ensemble from the ground up, topped off with a Saran wrap head band. Another memorable outfit was based on a red-and-black-checkered sweater vest, which was complemented with a black legging and red shoe on one side, and a red legging and matching black shoe on the other.
They 'dressed retro' long before any of us had learned the term 'retro chic.'
Once while passing each other in the school hallways, I noticed Brenda and Holly singing and dancing together.
"What are you doing?" I asked them.
"We're in a musical," Holly replied.
"Yeah," Brenda added, "because in musicals, people always sing and dance in public while everyone else passes by without noticing. Except you noticed, Peter, because you like to be in musicals."
They must have figured out later that I was way gay, based on that one exchange.
At the ten year reunion, I was disappointed that neither Holly nor Brenda had shown up. Hopefully, they haven't moved too far away. Maybe one day I'll bump into some way cool soccer moms with minivans and an amazing sense of style.