oxymoron67: (dino head)
[personal profile] oxymoron67
For LJ Idol

Right before I started fifth grade, my mom went out clothes shopping with my sisters. When they got home, mom said that she had picked up a new outfit for school for me.

She wanted me to try it on, to see how it looked and if it fit.

So, I took the bag to my bedroom, and pulled out the clothing.

I was horrified.

The shirt was a button down shirt in dark blue, but with scenes of peasants farming silkscreened onto it. These peasants were farming in what looked like a ruined village. Seriously, there were ruined hovels in the background and random fires.

Also, the scenes weren’t all set up the same way. A few were from normal perspective; some upside down; others at odd angles.

It was awful.

The pants… the pants were worse. They were pastel plaid pants: in yellow, light green and pink. These pants were a horror show. I was amazed. I wondered who would make these pants.

I mean who thinks, “You know what would make plaid better? Pastels. Because serial killer clowns need pants, too.”

Understand, by this time, I knew I was gay. My little gay soul shriveled when I looked in the mirror after putting this outfit on.

I didn’t really have the vocabulary to describe these clothes as anything besides “terrible” back then, but, looking back on it, I can say that from the waist up, I looked like an MC Escher illustration of the Spanish Civil War and from the waist down I looked like a plaid Easter egg.

I went downstairs to show mom this … um… ensemble, and hopefully get her to return it.

No such luck. She LOVED this outfit.

“On, Sean, that shirt… the dark blue background makes it go with anything and those pants… well, you did that genealogy research project last year. Our family is part Scottish. Maybe that’s our clan tartan!”

She actually said that. I remember because it struck me as so utterly stupid.

That tartan wouldn’t even have been acceptable for a clan made up of nothing but gay men, a Clan MacGay-gor, if you will. Someone would have said, “Guys, let’s just wear Catholic schoolgirl uniform skirts. They’re more dignified.”

So, I go to the first day of school in this outfit, fully expecting loads of abuse from my classmates.

Nothing. No reaction at all. No one said a word.

At first, I was confused. I knew I looked like ass, but no one was reacting. For a short time, I thought that maybe, just maybe, I was rocking the Spanish Civil War shirt/soul-deadening pastel plaid pants combo. Then, I realized something: it wasn’t me and a bunch of well-dressed ten year olds: we all were wearing hideously ugly clothing.

See, this happened in 1977. The late 70s were a dark time in American culture. Most Americans simply forgot how to properly dress themselves.

No, seriously. If your family has photo albums, find the ones from this time period. You will see relatives in all manner of terrifying outfits. At least I have an excuse. I was a child and not really responsible.

Mom, on the other hand… let’s just say that the words “houndstooth” and “lime green” shouldn't go together.

The Spanish Civil War shirt didn’t make it to Christmas. One afternoon, out playing at recess, I tripped and fell, tearing the shirt. Well, that’s the story I told, and I’m sticking to it.

Those damned pants, on the other hand, were freaking indestructible. No matter what I tried, they endured. They didn’t tear, and mom always managed to get any stains I got into them out.

I was stuck with them for about two years. Mom would buy shirts specifically to match them. I remember one solid yellow shirt that she had me wear with those pants. As I was a pudgy kid, I looked like the sun with a pastel plaid rainbow coming out of its butt.

And still no one said anything.

Finally, about two years later, I had a growth spurt, and the pants no longer fit. Hallelujah. I assume those pants are still in one piece in a landfill somewhere, terrorizing the animals that scavenge the place.

Date: 2013-06-16 06:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] michikatinski.livejournal.com
"The late 70s were a dark time in American culture." :-D Can't say I'm sad that I missed that era. :-D

My mom and dad only bought clothes for me (without my consultation, that is) at Christmas. By fifth grade I dreaded the clothing boxes.

Date: 2013-06-17 02:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oxymoron67.livejournal.com
Oh, no gift was worse than the gift of unexpected clothing.

A surprising number of people Im related to just simply have no taste.

Date: 2013-06-16 07:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tatdatcm.livejournal.com
Haha! Loved this! And it was so true of clothes in the 70's. I remember this mustard colored poncho with orange fringe that was my "jacket" for the fall. Ugh!

At least I have an excuse. I was a child and not really responsible.

LOL! My sister and I said this. All. The. Time. :)

Date: 2013-06-17 02:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oxymoron67.livejournal.com
I want to blame cocaine. I mean, I know my mom didn't use it, but I think it was responsible further up the fashion world food chain.

Date: 2013-06-16 07:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] warriorsavant.livejournal.com
That was seriously laugh-out-loud funny. (Oh, excuse me, this is the internet: ROTFLMFAO).

My one bone to pick with you was about the 70's. Yes, the clothing and hair was scary-bad, but I love disco. Yes, really. Come to think of it, as for the clothing and hair, it was a vast improvement on the 60's, but then almost anything would have been a vast improvement on the 60's. "Stayin' alive, stayin' alive, ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin' aliiiiiivvvvvvveeeee."

Date: 2013-06-17 02:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oxymoron67.livejournal.com
If we're being honest, the early 90's were no better. That;s when grunge was big, and everyone dressed like depressed lesbian lumberjacks.

Date: 2013-06-18 12:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] warriorsavant.livejournal.com
You say "dressing like a lumberjack" like it's a bad thing. Dude, I live in Canada, it's practically de rigeur. And since this is Montreal, there probably are a goodly number of depressed lesbian lumberjacks around.

Date: 2013-06-16 08:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] plantmom.livejournal.com
This one's a classic!

Date: 2013-06-16 10:33 pm (UTC)
ext_224364: (Default)
From: [identity profile] x-disturbed-x.livejournal.com
Oh dear, haha. I think we all have tales of our parents buying us something tacky to wear.

Those pants though... they take the cake.

Date: 2013-06-17 10:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oxymoron67.livejournal.com
They were ... I mean... I just. Around the same time, mom bought me bright white slacks (who buys bright white plans for a ten year old boy?), and I preferred those things to the plaid ones.

Date: 2013-06-17 01:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] labelleizzy.livejournal.com

I have a photo of me in my fifth grade class picture, wearing a sweater grandma made... orange, sage green, white, and brown. Stripes.
I? am a WINTER. that photo made me itch.

yeah, growing up in the 70's, other kids asked, what's your favorite car? but ALL of them were ugly. and I'd not yet seen those gorgeous cars from the 40's & early 50's ... the 70's was where good taste went to die.

Date: 2013-06-17 10:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oxymoron67.livejournal.com
Oh, give your grandmother SOME credit... I doubt that that sweater would have looked good on anyone, regardless of their coloring.

Date: 2013-06-17 10:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] labelleizzy.livejournal.com
*big evil grin*

She meant well.

Should have seen the elf hat she made us for Christmas. That fucker was indestructible.

Date: 2013-06-17 03:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] adoptedwriter.livejournal.com
Ahhh.... The 70s!!!!

You've described the men's wardrobe from every episode of The Beady Bunch! LOL


Date: 2013-06-17 10:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oxymoron67.livejournal.com
Scarily, yes, And I've never thought about it that way before.

Date: 2013-06-17 03:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greyduck.livejournal.com
My grandparents bought me intensely-clashing-colors plaid-type golf slacks for me when I was about 10, so, let's say 1982.

We managed to convince them never to buy clothing for me ever, ever, EVER again.

Date: 2013-06-17 04:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] supersyncspaz7.livejournal.com
The only way that I can comfort myself about fashion missteps made by myself and my parents growing up is to know at least they weren't 70s clothes.

Date: 2013-06-17 05:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alycewilson.livejournal.com
I was a bit younger than you, but little girl's clothes in the late '70s weren't too flattering either! Something tells me that some of my '80s clothes were even worse, though.

Date: 2013-06-17 07:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sucrelefey.livejournal.com
The 70s meant my olive tone skin got avocodo green and harvest gold clothes so it became routine for strangers to ask me if I was ill I was so jaundicey looking. At least with the chocolate brown turtle neck I could vanish against the wood paneling.

Date: 2013-06-17 10:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oxymoron67.livejournal.com
I understand. I'm pale. Very pale. That yellow shirt made me look like an end stage alcoholic,

Date: 2013-06-17 01:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fox-bard.livejournal.com
Ah, the late 70s. Best part about them for me was Godzilla and the Wonder Woman show with Lynda Carter.

I still remember the olive-gold drapes, the olivey-notquitegreen-gold carpet, yellow couch and love seat, and the stupid heavy faux-gold mandolin and violin on the wall - on either side of a big picture of some Mexican dude playing a guitar at a bar while a dancer in red spun in frozen place. And we weren't even Hispanic. In fact, my parents had racial slurs for Hispanics that they didn't even bother to censor around me.

My grandparents had the same stuff, except their carpet was bleeding-blood red instead of olive green-gold drab.

The first thing I remember about the 80s was color. A rainbow must have shit itself out, because suddenly everything was in neon orange, green, blue, pink, yellow and purple. It is a testament to how bad the 70s were that this garish display of synthetic color was a genuine relief on the eyes.

Date: 2013-06-17 10:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oxymoron67.livejournal.com
My grandma's rug was shag (of course) in this really odd shade of snot green.

At home, it was beige. But still shag.

Date: 2013-06-19 01:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fox-bard.livejournal.com
I also remember being stuck in homemade chocolate brown corduroy jeans. I hated them. Not only were they uncomfortable, but I made whispery-squish noise that can only be produced by corduroy rubbing against itself everywhere I walked. I still can't stand touching the stuff with my bare skin.

My mom thought this went well with a burnt orange turtleneck sweater. I felt like I was being choked and kept pulling the turtleneck down until it was shapeless. But even after that, it still managed to choke me.

To this day I despise turtlenecks and corduroy. Forevers and evers!

Date: 2013-06-17 09:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] halfshellvenus.livejournal.com
This was hilarious! And though you're a little younger than I am, you were STILL a victim of 70s fashions.

but with scenes of peasants farming silkscreened onto it. These peasants were farming in what looked like a ruined village. Seriously, there were ruined hovels in the background and random fires.
o_O Just...why?

Plaid pants are just an evil in themselves, but making them pastel? Dear god, I don't care if people think wearing them on a golf course makes it okay. Some things should never be invented, and if they are... burned.

I looked like the sun with a pastel plaid rainbow coming out of its butt.
Hahahahaha! Which is practically a meme or something, now.

I remember there being a LOT of paisley in the 70s, in addition to polyester. I believe I once owned a pair of cherry-red pants, but in my defense, I was 11. Never again.

Date: 2013-06-17 09:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] myrna-bird.livejournal.com
very fun entry! I remember that era and trying to sew clothes for my daughters that helped them blend in with their friends.

Date: 2013-06-18 01:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] recklessblues.livejournal.com
...I kinda want that peasant shirt. It contains a philosophy about the value of labor in times of perdition. It reminds me of Solzhenitsyn. Ivan Denisovich.

Date: 2013-06-18 02:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ashgaelsonaria.livejournal.com
It was the age of polyester.
This gave me Catholic school flashbacks.
Plaid is EVIL. If you are not careful it will jump out and eat you.

Date: 2013-06-18 03:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] porn-this-way.livejournal.com
I mean who thinks, “You know what would make plaid better? Pastels. Because serial killer clowns need pants, too.”

LMAO OH GOD, it's like someone crossed Project Runway over with CSI and no one escaped alive! This entry was hilarious. Yay for being saved by a growth spurt!

Date: 2013-06-18 04:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jem0000000.livejournal.com
I had a pair of shorts that were mottled green, olive, and yellow, because my mom tried to dye them navy. Once I got over the horror of having a solid color changed to *that*, I wore them pretty frequently; it was a lot better than the plaid skirts she kept telling me looked cute on me.

Date: 2013-06-18 02:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] poppetawoppet.livejournal.com
the early 70s weren't too great either. I look at my dad's wedding tux and laugh at it on a daily basis :D

Date: 2013-06-18 04:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kf4vkp.livejournal.com
My personal atrocity was a shirt that was a sleeveless sweater. Not a vest, no the neck wasn't cut for that, but a honest to god sleeveless sweater in pale pink. Such a pink that no one could tell if it was meant to be that shade or was accidentally washed with a red sock.

Date: 2013-06-18 07:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oxymoron67.livejournal.com
Sounds ... um... like a delight to wear.

I'm sure it would have matched my pastel plaid pants to make a killer ensemble.

Date: 2013-06-19 05:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sarcasmoqueen.livejournal.com
LOL, yes the '70s... I recently came across a picture of my mom, my sister and me taken in the parking lot of a strip mall (??) circa 1979 after my Confirmation. My sister and I are in matching hideous prairie looking brown dresses, and I was especially spiffy in my fake heeled blue cloth wedgies and white socks! I don't know what people were thinking! Thanks for the laugh!

Date: 2013-06-20 02:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] joyfulfeather.livejournal.com
That was awesome. I read most of this aloud to my friend and we were both totally cracking up! Great job, I love it.

Date: 2013-06-20 02:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] beldar.livejournal.com
My fashion memory from that era is three words: mustard leisure suit. Mom got it for me in '78. I was 12, and it *was* 1978, so I wore it. I almost hope a photo survived for the LOL factor.

Date: 2013-06-20 05:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] similiesslip.livejournal.com
Today, I am very sad. But, amazingly, your entry truly made me laugh and laugh. What skill!

And what horrible clothes, lol.

Date: 2013-06-20 08:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jennickels.livejournal.com
This is too funny.

I actually like the clothes of the late 70s just for the quirkiness (not that I would wear them). Then again, I was a toddler at the end of the 70s so I didn't care about fashion. There are pictures of me in some... um... interesting outfits. They're fun to look at.

My mom, though, rocked the clothes of the 70s. She always had nice stuff. She lost her fashion sense when she hit her 40s in the late 80s/early 90s (junior high/high school for me).

Date: 2013-06-20 10:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cheshire23.livejournal.com
*giggles* I'm glad I didn't get stuck with anything that hideous.

Date: 2013-06-21 12:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fourzoas.livejournal.com
This brought back many not-so-fond memories of my own 70’s childhood fashions...the chicken shirt was perhaps the nadir.


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