I have a student this year that reminds me of a much younger and goofier (and less responsible me). We're talking MUCH younger. She's missed her era. This child should have been in college with me (the first time) in the '80's.
First off, after growing up in Los Angeles, and spending quite a few years helping hubby with a business in the music industry, there's not a lot that I find to be all that weird. Which may be why some of the stranger kids sort of gravitate towards me. In any case, 80's Girl manages to pull off looking weird and turns it into a fashion statement that - for whatever reason - usually works. (Let's be honest, most middle schoolers tend to look a little dorky through no fault of their own since biology is against them at this point in life.) I know some of the teachers are put off by the abundance of black in her wardrobe, the fishnet gloves, the pink and bright blue extensions in her dark dyed hair, but she cracks me up. She's smart as hell and a sweet kid.
And the fact that she wears a Rocky Horror Picture Show t-shirt - and knows what the Rocky Horror Picture Show is - has totally endeared herself to me. We had a discussion about the movie and I asked her if she'd seen it live (no, that's one of her dreams) and when I told her I had (1979, Cove Theater, Hermosa Beach, California, thankyouverymuch), I became The Coolest Teacher Ever.
Cracks me up.
In any case, the past few weeks she's taken to wearing black lipstick which, well, actually kind of works with her. You know how most of these Gothy, Punky kids always dress in black and pout and sulk? Well, not this one. She's got her black lipstick on and she's all smiles. In fact, she's all smiles most of the time. (Even though, truth be told, the lipstick tends to get a bit, well, smeary, and it's often on her teeth giving her a bit of a pirate look, but hey, she carries it off.)
In any case, on the way back from lunch she sidles up to me and says, "I'm sad."
I look at her and she's looking a bit frazzled. For one thing, it's obvious she's had lunch because most of the black lipstick is gone except for a dark ring around her lips. (This look she does not carry off.)
"Why, what happened?" I asked her.
"I've lost my black lipstick," she says, her eyes downcast.
"Oh," I say, "you did? Did you check your pockets? Your purse?"
"I've looked everywhere," she says. "And I can't afford any right now. Not until mom and dad get paid and I get my allowance."
"Well, hopefully that will be soon," I say. I meant it. She looked odd without the black lipstick. I kind of got used to it.
"I do too!" she said. "Picture day is Wednesday!"
And of course, plain red lipstick just won't do. Although some of my 1940's colors would totally work on this girl. Perhaps I'll give her some tips on red.