Friday, December 29, 2006

Pulitzer prize.

Today, we need to discuss how uncool I am. Actually, I think nearly every one of my blogs has a final, unwritten sentence; “Moral: Quinn is the least cool person you know”, but today we are going to specifically discuss how deeply unhip I am. I’m not even unhip in the I listen to Kraftwerk, eat salted licorice from Denmark and code until my chair becomes part of my spinal column/So geeky I’m oddly hip sort of way. I’m so lacking in cool that my very presence in a place works against whatever cool thing might happen.

More times than I can count, I have attended a party populated by three people, two of them the bartenders, and left out of boredom only to find out the next morning that the party was “…raging! Incredible! People having sex in the foyer!...” a half-hour after I left. For a while, I attributed my never attending a cool party with my lack of patience. Finally, though, I realized that cool simply wasn’t going to enter the room as long as I was standing there asking if there were deviled eggs.

Only once have I collided with cool. In my early twenties, I was working in commercial casting, and I was invited to a party celebrating the opening of a new modeling agency. Knowing something of models -- how they would show up for a 10:15 am audition promptly at 4:30pm, sometimes even the same day -- I arrived two hours after the event started. I was the first person there. I chatted with the bartenders and the cleaning staff for an hour or so, and then hid in the storeroom for another hour reading a book I had secreted in my purse. My absence from the floor must have confused the Gods of Hipness because when I finally left the storeroom the club was alive with beautiful, young, tall people and their agents, who were none of the above. I drifted around for an hour, drawing no attention whatsoever, which is what happens when you are five years older and a foot shorter than anyone else in the room.

Oddly enough, no matter where I drifted, no matter how hard I worked to use the wakes six foot-tall fifteen year-olds create to travel throughout the room, I would inevitably end up wedged between a wall and a model named Misty. Misty had gotten her hair cut for a big shoot. When they first did it, she cried, but once they blew it out, she liked it a lot. Her booker screamed when she saw the hair cut. SCREAMED! But now she liked it.

This was becoming like that six-month period where no matter what time of day I turned on HBO, the same scene from “Lambada, the Forbidden Dance” was playing. I knew it was time to go. I pushed my way through the now-packed club, and reached the door. The bouncer offered to stamp my hand, assuming I was off to smoke and return for more hair stories. I shook my head.

“Nope, thanks. Going home.”

I heard a moan of disbelief. Glancing down the wall, I saw easily seventy-five people waiting to get into this club so they too could have the joy of buying eight-dollar beers, feeling old and pudgy and hearing about the haircut of a stranger named after a weather condition. Their very longing to be where I was made me stop briefly in my tracks. I had been going out long enough at this point to realize I had lightening in a bottle; I was inside the party of the night. This is what hip felt like. Hip felt boring and self-involved and expensive. I left without regrets.

Moral: Quinn is the least cool person you know.

Even knowing this about myself, I can still stand in awe of exactly how something I am becoming. I say “something” because I have no idea what the following information makes me. Everyone is allowed to contribute their own adjective.

Daughter was paging through a catalogue we had gotten, found something and ran to show it to me.

“Mommy,” she said breathlessly, “we should get these!”

I looked at what had drawn her attention and smiled. It could be cute for spring. Matter of fact, it might be really cute! Then, the reality of what I was considering took my breath away.

Readers, I am considering coordinating Lilly Pulitzer mother-daughter outfits. My greatest concern right now is not that she will look adorable and I will look like an ass, which would be a justifiable anxiety. My greatest concern is since Daughter and I have completely different coloring, I won’t be able to find a pattern equally flattering to both.

My second concern is that I might have told some friend to beat me to death if I ever did a mother-daughter outfit, and have forgotten extracting the promise.

I’m certainly no innocent in the Pulitzer oeuvre. In fact, I am known in many circles as The One with the Tropical Pants. Christmas Eve service at church, I found the soloist to compliment her singing. She took my hand, looked at me closely and brightened. “Oh, I know you,” she said. “I just didn’t recognize you without your pants”.

It can be safely said, Lilly Pulitzer and I are like this. But a pair of pants with monkeys or another pair with trailing fluorescent vines is one thing. Being the human equivalent of Garanimals with your own child is another. And yet I cannot stop thinking about how cute it would be.

And consider this: Daughter wants us to look alike. Within a matter of minutes, relatively speaking, not only is she not going to want us to be a matched set, she’s going to beg me to stash myself between the mattress and the box spring when her friends come over. Shouldn’t I be grabbing these moments wherever I can?

Right now, I’m uncool. If I buy an outfit which matches my daughter’s outfit, I think I reach a whole new level of uncool. But I’m loved, and Daughter and I can both wear one particular pattern where the primary color is bright pink.

And there’s this lovely matching necktie for Consort…

31 Comments:

Anonymous Evelyn said...

Quinn,
I'm 56 and one of my most precious possessions is a photo of my mother and me wearing matching summer dresses that she made for us. I was probably 4 or 5. The photo is in black and white, but I clearly remember the dresses - sleeveless, wide white collar, turqoise cotton.

A couple of years ago I used the photo as the centerpiece of a Mother's Day card that I made, with the text of "Mom, everything I know about fashion I learned from you!". Go ahead and make some memories for your little one!

2:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quinn,
I read this twice trying to figure out if you are really giving serious consideration to the
Mother/Daughter matching thing...I can't tell. If this becomes a trend I hope.. 1.It makes
some kids happy. 2.It doesn't come back to haunt them when they get into their teens.
3.It is of great benefit to shopping mall security when attempting to help lost children
locate their parents.
I, however, have very little expertise on cuteness. I am still trying to figure out how
Shirley Temple did not make the VH1 top 100 Kid Stars of All Time.
Please reply...
Thanks,
Carlton

6:57 AM  
Blogger Mel said...

Happy new year from one embroidered-lobster-pants wearing imported-salt-covered-liquorice eating "un-cool" cat to another.

7:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You did extract that promise,after seeing a mother daughter outfit at
Easter..you didn't stop laughing for
days...think it over

9:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you must wear "mommy & me" outfits, then most certainly Consort MUST have the matching necktie.

'nuff said.

10:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ohhhhhh nooooooo! don't do it!

but if you do, make sure you take multiple pictures, and put the pictures and negatives in a safe deposit box. they will be useful when Daughter is a teenager.

On the other hand, said pictures could be used by Daughter to prove just how uncool her mother is.

So don't do it. If she really wants a mother/daughter thing, then get matching hair ribbons or something relatively innocuous. Please.

1:09 PM  
Anonymous Doris Day said...

Wouldn't matching Converse lowtops be just as festive? Paired with jeans and any solid-colored top--voila! Instant mumsie-daughter matchability. I'm just trotting out non Lily suggestions...

6:40 PM  
Anonymous Elizabeth H. said...

I say do it! As you say, she won't want to do this in a few years. My dad and I used to wear matching clothes. I would wear a black watch kilt, he would wear the pants, etc. I really liked it, and it is a nice memory now.

6:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My mom and I have matching genes.

That's enough for me.

Judy - Anybody Home
www.judyh58.blogspot.com

8:15 PM  
Anonymous Danny said...

First of all, you are the coolest person on the planet to leave that horrific Models of the Damned party. That sounded way worse than repeated viewings of "Lambada."

I was so intrigued by the concept of mother-daughter outfits that I went to the Lily Pulitzer website. I have to say they're not nearly as scary as I thought but remember, I'm the lunatic who so loved my daughter's 1930s sailor dress from her recent production of "Annie" that I wanted to go out and buy a dozen of them. (She said she wouldn't be caught dead in such a dress off the stage.) Still, remember that no matter how much your daughter is encouraging this, she'll blame YOU for it when she sees the pictures five or six years from now.

(Shirley Temple really didn't make VH1's list of Top 100 Child Stars?? Has the Earth fallen out of its axis or something?)

4:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to use this space to ask the following question, but I don't know how else to do it:
Any chance of a "Goodbye Girl" dvd release this year with commentary from our favorite blogger?

8:59 AM  
Blogger Quinn Cummings said...

Regarding a "Goodbye Girl" DVD; I haven't heard a word about one. Having never thought about what I would say, now I have to obsess about trenchant commentary, should the need arise.

9:44 AM  
Anonymous rebecca said...

What a lovely compliment to your parenting, Quinn!

My daughter and I have the same flat, thin, brown hair. She is 15 months, I am.....dangerously close to 500 months. After spending many, many months trying out perms, darker color, lighter color, side parts, middle parts, clips, wearing it up, stacking the back, and more, I finally resolved that the eaiest thing to do was a simple bob with straight betty boop bangs across the front.

AKA baby bangs because it is much easier for a little girl to have bangs than to keep her hair out of her face.

Daughter has the same haircut. I considered barrettes, but she pulls them out.

People often comment on how we have these "matching haircuts." Then today, I noticed we both had on dark-brown long-sleeved scoop neck tops. I swear I didn't do it on purpose, but you know, it made me smile.

If my little girl gets to be Daughter's age and wants to have matching outfits, you bet I would do it!

4:12 PM  
Anonymous rebecca said...

For the record, and before anyone calls DCFS, only I have had the perm.

4:18 PM  
Anonymous John, famous in Siberia said...

"What is Kraftwerk?"

1:38 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

Take heart poptart. At least she doesn't want you to wear matching Laura Ashley mother and child outfits. That would be much, much worse. Palm trees and bright colors trump chintz and jumpers anyday.

1:26 PM  
Blogger Mel said...

Perhaps I will be as uncool as you when I grow up. I aspire to such uncoolness.

Happy New Year!

--the "other" Mel (I WAS HERE FIRST!) ;)

1:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Buy the outfits.

The people who compile lists at VH1 must be morons.

Elle

4:33 PM  
Anonymous rebecca said...

to John, who wants to know what KraftWerk is.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KraftWerk

from Rebecca, famous in her own head.

5:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh, go for it! i'm seeing the picture, complete with consort in matching tie, in full color, taking up a quarter of her senior advertisement page in that all important final high school year book!! wont ya'll be cute?!
you're going to have to excuse that run on sentence, i'm too tired to fight with it!

cathy in alabama

11:06 PM  
Anonymous John, Famous in Siberia said...

Thanks Rebecca, Cool artwork btw...

1:50 AM  
Blogger Chewy Mom said...

For what it's worth, I just got a Christmas card from a friend who has 7 daughters and a son. The pictures were taken in Greece, and the mom and girls ALL have matching Pulitzer dresses. The dad and son are wearing matching polo shirts. At least you are only contemplating having ONE garanimal!

6:59 AM  
Anonymous jt said...

How cute. C & C have matching chicken shirts. Please send pictures. One can never laugh too much.

9:56 AM  
Anonymous rebecca said...

John,

You are welcome. Kraftwerk is one of my favorite bands, so I was compelled to share them with you.

Thanks for the compliment. You didn't leave a way to reach you, so I'm posting here. Do you do some sort of creative thing, there "in Siberia", or do you just have a discerning eye for that sort of thing?

If Siberia just ha[[ens to be where you summer, and you live in lalaland with Quinn and myself, I can point you to a few shows I have coming up. And once I install GoLive CS on my G%, I'll upload those dates onto the site.

3:28 PM  
Blogger Camera Obscura said...

When Daughter (the youngest of my three) was born, my mother sewed matching outfits for us several times.

One was an A-line jumper (American word, not Brit) in a large black, purple, royal blue and pink plaid in a wool-blend fabric, with a purple turtleneck top for me and a black one for Daughter (whose coloring is completely opposite mine). Daughter, who at 2 2/3 years was a bit of a clothes-horse, stopped opening presents Christmas morning and demanded we both try ours on. 'Tis a rather indelible memory for me. She practically threw a fit two winters later when I told her that she'd outgrown hers.

Last winter when I was digging through the back of my closet, I found my jumper. I am 10 years older and a few pounds heavier, and do not need such as an integral part of my wardrobe.

I handed it to Daughter (who is now my size -- Hubs' genes) and said, "Do you remember this?"

She's wearing it to church now.

Go for the matching outfits. She may want yours when she gets old enough. Or she may have a girl of her own one day and want both outfits.

7:10 PM  
Anonymous rebecca said...

Camera Obscura gets the award today for making me get teary.

What a lovely story, and memory to have.

10:55 AM  
Anonymous spinkbottle said...

Do it.

I recently found two such photos of me and my mom, and showed them to my 23-year-old daughter. Next thing I knew, she had bought us matching sweaters so we could be photographed, and continue the tradition.

No, we may never be hip, but we are loved. Make sure to take those photos.

12:27 PM  
Anonymous josita said...

Do it!

When my four younger sisters served as my bridesmaids, they wore long scarlet satin skirts with lacy white blouses. The skirts ended up in my closet. When my daughter was about 9, she convinced me that for Christmas, she and I should wear the skirts and matching blouses.

We arrived at my in-laws' home to oohs and ahs: "How sweet!" "How nice that the skirts fit you!" We glowed.

Next we pranced into my parents' home, where my teenaged, jean-clad brothers and sisters lounged. "Playing dress-up again?" "What's the matter, don't you have any other clothes?"

My daughter and I just laughed and danced. We were our own kind of cool.

Now those siblings have kids of their own. They regularly get portraits of all the cousins dressed in matching outfits. They confide to me that they hope their kids turn out like my daughter.

And we ALL laugh and dance.

8:08 AM  
Blogger llamaschool said...

Next time you run across a copy of Mommy Dearest, flip to the photo section and witness the fabulous pictures of Joan and Christina Crawford in matching dresses. It's enough to make you want to order a whole coordinated wardrobe.

6:50 PM  
Blogger jason szostek said...

The second best thing about your blog are the titles to your posts. However, this one should have been "Through Being Cool".
:)

3:27 PM  
Blogger Caroline Davoust said...

Quinn dearest, you say you are uncool, but we devote hours of our lives to reading about yours. What does that make us?

9:06 AM  

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