Multiples was a kiosk in Ridgedale Mall that sold pieces that you could mix and match, like you’d get a red cotton shirt and matching tapered pants and then you’d pick out something called a “tube” that was basically a circle of fabric that served as a belt, and you could scrunch it up or wear it in your hair, but only if you knew how to re-fold it exactly like they did in the store. They sold the “tubes” in solid colors and in prints and if one friend got a turquoise outfit with a purple tube you tried not to get the same exact thing so maybe you’d go purple with turquoise tube, or you would do something crazy like I did in my phase where I only wanted to wear black and white for a year just like the ad for Exclamation perfume, then later tried to poeticize it by saying I had wanted to “look like an old-fashioned photo.” You could do what I did; buy just the tube in black and white leopard print, and believe the salesgirl when she said, “It’s totally long enough to wear as a skirt,” and then you could believe her and wear it to seventh grade over a pair of nylons and be tugging at your butt all day while trying not to let the seam of your pantyhose show up the front because the only way to keep your shirt tucked in was to tuck it into the stockings.
I have disdain for those black and white photographs of children wearing adult clothing and handing each other roses. I don’t like the idea of children as adults, pretending to act out adult concepts...especially having the kids together on a bench, or sitting out on a porch, aren't those places adults go to have depressing conversations? "Can I talk to you outside?" I've had my worst conversations sitting on benches watching ducks. Or coming up with major solutions on porches. My friend found out she was pregnant. We ate almond butter and went through ‘creative wedding’ books. I was conscious of blowing my cigarette smoke in the opposite direction. And I hid my cigarette whenever someone over forty passed on the sidewalk. I never wanted older people to hate my generation, and now look at me hating these black and white children.