29 September 2007


She changes every time you look
By summer it was all gone
Now she's moved on

The day after I got back from Toronto, I received an odd little email from a retailer where I occasionally purchase clothing.

Join us for an open-call event for 40+ models.

My immediate reaction was typical: I laughed out loud.

Then I read it to the spouse who said without hesitation, "Do it."

Of course, he only wants me to do it so he can rub a certain sister-in-law's face in it should I, against all odds, move into actual competition.

The daughter, reading over my shoulder, looked appalled when I asked if she thought I should enter.

"NO! You're not the model type!"

This begs the question of what type I am--other than type-A Gemini mommy--but it's also highly ironic that when I was a teen, everyone insisted I was the model type.

I laughed again, mainly at the daughter's chagrin, banished the email to the "delete" folder and went back to cleaning up my post-summer chaos.

But I find myself thinking about it.

This summer was an odd bridge to a younger self. Not, understand, that I want to be my younger self; I don't have too many looming regrets over what I've done in the last 20 or so years. But it linked that younger self to the woman I've become, made me see that for all her faults and her callow youth, maybe she had a few redeeming qualities that are still extant in who I am. I wonder, a little, if I might be able to pick up that lost 15-year-old in the same way that I was able to redeem the 23-year-old who was searching for her place in the world.

Not that I've ever actually located my place in the world. It's more that I've realized that where ever I go, there I am. Not a bad thing, really.

Then, of course, existentialist musings aside, there's the fun factor. I will do almost anything that is fun provided that the risk in doing it is acceptable. I get tremendous pleasure from keeping the world at large guessing at what I'll choose to do next. To that end, I've worked in a restaurant, on enormous retrospective conversion projects, TV shows, for the world's largest trust, creating databases, doing freelance research, and most recently, wreaking my own brand of havoc on a science and engineering firm. But, hey, in the words of the lovely Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Bored now. Summer's over and I've finished touring North America with my favorite rock band. So, what could possibly be more fun than making the leap from editing toxicology papers to middle-aged modeling?

This is not to say that I actually believe I have a snowball's chance in Hades at actually modeling. I have no doubt that I'm still too tall, and too whatever else is out these days. But, as with entering my children's truly horrible bathroom in the American Standard Ugliest Bathroom contest, the fun isn't necessarily in the winning. It's in showing up.

Go listen to some good music: "Shesmovedon" from the album Deadwing by Porcupine Tree.