I got this colourful dress at the Fiji Day festival at Swanguard Stadium in Burnaby a few weeks ago. I wore it to the Vancouver Pride Parade on Sunday because it’s so bright and colourful. My matching blue cardigan is from Ross Dress For Less in the States. My necklace is from UBC and my earrings are from Claire’s. My bracelet is from Sears and my ring is from the Blim Market festival downtown. I finally washed my hair this weekend and then straightened it myself. I will never be able to get it back to salon quality, but at least it still looks decent. I got a shellac manicure and pedicure at Beauty Lounge in Richmond yesterday with a Groupon I bought. This bright royal blue is my favourite colour. Hopefully it will last for a while.
It was kind of cold this morning so I actually wore pants. I got them from La Vie En Rose Aqua at Richmond Centre. My purple top is from the Plenty warehouse sale that took place at the Vancouver Convention Centre during Easter long weekend. My black sweater is from the Sears that used to be at Richmond Centre. I got my necklace from a vendor at Greek Day on Broadway a few weeks ago. That same vendor is at literally every street festival I go to. And I always end up buying stuff from there. I got this new black ring from them yesterday at Carnaval del Sol at Concord Pacific Place. I got my dangly purple earrings from a vendor at Car Free Day on Main Street last month. My black bracelet is from Claire’s at Richmond Centre and my purple ring is from Boca Raton Designs at Greek Day. I feel like maybe a should keep a thicker sweater in my office because it’s colder inside than it is outside. Or maybe a blanket?
It’s about time I wore my most colourful dress again. I got it in the States at Ross Dress For Less. I wore it with a more colourful sweater this time, the purple one that I got at Urban Behavior at Metrotown. Apparently there was a stabbing at Metrotown last week, outside Build-A-Bear. I’m glad I generally keep my distance from that mall. It’s actually a terrifying place sometimes. I bought this purple necklace at Car Free Day on Main Street a couple weeks ago. I like how it matches the purple ring I got at Greek Day on Broadway two Sundays ago. I also got my purple clothespin earrings at Greek Day. I guess you could say I’m wearing them ironically, since I don’t actually use clothespins and I hate doing laundry. Maybe they could serve as a reminder for me when I forget to do my laundry?
I got this beautiful blue dress at Car Free Day on Denman Street on Saturday. I bought three dresses from this one booth. Unlike at Italian Day, where I just guessed about the fit, I totally tried these dresses on first, right there on the street, over my clothes, and had my friend there to help me decide if they looked okay. And they did. They had this dress in other colours too, but of course I had to get it in my favourite blue. I love the design in the middle too. And it matches perfectly with my blue Forever 21 sweater.
And I just happened to buy some new blue jewellery over the weekend as well. I got this necklace at Payless in Lansdowne Centre after leaving Car Free Day on Denman on Saturday. They have a BOGO sale on right now, so I got some other jewellery as well. My shoe obsession is a thing of the past, or at least on hold for the moment, but has now been replaced in full force with a dress and jewellery obsession instead. But I like that I can count on Payless for both my shoe needs and my jewellery needs as well. I got these earrings at Car Free Day on Main Street Yesterday. Yes, there were actually two days of Car Free Days this weekend. I almost walked away from the booth, because I had already bought a lot of jewellery and these earrings were more than I wanted to pay. But the man at the booth stopped me and said he would throw in a third pair of earrings for free if I bought the two pairs that I was considering. So I was like yeah, okay. And I’m glad I did, because they match really well.
Also, check out my nails. Not only do they match my outfit, but they’re actually decently painted. I’m totally improving my skills. I decided to wear some of my old jewellery as well, with my Suzy Shier bracelet and my UBC ring. I think the old Indian man who sold me the earrings is actually the same one who sold me the ring at UBC. And the woman I bought the dress from was selling scarves at UBC in the past as well, and I totally bought a lot of stuff from her then too. I guess avoiding the new student union building is doing absolutely nothing to help curb my spending. It’s like wherever I go, these people will find me. Or rather, I will find them. But at least I know they’ll always be around to satisfy my fashion needs.
I met my friend for brunch at the Elbow Room a few weekends ago and had time to kill downtown after we parted ways. Naturally, I decided to go shopping at Pacific Centre. I realize that it’s not that much of a novelty shopping at H&M downtown anymore, since we now have our own location at Richmond Centre. But the Richmond one doesn’t have two floors and three sets of fitting rooms. And I’m just not completely used to it yet. So I went and bought this dress at the H&M at Pacific Centre. I ended up coincidentally wearing it on 4/20, realizing after the fact that some of the green leaves on it kind of resemble marijuana leaves. I didn’t partake in 4/20, but this outfit may have ended up smelling like I did, since I happened to go out for dinner downtown that day. This light green cardigan is one of my favourite non-bra items that I bought while working at Jacob Lingerie. I love buying clothes at lingerie stores because they totally work for everyday wear and no one would know the difference. I remember my manager asking me if I was sure I wanted it and I was. I’m glad I did because it’s perfect for hot days when you just need something light. Plus it has pockets! I couldn’t find a green scarf that day, so I settled on this black Orb one instead. Pretty much every time I wear green, I ended up including this leaf necklace in my outfit, because it’s fabulous.
The first thing I noticed about people’s reactions was that so many people were commenting on Madonna’s age. Even before the kiss, people had been commenting on her age. When she announced her Rebel Heart tour, I saw posts and comments from people saying that she should retire and that she’s too old to be performing. One could argue that her performance at Coachella and the fact that she had Drake be a part of that performance was part of her attempt to stay relevant and maintain shock value to an audience who questions her ability to do so. In response to the kiss, people said things like “50 shades of granny” and called her geriatric and an old lady. I didn’t think it made sense for people to refer to her as a senior citizen, when she is only 56. People have pointed out to me that 55 is sometimes regarded as the age where one becomes a senior, but for me I’ve always though that began at 65. Either way, I would never refer to someone in their 50’s as a senior citizen, and doing so would never really be regarded as a compliment.
I actually kind of want to see Madonna in concert, because I never have, and to me she is an icon, one of those people you just have to see in your lifetime. I don’t care that she’s “old”. My favourite concerts that I’ve been to were to see performers who you might consider “old”. Earlier this year, I saw Bryan Adams, who is 55. It was an amazing concert. No one thought he was too old, in fact, he was better than ever. I also saw Fleetwood Mac, whose members are mostly in their 60’s and it was awesome. Last year I saw Cher, who is 68, Elton John, who is also 68, and Paul Simon & Sting, who are 73 and 61. All these concerts were great and I’m glad these artists are still performing. Next week, I am going to see Neil Diamond, who is 74. Unfortunately, I don’t currently have a ticket for Madonna’s concert. I was hoping she would announce a second show in Vancouver like she did in Edmonton, but that didn’t end up happening.
It seems like with older male artists, there isn’t that stigma of age and expected retirement. No one says they should stop making music just because they’re older now. I admit, that 80’s Madonna will always be my favourite Madonna and I’m not a huge fan of her current songs. But that doesn’t mean that she should stop making music just because her best hits might be behind her. I don’t really like any of today’s music by artists in general, young or old, as you can probably tell by the concerts I’ve attended in the last little while.
People have different viewpoints regarding the aspect of ageism and sexism when it comes to Madonna’s performance at Coachella. Often times when a situation occurs, we tend to speculate about how things would be different if the genders of the individuals involved were reversed? Like how I think that a male performer over 50 would not be ridiculed as much as a female. Some people who claim Madonna kissing Drake was sexual assault, say that it has nothing to do with age or gender, and is fully about consent. I’ve heard arguments about how if an older man were to kiss a younger female in that manner, people wouldn’t be laughing at the situation, and instead would be outraged. I’ve heard references to John Travolta’s behaviour at the Oscars, where many, including myself, believe that he came across as creepy when interacting with Idina Menzel and Scarlett Johanssen. I would argue that that wasn’t about his age or his gender, and that his behaviour did just genuinely seem odd. Even if he touched the face of an older woman, it would have seemed creepy. And it wasn’t part of a performance.
I think back to the VMA’s a couple years ago with Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke’s performance. I feel like while they were both judged for it, Miley was criticized more so for her behaviour, in this instance where it was a performance with a young woman and and older man. Although, I realize that Miley was performing and twerking, whereas Drake was just sitting in a chair. When I think about the issue of consent in relation to Madonna kissing Drake, I am reminded of the 2003 Oscars, when Adrien Brody kissed Halle Berry. I remember it being a key moment in the awards show, but I don’t remember there being any outcry about consent. I think that Halle Berry expected a kiss from Adrien Brody even less than Drake expected a kiss from Madonna. There is also the iconic photo of a sailor who grabs a nurse and kisses her on V-J Day in Times Square. I recently found out that the nurse didn’t actually know the man, but the sailor, along with everyone else, was just so swept up in the moment. The iconic moment is even replicated on a t-shirt at Old Navy.
I agree that consent is absolutely important. If someone is sitting in a chair, minding their own business, you obviously shouldn’t just go over and start making out with them. But in Drake’s case, he wasn’t merely sitting in a chair. I mean, he was, but on a stage, and for the sake of performance. There is a difference between everyday life and performance. On the improv show “Whose Line is it Anyway?” the performers have kissed each other a few times in various scenarios for the sake of humour. Maybe improv isn’t the best example, because with improv anything goes and you leave yourself open to whatever happens since nothing is scripted. But with performance in general, depending on the type, sometimes not everything is going to be scripted. And especially in performances that include a sexual component, whether it be stripping, or dancing, or what have you, the people involved are generally more open to things.
Two years ago, I was at a New Kids on the Block concert. I remember I did joke about how they should call themselves Old Guys on the Block instead, so I admit maybe it’s not just female performers who get critiqued for their age. Although I find boy bands specifically are criticized more so than other male music artists, which is another issue entirely. Nevertheless, I went to their concert, and am going again next week. The guys are all in their 40’s. At Rogers Arena, there are screens, so even if you’re not right in front of the stage or in whichever area they happen to be performing, you can still see close ups of what’s going on. At one point, in the middle of a song, all of a sudden you see on screen, Donnie Wahlberg, making out with a random woman in the audience. At no point did he ask if she wanted him to kiss her and at no point did she say “Yes, Donnie, I want you to kiss me.” It just happened. He didn’t even ask her to come on stage first or anything. All of sudden, they were making out.
Have you ever been to a strip show? I say strip show as opposed to strip club, as there is no male strip club in Vancouver. If that’s not sexist, than I don’t know what is. But there are groups of male strippers that perform shows, mostly at casinos. If you haven’t been to a male strip show, maybe you’ve seen Magic Mike? I have seen Thunder From Down under twice, once at the Excalibur in Vegas, and once at the River Rock in Richmond. I’ve seen Chippendales once at Hard Rock in Coquitlam. What does this have to do with anything? Well, during these shows, there are moments when the guys will bring a woman on stage. And maybe have her sit in a chair. And then one of them will give her a lap dance, touch her, have her touch him, and yes, sometimes kiss her. At no point does the male stripper ask her if he can kiss her, because it’s all a part of the performance. You could say that she consented to go on stage, so she knew what was going to happen. Similarly, Drake consented to going on stage. I’m sure he was aware that he wasn’t going to merely sit there the entire time while, Madonna ignored his presence. No, he was going to be a part of the performance.
This also made me think about Janet Jackson. I have a friend who is completely obsessed with her, and therefore I’ve been subjected to watching videos of some of her past concerts. And there is some pretty raunchy stuff. If you think anything Madonna has done is overly sexual, watch some Janet’s videos. There are times during her shows when she will bring a man from the audience up on stage. She doesn’t have him sit in a chair. She has him tied and strapped down, so he is lying down and she basically dry humps him and does whatever else she wants. It’s way more intense than Madonna kissing Drake. And it’s all a part of her performance. (Side note, I still can’t believe that Janet Jackson is now Muslim.) Like the guys who volunteered to go on stage with Janet, Drake agreed to go on stage with Madonna.
For those who say her age has nothing to do with the problem, I’d say that if Rihanna or some other young female performer had kissed Drake, there would have been no issue. If Drake had still given the same grossed out reaction following the kiss, people would maybe question if she’s a bad kisser, but they certainly wouldn’t say that she had violated him in any way. I wonder if his reaction had been positive instead of negative, would as many people still think of it as sexual assault? I guess it’s impossible to know what he really thinks, but his response is that it was her lipstick, not the kiss itself that left a bad taste in his mouth. Why shouldn’t we believe that? Hell, sometimes my own lipstick gives me a bad taste in my mouth, so I totally get that.
I do understand and acknowledge that consent is extremely important. And especially so in cases where there may be a sort of power imbalance, in terms status, or what have you. I recognize, that just because Madonna is Madonna, that doesn’t give her free range to make out with whoever she pleases. But it’s not as if she’s going around doing that on her own time. She’s doing that as part of a performance. Whether it’s Britney, or Christina, or Miley, or Drake, it’s all performance for the public. But the fact that this has sparked so much conversation about the issue of consent is a good thing.
It’s stupid. It makes no sense. It’s a major waste of money. And yet we do it anyway. Why? Are we stupid? Maybe it’s just me who feels this way. I’m a major hypocrite. Much of what I do in life is highly counterintuitive and clubbing happens to be one of those things.
I remember one day I was having a conversation with a few of my older coworkers. They were recalling a time, not even that long ago, when they could take $20 to the bar and get plastered. Upon hearing this, I sat there upset, with a “this is so unfair” look on my face. If I were to take $20 to the bar today, I wouldn’t even be able to get in anywhere. Some clubs have a cover charge of $21 now. Why? Why such a random number like that? I remember when I heard that I thought, wait, 21, is that the cover charge or the age you have to be to get in? It’s dumb, you can’t even give them a $20 bill, you have to fish in your purse for change. I feel like in this case, it should be acceptable to give them a twenty, and then throw 100 pennies at them just for the inconvenience.
As I was trying to figure out which club to go to last night, we were trying to weigh the cover charges, length of lineups, etc. One thing I hate is when pubs suddenly start charging cover at night. I don’t want to pay money to be able to be at a pub. If you think about it, it really doesn’t make much sense. I’m going to pay you money, to allow me the privilege of being able to spend more money once inside. And then there’s coat check which goes up to like $5. And then you get creative, shoving your jacket into your bag so you can check them both together, or saying, no, I don’t need a jacket even if it’s cold and raining, I’ll be fine… Or risking it and leaving your jacket/bag in a corner, under a table, hidden, assuming no one will take it, because it’s the decent and honest people who frequent the clubs…
In the end, it’s probably not even the money that’s the biggest problem. It’s what you’re paying for and what you’re getting from the experience. What I usually get is stepped on, shoved, drinks spilled on me, creepy people staring, ugly guys hitting on me, and my personal space invaded. I remember telling a friend once that I hate crowds. And then he said, but you go clubbing all the time. And yeah, I couldn’t explain myself with that one. I don’t know why I keep going back? Maybe it just seems like the appropriate thing for someone of my age to be doing?
But really how I justify it is that I like dancing. And it’s more socially acceptable to dance badly when you’re at a club. I mean I’m not the worst dancer in the world, but I wouldn’t say I’m great. So-so maybe, at best. I remember a few years ago, my very conservative aunt and grandma had a conversation with me about clubs and how they were bad and I shouldn’t go to them. My aunt said that girls in Vancouver go to clubs because they’re looking to hook up. What’s funny is that at that point in time I had only been clubbing a couple times. But after that, I began to frequent them more. Maybe because I was told not to? Who knows?
But yes, I go clubbing because I like to dance. I’ve learned that clubs are an awful place to meet guys. I mean I’m sure it works for some people but not for me. I don’t go there for that purpose. It’s just unfortunate that more often than not, the ugliest guy in the club will be the one to express interest. And if you want to go and just dance, couples tend to ruin your experience by surrounding you and getting in your personal space. I’ve realized that gay bars are better, because you don’t have to deal with the creepy straight guys. Although, the creepy straight guys have caught on that us straight girls have become fans of gay bars, and now they show up there too. They’ve gone and ruined a good thing.
So will I continue to go clubbing when it never really turns out the way I had hoped? Probably. Simply because I tend to do things that are counterintuitive. And because I can. And because I just want to dance? And people say I may as well go while I’m young and still can. At some point in time I suppose I will just suddenly stop being able to? Although every time I go, there’s always the one lone old person on the dance floor, probably desperate to feel young again, pretending as if this is where they belong. Maybe someday that will be me. Maybe I don’t appreciate what clubs have to offer right now, but when I’m old and lonely, I will see the value…