Saturday, October 18, 2008

I am Lauren, booty-shaking enthusiast

After saying our goodbye's, I hear my mom's voice quickly utter "shake your booty," and before I have time to make any sort of comment (which most likely would have been a "huh?" or a "moooooooom") she has already hung up.

Though the utterance caught me off guard, it wasn't entirely out of nowhere. I was headed, that evening, to a local event called Blume, at which art would be created, displayed, and sold. DJs would attempt to outdo each other on the tables while attendees of all kinds would attempt to outdo each other on the dance floor.

Upon entering the local gay club, Pantheon, for the first time, my friend Kristen and I surveyed the scene. There was a lot to take in. Paintings, photographs, and sculptures lined the walls, but what interested me most was the assortment people. This is typically the case for me in these types of situations. Sit me down in a corner and I'll be entertained all night long just watching people. Unfortunately, for me to do this and only this would be considered definitely antisocial and probably pretty creepy, so social norms force me to partake in an activity I sincerely dread, mingling. Since there were few people at the event we actually knew (though there were countless familiar faces) Kristen, Michelle, and I stuck together, wandering around the club, stopping at various spots to chit-chat (with each other, of course) in hopes of some good concurrent people watching, the best of which was indisputably found on the dance floor.

It's not unusual for me to feel uncomfortable in such situations. I see people out there shaking their tails, looking absolutely ridiculous, yet having the time of their lives. I know I'll have fun once I crack open my shell (a shell of self-consciousness, perhaps?) but the big question is, will I open up, and if so, what's it going to take? In this particular situation, it was my mom's voice resounding in my mind, "shake your booty." She left no room for questioning or comment. It was a demand, and being the obedient daughter that I am, I simply had to obey.

So I let myself get warmed up. I never want to get out there right away, because I know once I start dancing, I'm useless for any kind of conscious activity. Once I start to shake my behind, all cares and woes are forgotten. If I'm going to get up there and shake, let me tell you, it takes a lot of shaking to shake off all those cares and woes, not just a little bouncing up and down. For me, on the dance floor, it's all or nothing, and this particular night, I'll tell you, I gave it my all.

This was the best I'd felt in quite some time. Booty-shaking, when done the right way (partnerless and inhibition-free) is both an artistic exercise and an aerobic one. It was without a doubt the most I've sweat in quite some time, and by far the best workout I've had since I can remember. So, I've resolved that it is necessary that I make myself get out and go dancing at least once every other month. I advise and encourage you to do as I did, heed my mother's sage advise and "shake your booty."

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I am Lauren, DIY enthusiast

The phrase "Do It Yourself," commonly referred to by the acronym DIY, has all kinds of crafty connotations. The term is often associated with the hippie-type folks who make clothing from recycled T-shirts and carry bags fashioned from duct tape. These people are supposedly trying to make a statement about consumerism and individuality, but my conviction is that once how-to DIY books are being mass marketed, the revolutionary nature of the DIY subculture is lost somewhere along the way to the Urban Outfitters bookshelf.

Though I have indeed dabbled in this type of DIY and am guilty of owning more than one of these how-to manuals (thanks to my super cool middle school self), the form about which I am so enthusiastic is something quite different. It's more of an inner mindset regarding the service industry than an outward expression against manufactured goods. Simply put, I prefer to DO things for myself. I prefer to paint my own nails, tweeze my own brows, cook my own food, decorate my own house, color my own hair etc. I don't do these things for myself out of rebellion or refusal to submit to the service industry, I just enjoy doing them and find it unnecessary to pay someone to do them for me. Okay, so maybe that means I am refusing to submit, just a little bit, but not to make some political statement. Remember, my type of DIY is a mindset, and is of a much more personal nature.

There are a number of reasons why I am this way, and I'm not really sure how to best comprehensively explain them, but I'll try.

- There's no use paying for something that I can do just as well... Yes I know, this sounds extremely selfish and arrogant, but let's be honest; I have faith in my skills and talents.

- Blame... if I entrust someone to do something for me and he or she screws it up, I'll have to blame them, and subsequently blame myself for trusting them and then brood upon it for way too long. If I do it for myself, though, and mess it up, I just think, Lauren you're so retarded, and get over it. If it's my fault, I can fix it.

- Trust... goes hand in hand with blame. You can't always trust people.

- I am extremely detail-oriented and a lot of people are not, meaning they don't pay attention to things I deem important. I'm weird, and I like things to be exactly how I want them to be. And typically, only I can make sure that happens.

- The sense of accomplishment and satisfaction I feel upon finishing whatever it is I've done for myself is the encouragement I need to keep doing such things. When I do something myself, I am able to appreciate it on an entirely different level.

- I've learned SO much from doing things for myself. Trust me, I DO make mistakes! In 6th grade I started tweezing my nearly invisible blond eyebrows. I got a little tweezer happy and practically rid myself of the little brows that I had to begin with. It was pretty traumatizing, but eventually they all grew back. I am now confident, after years of practice, in my tweezing efforts and abilities.

By telling you all this, I am not trying to win you over to my DIY way of life. I know that it's not for everyone! That's why we have the service industry! In fact, my hope is that my passion for quality and detail will one day contribute to my own service-related pursuits and endeavors; I believe that the DIY people are the ones who have the most success in doing things for others!