Glorified Bag Lady

My friend, John Wagner and I where hanging out at some dive bar in Chicago when we had an ahh-ha moment! Together, we were dreaming big. Although I had no clear direction in life, John had focus. He was making some tall cash as a photographer. So while he bought all my drinks and bragged about his sexy life, I realized that I was pathetic and if it weren’t for my big boobs, he probably would have kicked me off the bar stool. I was 25 years old and felt like retiring.

We considered my options…Gold digging was out…right up there with prostitution.  I had no mechanical skills, so I knew I’d never make it as a boat repairman. I’m afraid of heights, so I couldn’t wash windows. I have stage fright, so I couldn’t become an understudy to Susan Lucci. Guns scare me so bank robbery was out. Digging a ditch would make me sweaty and professional skiing, well that was out of the question. Just when I thought I was an occupatioal hazard, John said, “Well, you’d be a great stylist but it’s kind of like being a glorified bag lady.”

BINGO! or, BOO-YA … whatever!

Photo of me by John Wagner, 1992.

It seemed to be a perfect fit.  A fit that felt like I could eat chocolate and still loose weight.  I’ve gotta say, I love me back then because I just thought, “Heck yeah, sign me up!”  Sometimes it’s good to go into things blind, stupid and way retarded!  Being dumb adds a dimension of confidence to personality.  Not understanding the dark side of an occupation can launch your career!  For example, I thought that photo styling was going  to be easy. I mean I was always the girl who was wearing the coolest earrings at a party. Wasn’t this just about Cadillac taste?

No, you retard, it’s not! (BTW, I say this to annoy Sarah Palin.)

So I flipped through Elle magazine and thought, “I can do this!  I can take a Louis Vuitton bag, throw it on a beach in the South of France, tie a scarf to the handle, lay a ten thousand dollar spike-heeled pump next to the purse, and playfully arrange cosmetics while my assistant fetches me decadent food, I loose weight and the Rolling Sones would watch me working through binoculars from their boat and get tears in their eyes because they are so proud of me.”

Who wouldn’t be?

I started out crying. It wasn’t good. I had to find all this crazy shit and had no clue about  where to go. I was lost.  I got tickets on my car. People were on to me. At The Gap, I got called “Stylist!!!“…like, “Nazi! Shoot her!” It was really mean. I told them that I was a nanny working for a rich family and I had to get all the kids clothes. The manager looked at me, rolled her eyes and said that she knew better. I hated her guts because I had to drive to another fricken’ Gap to buy all the same shit.  And then return it the next day at the Super Bitch Gap. I soon realized that John was right. I was a glorified bag lady, but for some reason, I love my trade.