Lapsed Ballerina, a short story

For 13 years, my hair follicles knew no sense of freedom. Groped to the crown of my head, twisted into a tight coil and pinned through the lowest layer of scalp – the ballet bun was my childhood-long sentence of irreparable root damage.For 13 years of practicing those pirouettes, dressing my blisters, memorizing Balanchine and crying through a daily split stretch, the ballet bun remained in an upright and hairspray-locked position. Letting my hair down, either figuratively or literally, seemed a luxury that my little pink tights would never stretch to.But as every lapsed ballerina knows, the day comes when you ditch the little pink tights, and everything changes.For me, this occasion was my first night as a college freshman. Not really being the party type in high school, I didn’t have the slightest clue what to wear going out, let alone how to accessorize. My only insight into the hallowed halls of frat basements was possibly from watching Legally Blonde on cable or stalking an older friend’s PG-13 Instagram account.In search of inspiration, I sheepishly asked my much more experienced floormates for advice.“Bodysuits!” Upon looting through my wardrobe, one of them spotted my leotard stash from the formidable ballet bun years.

She chose one in particular from the pile – a black halter neck that cut low on my chest, high at the hips and sported a mesh cut out chevron through the middle. Three years ago I would have worn it to a class with my 60-year-old ballet mistress. Tonight I would wear it to a frat house with my 60 newest friends.

It seemed as though the ballet bun had come to my rescue. I threw my hair into a top knot for old time’s sake, sent my thanks to Balanchine and slid into the back of our group’s Uber.

Arriving at our destination, the mystique of said frat house quickly dissipated but a staunch pang of anxiety only arose in its place.

Here I was, on the way to losing my party virginity, but I had no idea how to do it. How low can one drop it without compromising technique? Was I moving my arms too much? Should I show teeth? Casual dancing was never in my repertoire and I had just unwillingly been thrust center stage.

But as my panic began to peak, the unimaginable happened: No matter how many fouettés she spots, how low she penchés forward, or how high she jetés across the floor, a ballerina’s bun never, ever, ever comes undone.

Nevertheless, as a stranger’s fist pumped near my head, his hand made contact and the bobby pins fell to the ground. Just three months after my last ballet class, the bun had officially fallen.

And maybe it was the fact my scalp had never experienced such great circulation or maybe it was the evening’s impressive mix list, but I had let the hair down and the steps just came along with it.

Photo by Alexis Tokarski

Rainy Day Romantic

Skirting around puddles, darting through the storm, here is the woman who fails the test. She worries about ruining her satin shoes and the leather bag huddled to her side. She curses the rain, blaming it for the traffic, the late arrivals, the line at the store. The sky’s verdict can wound her entire day, blistering each step her stilettos take.
But here comes another woman down the street! She glistens with each drop the heavens cry, a diamond in a trench coat. She outstretches her arms into the downpour, whether to wave a taxi, hug a friend or practice a bit of yoga. Yes, she prepares for the weather, of course, but only to enjoy its fullest capacity of wonder. Why don’t you step into her closet, yes you there, and see just how she does it?

The Trench

A cocoon for the luxurious, she wears it like Burberry, even though she picked it up at the secondhand store on the corner. In its pocket she found a dazzling clue to its previous life – a forgotten garment tag with the name and address of its first wearer. She wraps the memory around her shoulders as she glides into the afternoon drizzle.

The Attitude

Arriving to one’s appointment a lavish five minutes past time, many would apologize for their late arrival and wet hair. She wears both facts like crowns, the hour gleaming from her wristwatch and the bangs stuck to her forehead. Brushing them out of her eyes, she is reminded of a soggy summer day from her childhood when they once fell the same way.

The Dance

And as she makes her way through the streets and the alleyways and the little puddles in between, a certain step makes her walk come alive with gay breath. One minute a waltz, the next a fox trot, a few moments later a child’s skip. It’s a pas de deux- her partner, always the rain. And as the clouds part and the pair say adieu, she dances away, carrying the step as she goes.


Summer In The City

haven’t really posted too much recently for the fashion side of this blog, so I thought I’d mix it up a bit and show you what my typical work style has been like. With just a few more weeks left of summer, I’ve been trying to go all out and work in a few pieces I wouldn’t typically wear to school.
If you didn’t know, I’ve been interning at Pattern Magazine, an Indianapolis-based fashion and lifestyle publication, which means I’m constantly surrounded by talented, creative and well-dressed humans. Additionally, this means I’m surrounded by people who know how to work a camera including my fellow intern McKenzie who shot this look. Whenever we go on breaks it’s usually to the coffee shop down the street or to scout out a location for a photoshoot. Honestly, I’m not complaining.

These pants, a recent find from a local boutique, definitely fit the bill for easy summer workwear with their dazzling colors and playful silhouette. The slits on each side hike up to the hip, making any bit of breeze just a bit more than you bargained.


On Breakup Rituals

The amount of time and attention I devote to celebrity relationships is slightly questionable as I am the number one reader of clickbait gossip and the emotional third party of every Brangelina, Bennifer and Billary.
So of course my heart sunk a few inches when reading this morning that Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris deleted all Instagrams of their relationship. My investment in the two had already plummeted when they broke things off, but now all proof of my stock was gone – shredded and erased from the backlogs of social media.The internet’s ability to so closely document our lives now works not only in building one’s profile for today, but serves as a tool of preservation for years to come. Whereas nostalgia used to be kept in a dusty photo album or stash of seventh grade notes, now we binge through our old tweets and timelines to rediscover the matching t-shirts you wore at a family reunion in 2010 or the srat star squat you once nailed on a night out with college friends.

And for the things we no longer want to preserve, forgetting is as easy as the click of a button. Unflattering selfies, inspirational lyrics used as captions, anniversary pictures with an ex – click, click, gone. The simplicity of a delete option seems like the silver lining in a modern breakup, but could it all be too easy?

There seems to be a general consensus for the ideal dump: it should always be in person, given at least three weeks prior to date functions (holiday parties, weddings, etc.) and God forbid, it should never be on the dumpee’s birthday.

But truly there’s no universal etiquette for what goes down post-dump. How much communication is necessary? Do mutual friends have to pick sides? Should exes be notified of your new significant other?

And with the additional element of social media, any semblance of a rulebook flies out the window. For some ex-couples, their time together is unfollowed, deleted, blocked and completely expunged from the record, showing it is possible to ghost even after dating someone. For others, what’s done is done and those old #MCMs are a part of your past, therefore a part of your profile. For Justin Bieber, a relationship is never over as long as you can post a paparazzi throwback of you and Selena mid-make out.

The night after a close friend’s first breakup, she started with unfollowing her ex on all social media platforms. But when that wasn’t enough, she was forced to go old school. Standing in her parent’s garage, we hosted the sanctified breakup ritual, burning the evidentiary cards, letters and photographs of a burned out relationship.

Ultimately the lighter died halfway through and we had mistakenly chosen a flammable beach bucket as our fire pit, but the night ended in a successful pile of ashes on the garage floor.

Per usual, I was only an emotional third party, but the act felt more meaningful than deleting date night Instagrams to some anonymous area of cyberspace. Part of that derived from the adrenaline of almost setting off a stranger’s smoke alarm and another part from mimicking the plot line of every teen angst movie. The largest part though was seeing wisps of graphite on paper first shrink to a blackened edge and then rise in a trail of ruby embers.

We brushed the charred memories into a dustpan and never spoke of it again. Just like these relics of her relationship weren’t broadcasted to an online audience, their destruction was just as quiet. It was a scene worthy of a Taylor Swift song circa 2008, but the clean break of a delete button seems to be more of 2016’s style.