Last week I told you how I finally figured out that being uncool was actually cool: an epiphany that allowed me to attend the Lady Gaga concert as myself (uncool = cool) instead of as Lady Gaga (cool = well, still fucking cool).
As it turned out, going as myself instead of Gaga was a great idea, since:
1) I can’t sing
2) Or dance
3) Or play piano
4) Or the keytar
5) Or fit into any of Gaga’s outfits without a crowbar and a vat of Astroglide
But perhaps the best reason for going as myself was:
6) Everyone ELSE was dressed up as Lady Gaga
And I mean everyone, except maybe the boyfriends reluctantly accompanying their dressed-up girlfriends. The boyfriends of the boyfriends, on the other hand, were sporting every Gaga iteration from the bikini bottoms in the “Telephone” video…
(Don’t ask me where they tuck their Tootsie Rolls in this thing. Man’s gotta preserve a little mystery, right?)
…to the latex nun costume in the “Alejandro” video…
…to an Asian kid – 15, tops – wearing the cigarette glasses…
…two Latinas in leather jackets and beer-can hair curlers…
…at least a dozen Mary Gagadalenes of every flavor…
…and more wigs and weaves than you’d find in Beyonce’s closet.
No, I am telling you: it is possible.
But I suppose if I had to comment on the one extraordinary wardrobe item I saw in teeming abundance, it would have to be:
(“It’s gotta be the shoes.” — Mars Blackmon)
(If you have to click the link to understand that reference,
GET OFF MY BLOG!)
As mentioned in my last entry, I was originally going to wear my combat boots to the concert. They’re battered, worn, and – hands down (feet down?) – the coolest shoes I own that do not make me want to commit ritual seppuku inside the first five minutes. Because I do own a few pairs of dress-up-real-nice heels, but frankly, instead of using them to dress-up-real-nice, I’d rather stab puppies to death with them. And I’m only a little bit kidding.
All the other fans were wearing FOOT-INQUISITION DEATH MACHINES.
It was a bit like watching wee old Chinese women hobble around me on their tiny fucked-up lotus feet, only these old Chinese women were all tall fabulous black men and suburban white teens (who’d obviously shoplifted a pair of hooker shoes from the Galleria, not realizing this meant they would never run again without prosthetics).
Believe me, I understand. Lady Gaga wears shoes like these:
And if you want to emulate your idols, you usually wear some version of what they wear (see ridiculous last post). But you have to remember that Lady Gaga is at the very least 1/Ω alien, and I’m pretty sure her leg-appendages just liquefy into protoplasm and mold into the shape of whatever shoe she happens to strap on that day.
Human folk, however, have these things called “bones” and “tendons” that don’t really like to be “broken” or “snapped” – even in the name of fashion. (I know. Assholes, right?) But that didn’t stop these Little Monsters. They wore heels I’d use to bludgeon a cougar with, if I ever happened to need to bludgeon a cougar. And if I didn’t feel short before – they call 5’4″ “average,” though I question whether “average” people need to climb on top of their kitchen counters like chimpanzees in order to reach the highest shelves of their cabinets (wow, cougars AND chimpanzees in the same paragraph; maybe I should ditch my “Big Book O’ Jungle Animal Metaphors”) – which meant I was staring at A LOT of ass during the show.
And not just guy ass (which I’m kinda used to by now) – but shapely girl ass – in fact, it was nearly fucking Amazonian ass, since all these women were now 6’2”. Don’t believe me? Take your smallest friend – the shortest, itty-bittiest, fit-in-your-pocketest one you have – and shove her into these:
Now stand behind her.
Hence, here was my viewpoint for much of the night:
This, my friends, is an ass. No joke. It’s a real photo. This is what it looked like in my camera when I shot directly in front of me. Oh, sure, which ass I was staring at varied from time to time with the movement of the crowd — boy ass, girl ass, nongendernominational ass — but the sight was pretty much always the same. It was only when I stood on my very tippy toes and reached my iPhone as high as my miniature T-Rex arms could stretch that I got shots like this:
And before y’all get all “HA HA HA SHE GOT HER FINGER IN THE SHOT!”, that is not my finger. That is an arm. Someone else’s arm. Arms and asses, asses and arms, all night long. Arms and asses and the Jumbotron. That’s how I saw Lady Gaga, except for one brief moment when she walked aaaaalllllll the way to the very front of the stage and stayed there for five minutes while I ducked and crouched and tried to find some nook or cranny or crotch to shoot through, used the zoom on my camera, and finally came away with THIS, my prized photo of the evening:
My only saving grace, souvenir-wise, was that The Finance is much taller than me, and so could take kick-ass photos like this:
(FYI: if you’d like to see these photos non-squooshed, just click on one,
See? We really weren’t that far back — it was only that I AM SO FUCKING SHORT. And if you’ve ever gotten to a concert just to find that your seats are disappointing because you’re behind a pole or a pillar, or further off to the side than you thought you’d be — imagine how irritating it is to find out you can’t see the performer simply because you’re a goddamn fucking Smurf.
In the spirit of Lady Gaga’s themes of compassion and tolerance, I didn’t start toppling over the Outrageous Shoe People like giant, unstable dominoes — but ooh, did I want to.
And if you haven’t noticed, karma has a nasty way of biting you in the vagina.
* * *
This is how the Staples Center looked when we showed up. (If you peer closely, you can see two “Crime Scene” tape headbows in the foreground, one guy in suspenders with no shirt on at the lower left, and one girl in a yellow leotard/tutu combo just above him and to his right — next to the guy carrying cotton candy. I’m pretty sure the cotton candy guy was just selling cotton candy, though.) In other words, we got there early, despite my last minute epiphany/entire-wardrobe-renovation.
There was a damn fine DJ (Madeon) playing when we got in, and I danced in public for the first time since… what century is this? (I’m just saying, if he could make me forget my agoraphobia for five seconds, the guy is that good. You should check him out.) Having already stood on line for an hour, and knowing we had at least four more hours of standing in front of us (gotta love General Admission: a dicktruck of money and no seats to sit in), I smugly looked down at my Nikes before glancing at all the Outrageous Shoe People, thinking “Holy shit did I make the right choice. Even my combat boots wouldn’t have been comfortable for four more hours. You, Outrageous Shoe People, are FUCKED.”
Well, guess what else isn’t comfortable after standing in them for five hours?
After two and a half hours, I’d lost all feeling below the knees, and the only way I could get my blood recirculating was to jump straight up and down for five solid minutes. Luckily, this isn’t too difficult to accomplish during a pop concert — except whenever I was about to collapse in agony, and so began my PogoStick CPR®, that’s when Gaga thought it’d be a great time to play a slow, acoustic ballad on the piano. I must’ve informed The Finance of my impending foot-related demise about a thousand times. I’m almost positive we’ll never go to another concert again. (I mean, he probably will, but I doubt he’ll be asking if I’m free.)
By the time Gaga had finished her (third) last encore (and never in my life did I ever think I’d be chanting in my head, “Please leave the stage, Gaga, please oh please oh please just leave the stage and don’t come back”), it seemed my feet had eroded to the point where I was just balancing on the ragged stumps of my tibias.
Fuck the combat boots — if my beloved Nikes couldn’t support me for five straight hours, I felt sure the Outrageous Shoe People would be getting free amputations on the way out, and now I was just pissed that no one was going to chop my feet off. As people started the usual shove-and-sidle toward the exits, I told The Finance, “If I can’t make it back to the parking lot on my own, you’re going to have to drag me.”
He assured me my hair was long enough for that.
After we’d climbed back in the car and I’d spent the first five minutes moaning, “My feet are dying, no, you don’t understand, they’re actually dying, they’re going to turn black and fall off from footgrene — hey, why do they call it gan’green’ when your parts actually turn black, huh? — oooh, my feet!” The Finance turned to me.
“So, did you have a good time?” he asked.
I didn’t hesitate. Just grinned.