|In San Jose, columnist Pollo Del Mar meets RuPaulâ€™s Drag Race alumni Jessica Wild and Pandora Boxx, who performed Thurs., July 15, at Crave and Brix Nightclubs respectively. Photo by Marquesdaniels.com
Notorious Sainted Glamazon About Town
A couple weeks ago, as I prepared for a performance, I found myself grumbling about having nothing to wear.
This is far from true, of course. My bedroom is jam-packed with nearly every costume, outfit and mistake Iâ€™ve made in over four years of drag. However, as a creature of habit, Iâ€™ve worn my favorites with such frequency Iâ€™ve grown bored of them. So recently, in hopes of finding something new and exciting, I decided to rummage through my closet. Talk about easier said than done!
Fearing that just about the time I get rid of something is when Iâ€™ll likely need it, you can only imagine how cluttered my closet has become. To be honest, it frequently spills out, requiring me to forcibly shut the door to keep the contents inside.
With the help of a dear friend several years ago â€“ since a cleaning of that nature is something I canâ€™t imagine ever doing frequently or on my own â€“ I underwent a tremendous purge. After bagging up a huge amount of stuff which had outstayed its welcome or use, we organized my remaining wardrobe with the most commonly worn articles in easy reach and the more unique costumes toward the back.
Since that time, all my favorite items have rotated in and out repeatedly, with many new pieces joining the mix, but the depths have gone pretty much untouched. Perhaps, I thought, thatâ€™s where Iâ€™d find something worthwhile.
Most of what I unearthed from the reaches of my closet was exactly as anticipated. A portion was outfits I handmade early in my drag career which, though they are no longer of use, I hang onto for sentimental reasons. Others are pieces so unique they are inappropriate for daily wear but perfect for special occasions, like the She-Ra costume I wore during so many of the 2008 Prop 8 rallies.
It wasnâ€™t until I pushed my way toward the very back of the mess, though, that I found what I was looking for even without knowing it. There, sandwiched between a massive rabbit fur coat Iâ€™m not sure why I ever owned (much less still own, especially considering how much space it takes!) and the mermaid costume I wore in the 2007 Miss Trannyshack Pageant, was a cute little sundress Iâ€™d forgotten entirely.
Bought in Summer 2006, only a few months after I started performing, I was drawn to anything pink at the time and the dressâ€™ cherry pattern added an extra camp value I absolutely loved. Unfortunately, the get-up proved better in theory than practice. After only one uncomfortable wearing, I vanquished it seemingly forever.
On a whim, I pulled it out recently and tried it on again. A few pounds lighter than I once was, it fit differently. A new belt, petticoat and some accessories Iâ€™ve accumulated over the years breathed all-new life into the dress!
To my surprise, it turned out just as adorable as Iâ€™d once imagined it could. I liked it so much, in fact, I decided the outfitâ€™s JFK-era housewife charm was perfect for the Grand Ducal Council of Alamedaâ€™s July 17 Coronation, A Return to Americaâ€™s Camelot.
A few days later, I returned to Los Angeles to see Dancer, who departs for San Diego with the cast of In the Heights on July 25. Within hours of arriving, I found myself unexpectedly overcome with feelings that, like that sundress, I thought Iâ€™d tucked away forever a number of years ago.
It should be noted that, while there are perhaps factors, there is no real â€śreasonâ€ť I found myself suddenly cloaked in jealousy, distrust and suspicious.
Nothing in Dancerâ€™s actions have changed, and there has been no betrayal, deception or lies. Quite to the contrary, he seems as enthusiastic to be with me again as I am him. Objectively speaking, everything appears as perfect as possible given our situation.
Yet familiar doubt and discomfort still found their way to the surface. Like the costumes I have worn comfortably in the past and stashed away in the closet just in case, these feelings I remember wearing so often during previous dating experiences â€” and even moreso during a particular long-term relationship several years ago â€” were also waiting.
Unlike my drag, however, these emotions required only a new relationship to open the door so they could spring forth. As I mentioned in regards to my actual closet when things unexpectedly tumble out, my first instinct was to blindly stuff everything back in place and force the door shut.
Instead, Iâ€™m pulling these feelings out, examining each and asking if it has any value. Whether or not I engage this negativity, effectively dressing these emotions up and giving them new life as I did that sundress, is my decision, I realize.
What Iâ€™m finding is that, while that campy little pink cherry number was enhanced by the ways Iâ€™ve changed in the last few years, these emotions fit more poorly than ever before! Always uncomfortable with my jealousy and suspicion, the person Iâ€™ve grown into â€” a more confident individual who, while perhaps not instinctively trusting, wants to be â€“ finds both downright intolerable.
To bring order to my closet, both literal and metaphoric, itâ€™s time for another great purge. To make room for anything new (physical or emotional!) â€“ and if I ever want to close that door without forcing it â€“ I have to move beyond the fear that, if I let something go, itâ€™ll somehow wind up the very thing I later need.
Seriously, I canâ€™t imagine a time when Iâ€™d ever want overwhelming distrust. Itâ€™s such ugly emotion, even when dressed in a tattered rabbit fur coat. I think itâ€™s not only OK but high time I let them both go.
â€śThe Glamazonâ€ť at Facebook.com/ PolloDelMar or Twitter.com/ TheGlamazonPDM. Email her direct at Pollo_DelMar@Yahoo.com.