Editor’s Note: We are honored to feature a guest post from the one-and-only Laura Jane Faulds of the fantastically fun-filled new music blog, Strawberry Fields Whatever. I assume you just want to jump in after reading the title of this post, and jump you should, but I need to thank my pal Sarahspy for demanding I follow Faulds on Twitter. Because the rest, my friends, was history. [Illustration by Jen May.]
My Take on Kitty Pryde is that I Love Kitty Pryde
by Laura Jane Faulds
This one goes out to all the teenage girls.
There are millions of them, everywhere: locked up in their bedrooms, listening to Lil B, drinking pop rock-flavored vodka, trying to figure out what blow jobs are. Staying up all night talking to their best friends in hushed voices on the rhinestone-studded Hello Kitty iPhones they didn’t work to buy, trash-talking their math teacher’s mom-jeans and saying cunt because they can. Their lives are so endearingly pointless, endearingly because they can’t see it- it’s all life and death, and yes: they will marry him. They’ll take everything they can from anyone who has it, offering nothing in return but empty Frappuccino cups and the cloying scent of vanilla.
I would like every teenage girl in the world to assemble in a wide open space- ideally, a field- and I would like Kitty Pryde to stand before them, on a podium, on a stage. I would like her to speak into several microphones, like Geri Halliwell in the video for “Spice Up Your Life.”
She is drinking a Big Gulp, and speaks exclusively in Emojis; somehow, she has made it possible for that to happen. When she opens her mouth, the Emojis fly out: the happy face whose mouth is a heart, blowing a kiss. The Bento box, the dolphin, the koala face. The eggplant, the princess, the ATM machine. Everyone knows exactly what she means. If she must make a sound, it’s her eeeee from Orion’s Belt, heard first at 1:12 seconds in: a noise simultaneously unbearable and adorable, a noise impossible for any human being over the age of twenty to make.
When she eeeees, the assemblage of teenage girls eeeee back. It’s their emblem, their anthem. They are a cult, and she is their leader. They are a country, a culture, a population, and I am anointing her their king.
I am wearing flip-flops, and my toenails are painted neon pink. My flip-flops are made by Nike, and I’ve been scratching out the white swoosh on the strap with black Sharpie on a bi-weekly basis for the past four summers of my life. This is my fifth flip-flop summer. I am twenty-seven years old.
I’ve watched the “Orion’s Belt” video thirteen times today. I just searched for it by typing “orion’s belt” into my Google taskbar, as if there was never any constellation that came before it, and was confused to see the maps of stars. I looked dumbly at the screen: Where’s my Kitty Pryde?
She is, at first, only her legs, and I’m in love with those legs. I kind of want to slap her in the face when she raps, “Don’t tell my dad or he’ll probably get mad/And he’ll stop paying for all the Adderall/I don’t want that, I don’t wanna get fat at all” in “smiledog.jpg” (which, by the way, is THE BEST SONG TITLE OF ALL TIME), but I forgive her for any and all the vaguely pro-ana posturing which may emerge in her lyrical themes: after all, she’s nineteen. Take Adderall, Kitty Pryde. Do drugs, be an idiot, go with it. Work out your body image issues and overcome your prescription drug dependency when you’re twenty-five. And besides, the drugs are obviously working: rhyming Adderall with fat at all? That’s genius.
So, her legs. They’re skinny; they’re so crazy-skinny. And they’re sweet; they’re really sweet. Her knees knock together, and she’s doing it on purpose. She knows it’s cute to be pigeon-toed, so she’s pigeoning her toes. And she’s wearing cowboy boots, which is so nuanced: it’s 2012, you know? Cowboy boots aren’t cool. Find me one woman in the world over the age of twenty-three who still wears cowboy boots, and I guarantee you she’s either a hippie, a nerd, or an actual cowgirl. But that’s how nineteen-year-olds roll, and God love them for it: they wear all the shit that twenty-five year olds wore five years ago, and then freak out about how lame they are. It’s the best. They don’t know themselves. It’s adorable. I’m obsessed with them. They’re perfect.
I never wished I could go back there, not until I started listening to Kitty Pryde all the time, but now it’s all I think about. Sitting in my high school library, ripping pictures of the Beastie Boys out of Rolling Stones back issues, cutting class to go smoke pot with Amy in a shopping mall stairwell, watch matinees of The Rugrats Movie and The Wild Thornberrys while sharing cheese fries and Cinnabon. This game Jenn and I used to play, a take on “Would you rather?”: You meet the great love of your life, your soulmate, but he has one fatal flaw. Either he:
- has a baby panther living in his ass
- smells like poo-garbage rotting in the summertime, and you will NEVER have sensory adaptation
- has spontaneous orgasms every five minutes to an hour
- is slowly turning into a giraffe.
WHO DO YOU CHOOSE???
I hung out with Jenn last night, we’re still best friends, and I played her Kitty Pryde. I told her I was going to write about it, so we played it again: not so much for old time’s sake; mostly, because we love it. When I was fourteen, I always used to pick “slowly turning into a giraffe,” but last night I chose Panther Ass.
“‘Slowly turning into a giraffe’ would break my heart!” I cried, “I can’t imagine! Having known great love, and then five years later, having my soulmate turn into a fucking giraffe? Who lives at the fucking zoo? What? So I’d go visit him, at the zoo? I could never move on from that! I’d rather just deal with the baby panther. I mean, obviously it would suck, but at least I wouldn’t die alone.”
And that’s what I miss about being a teenager. When you’re seventeen, you never prioritize your future self’s well-being like that. You never consider the repercussions of any dumb thing you do- i.e. getting PRINCE$$ tattooed on the inside of your lip- because you haven’t lived long enough to have dealt with any repercussions yet. You start smoking because you think it’s what your best self would do, ten years pass, and you’re accidentally blowing cigarette smoke into an old lady’s face on a patio and overhear her mutter something to her husband about young people these days, and you want to tell her “I’m sorry, you’re right.”
I want Kitty Pryde to get into a physical altercation with Carly Rae Jepsen and fuck Carly Rae Jepsen’s face up. I want her to date Kanye West.
I want to be fucked up on K in the backseat of my friend’s parents’ car. I want to be front row center at a Strokes concert on my best friend’s eighteenth birthday, screaming “JULIAN IT’S HER BIRTHDAY. IT’S HER BIRTHDAY JULIAN” until Julian Casablancas drawls “Happy Birthday, Darling” into the mic and we die. I want to believe that I will marry Nikolai Fraiture. I want to stick stick-on earrings of stars, moons and strawberries underneath the outermost corners of my eyes. I want to never know what’s it like to work as hard as you end up having to work, I want to have never stopped caring. I don’t want taxes to be a thing.
I’m drinking a glass of white wine, because I’m twenty-seven, and white wine is an appropriate alcoholic beverage for a twenty-seven year old to drink. Every morning, I go to the gym, and after the gym, I walk up to Urban Herbivore, where I spend $6 on a large ginger-beet juice. It never fails to weird me out that I grew up to be a person who goes to the gym every morning, a woman who claims she is “addicted” to $6 beet juice. I’m watching the video for Kitty Pryde’s “Okay Cupid,” appreciating her cupcake-bedazzled Doc Martens, feeling big sister proud of her when she raps “I don’t do the shit but I don’t really mind it” about cocaine. (“Yeah girl!!! You don’t need that poison in your bloodstream! It’s so not going to help you self-actualize… maybe also don’t have refined white flour if it can be avoided…”), “I wait for your drunk dials at 3:30 AM/ I love them,” her delivery, the I love them- it’s shy, a little resigned. She’s looking at her feet. It reminds me of Niki and I in high school, the way we nicknamed all our crushes: Sun-Tot, Curly, Grade Ten Hottie, EK & ZK…. we imagined they’d be our boyfriends by Easter and we had this idea: they’d plan us an Easter Egg Hunt. It’s so sweet, it’s so sad. I love them.
I wish I could have a crush on a dude without having this arsenal of all the terrible things men have done to me sullying how much fun it is to have a crush. I wish that if a guy drunk-dialed me at 3:30 AM I wouldn’t really mind. I wish I could imagine falling in love without already having fallen in love, having been with a man for almost four years: loving him, living with him, and watching it fall apart. I wish I could be looking forward to all those things instead of wishing they hadn’t already happened, because they sucked, and I love Kitty Pryde for her ability to articulate, in an entirely genuine and unprocessed vernacular, through a medium that belongs not to any cultural affiliation but rather to the underdog, exactly what it felt like to be that person, and it breaks my heart-
Youth is compelling because it’s fleeting. You can’t help it, you grow up.