Monday, February 11, 2013

Oh My Goth! ~ Then & Now

Image by ME!
Back in January, I blogged about some ideas I'd had for Some Dark Romantic. I'd built it as a platform for my author persona, as a way to connect with folks who might get a kick out of the kooky romances I like to write. In my first year of blogging I made loads of great connections with other bloggers, which is le awesome, but I felt perhaps I was drifting from my bloggy purpose, just a wee bit. So I considered who I am, as a writer and as a person. I strongly identify with being a Goth Mom (Lite!) and decided I should expand on the Goth part of this self-conferred title.


I got into the alt rock back in the early 80s, when more traditional rock was being tsunamied by the "new wave/post-punk" movement in music. Beginning with the New Romantics, Duran Duran, with whom I fell in love, I grew to dig Depeche Mode, Blondie, Ministry, New Order, Yaz, Love and Rockets, B-52s, Sisters of Mercy, Siouxsie Sioux and the Banshees, The Smiths, and The Cure, to name just a very few. I eschewed the bright, bubblegum pop of the day for the synthy, bassy, often dark and spooky vibes I caught from the above, as well as other bands I heard on my favorite New York radio station, WLIR (the station that DARED to be different).

Oh, to go back in time and even out those bangs!
My closest friends, who were all about the Doc Martens and black eyeliner, could take the train into Manhattan to hang out in Greenwich village. Those chicks got the cool stuff from thrift shops and whatnot, and really got properly into the Goth lifestyle. Not I. I was very, very, very sheltered. I couldn't go anywhere that wasn't school or family related, so I never got to hang in the village and kick it Goth style, as I'd have liked. I did the best with what little I had. I wore dark colors and vivid red lipstick. I strove to spike my hair but wound up less Siouxsie Sioux and more Generic Big 80s Hair (as evidenced by this pic from my senior year of high school). I wrote songs and short stories about sex. (This hasn't changed.)

Anyway, my Goth sensibilities were more about the music and fantasies than about a particular look, though I was so well known in my family for wearing mostly black that a cousin once remarked of me, "There she goes...always appropriately dressed for a funeral." Like I said, I didn't have the opportunities (or freedom) to experiment, so I did what I could and shrugged off the rest. I stuck with the black, mixed it up with blood red accents, and pressed on with long, sweeping skirts and dark, smutty thoughts.

Goth Mom Lite today...my, what an unfortunate nose...
Then I had my kid and life changed. A lot. I went from marriage to separation to single-motherhood to having to settle-the-fuck-down, put-aside-my-dreams, and provide-for-my-child, in what now seems a heartbeat. I suppressed a lot; in fact, I still do. But the wanna-be Goth Chick within yearns to break free. I continue to don the dark garb and paint my lips red, but in a manner which might now be termed "Corp Goth," or Corporate Goth. I'm not as nattily attired as some Corp Goths, though (money's tight with The Kid at college and I've got loads of single-mom debt). But, again, I do what I can with what I've got. I look forward to the day when I can let my inner Morticia cut loose. (I look forward to this like you just wouldn't believe...) I console myself with the thought that she's in there, just biding her time, and that she's always been with me, even if only in the deepest, darkest recess of my heart.

12 comments:

  1. I hope you can let your inner Morticia out sooner, rather than later. As moms, we put aside so much of ourselves. But you've gotta' let that goth flag fly!

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

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  2. Lovin' the pics, Mina! I didn't have much growing up either. I tried to make do with what I had... and also borrowed my friends clothes. :)

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  3. @Shannon - Ohmigosh, wouldn't having my own Goth flag be the *GROOVIEST?!?!??!! :-DDDDD

    @Jackie - Thanks, and yeah, having friends your size must be a great for wardrobe support! :-)

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  4. wow - you were too cool for skool - nice introspective piece Mina - I loved Sisters of Mercy, always felt The Mission were trying to ape them but ended up as pale imitations. But Jesus and Mary Chain were fab.

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  5. Siouxsie and the Banshees were always a fan favorite of mine. And your, "I did the best with what little I had" rang like the mantra of my mother's that I grew up with. Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.

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  6. Glad to hear you're keeping your inner Morticia alive. Dont' let her go! And it's cool that you were Goth way before Goth was cool!! Also, I think you pull off "Corp Goth" really well.

    We sported remarkably similar hairstyles in the eighties. :)

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  7. @David - Well, the founding members of The Mission (The Mission UK, here in the States) were Sisters of Mercy alumi, so it stands to reason they'd be similarly flavored, eh? :-) I dig J&MC too, love them twangy, psychedelic gee-tars and whatnot.

    @Ava - Word. Stuff didn't go to waste at my 'rents' place, no siree, Bob.

    @Tamara - LOL, thanks! :-) The whole Goth thing started, really, in the very late 70s and flourished through the early/mid 80s - it's what's now referred to by today's Gothlings as "Old-School Goth." But, as things do, Goth's evolved and there are LOADS of strains of Gothdom, many with which I am unacquainted and am beginning to learn about now. And yeah...80s hairstyles were all remarkably similar to one another, weren't they??? :-D

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  8. I love those pics of you! :D It sounds to me like you are about 7 or 8 years younger than me. I was into all the British stuff too, but I was a punk. I loved the Sex Pistols, Clash, Damned, etc. and a few American bands like the Dead Kennedys, starting in 79/80. I loved new wave too. I remember the goth kids started in the mid to late 80s.

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    1. <3 The Damned! Love their cover of "Alone Again Or," though it doesn't come off as the kind of thing they'd seem likely to cover, does it??? :-)

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  9. I always have a pair of Docs on the go! In the early 80s I was just a bit younger and very keen on Adam Ant... I was never brave enough to wear the make-up outside of the house though!

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    1. Adam Ant = HAWT! :-) I especially enjoyed his earlier, pseudo-military, white streaks on the cheeks, look. And, of course, the tuneage.

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  10. How beautiful you are, black only makes you mysterious. Be true to you! Loved your story!

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