I wore those faded blue denim (oh so soft), extremely baggy overalls to one of my first concerts in Albuquerque—Soul Asylum. Like I said, big names, or just good bands in general, didn’t perform much in the Burque. But when they started coming, we went. Soul Asylum came to the Q, Albuquerque’s other nickname, when their hit Runaway Train was well, a hit. The concert was a big deal for me and my friends. And it caused a bigger deal for me to get permission to attend it after tennis practice and on a school night. But I got permission.
To top off your vision of me, a seventeen year old girl, wearing loose men’s overalls with a t-shirt, I also decided to wear Birkenstock shoes that night. Okay okay, they’re really sandals, but I’m pretty sure I wore them with socks and fine, they were fake Birkenstocks. Dad wouldn’t shell out a lot of dough for chunky, granola footwear, even if they were in-style. And my footwear may have been the only thing on me that was “in” or quasi-in that night. And by “in” I mean in, in Albuquerque, NM, a hotbed of fashion if I’ve ever seen one. But hey, you live and learn right? Or you move.
(As an aside, I spent all of my high school figuring out a way to get out of New Mexico and I did. I left and went far away. But it is always home. When I go back, I love it. Everything about it and have realized that I miss it terribly. The weather there is unbelievable, the people are kind, and the pace of life is relaxed. That’s a trifecta if you ask me. Dad called it God’s country, and I’m inclined to agree. But when I was a teenager, I wanted out, bad.)
My girlfriends and I headed to the concert. My choice of footwear became an issue when my girlfriends decided to join the mosh pit. I held back explaining how I didn’t want to get my feet stepped on. Fine no big deal, right. I stayed by our seats. Standing, swaying, listening to music alone. Next thing I know a girl came up to me, stood next to me, took my hand and held it. Now you’d think my instinct would be to pull my hand out of a complete stranger’s hand, but I didn’t right away. The music had me. I was into the concert and apparently into holding this girl’s hand. And remember, I hadn’t been to many concerts maybe this random handholding went on there…alright, I’m not that dumb. Yikes, trying to defend myself 17 years later isn’t working.
When her friend came and stood on her other side and asked if we were there together as a couple I finally jerked my hand away. My hand holder then told me she liked me, like that. I’m guess this is when my eyes got real big and I explained that I wasn’t a lesbian. And her reaction, “but, you’re wearing those overalls.”
Thank you overalls, thank you very much. I didn’t realize you were a lesbian uniform, or go to closet staple for women who like other women. You’d think I would’ve tossed them or at least tried to trade them back in for something at Buffalo Exchange. But no, I didn’t.
Instead, I packed them in my body-bag size duffle bag and headed to college, where I’d like point out I wore them once while hanging out with the guy I was dating. He in turn asked if he could borrow them. He liked my men’s overall so much he wanted to wear them himself. Curious isn’t it?