There was a time when I wanted to be like Katniss Everdeen. There was another time when I wanted to be like Lance Armstrong. And yet another time when I wanted to be like Meg Ryan. If you’ve read those posts or at least somewhat know me, then you know that none of those attempts went well. And before all of those mishaps, there was the time that I wanted to be like Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer is one of my all-time favorite shows. (And curse you, Netflix, for removing it and taking away my instant access to the Scooby Gang.) I love the story lines, the dialogue, the kick ass female roles, the wonderful, witty Joss Whedon brand of humor. And Angel — oh my. Aside from what happened to Joyce Summers, there wasn’t much to dislike about that show.
In 1998, my dorky high school freshman self had one goal, aside from marrying one of the Hanson brothers — to be like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This was rather problematic, though, as we had nothing in common —
I was not to be deterred, though. (And not being deterred is basically the root of all of my mishaps.) One day I was flipping through a magazine when I saw my Buffy connection: her signature black boots. Well, boots that looked like her signature black boots, anyway. Those went on my Christmas list that year, along with requests for various band t-shirts, a combination safe, and the Buffy the Vampire Slayer soundtrack. I later realized that a black leather jacket would help pull off the Buffy vibe, so I added that. I briefly considered adding a crossbow to the list, but figured that wouldn’t fly.
(For the record, I’ve since made plans to purchase a crossbow, but my husband vetoed it. He thinks it wouldn’t end well. Party pooper.)
I didn’t get the jacket (I purchased that on my own later) or the combination safe, but I did get the black boots, soundtrack, and some other stuff. I was happier than a kid on Christmas. Oh, wait! (Yeah, that was corny.) After we finished opening presents, I dashed off to my room to try on the $40 fake leather high heel boots that came up just a few inches below my knee. After I zipped them up, I stood up, looked down, and admired myself.
I know what you guys are thinking — you only wish you looked this cool in high school!
Naturally, my next step was to parade myself back to the living room and show off my boots. And this is where things got dicey.
So, in addition to not being very coordinated, I had also never worn high heels, and the heels on those boots must have been three inches. Attempting to walk in heels when you’ve never done so and aren’t coordinated results in walking like you’re drunk, and this is the sort of thing that really cramps the style of an aspiring vampire slayer.
After some stumbling around, I made it back out to the living room, showed off the boots and mentioned how much I liked them, and went back to my room, where I took off the boots and silently fumed over how much I sucked at walking. (The lack of walking abilities still causes me to fume 19 years later.) Throughout the rest of Christmas break, my routine was to put on the boots, practice walking, throw them in the back of the closet in a fit of rage, and repeat.
Considering that I still walked very much like a drunk in my boots, the smart thing to do would have been to not wear them out in public, right? Trying telling that to 15-year-old me. When the first day of school after winter break came around, I was determined to show off my boots. Much like Rudy believed in himself, I believed that somehow, if I had my chance to show off my boots, that I’d do them proud. My feet and legs and sense of equilibrium would magically come together and I would carve out my place in history.
Since we lived at the end of a really long driveway, my grandmother would drive us to the end to wait on the bus in the mornings. When she saw me stumbling in her back door, she suggested that I wear my sneakers. I insisted that I could walk just fine — a phrase I would come to repeat quite often during my rum drinking sessions as an adult — and kept them on.
When the school bus rolled up, I slung my Eastpak backpack over my shoulder and tried to walk up to the bus as smoothly as possible.
And then I had to go up the rather steep bus steps. This is where things went south:
Yep, I fell up the bus, so to speak. After I got up and got myself together, I did a short walk of shame to my seat, where I tried to ignore the snickers and guffaws, and told myself the rest of the day would go better.
It. Did. Not.
I did make it off the bus, but I stumbled all over the halls of that damn high school. Wearing those high heel boots to school is probably one of the top regrets of my life, right behind getting the same haircut of the chick with the short hair from the first season of Survivor. (Y’all, I had serious haircut issues back in the day.) At the end of the day, when it was time to go home, I made it up the bus steps without falling again, but I’m sad to say that I didn’t make it back off in the same fashion:
The boots were put back in the box. They were rather scuffed, so there was no way I could take them back, either. Over the next few years, I’d dig the box out every so often and put them on, hoping that I’d magically be able to walk in those heels, but that never happened. Eventually the box disappeared, and I assume that my grandmother must have donated them to Goodwill.
Let’s all take a moment and raise a pretend glass for my dead slayer dreams.
Who did you idolize in high school?