There are purple people chanting beneath my office windows.

It’s orientation week at the university where I work.  They are VERY spirited about their orientation activities–so much so, that a contingent of the student population dyes themselves purple and puts some sort of glue in their hair and pastes it into amazing (and colourful) sculptures for the entire week of orientation.  They also race around campus chanting stuff at each other–in gaelic, no less.

Purple People

[Photo credit: Kingston This Week]

The chanting eventually dies down, but after frosh week is over, the memories last until November because glue of the sort that creates these kinds of rain/tornado/sleep-proof dos, doesn’t tend to just…wash out.  As a result, I conduct many career counselling appointments, during September and October, with a bald student who has remnants of purple left behind his/her ears.

It’s a look.

It amuses me, because I think teenagers are great.

Possibly because I am so very, very grateful not to be one anymore.

I wasn’t involved in such radical orientation rituals as the purple people, but, growing up, I had a look on the first day of school too.

To begin with, I was usually sweating buckets as I headed off with my lunch bag to school because:

a) I really loved school (especially new textbooks and chalkboards)

b)  I also really didn’t love school (new kids and gym class)


c) I had inevitably successfully begged to wear the new fall outfit my mother had bought for me.

For her, the approach of autumn seemed to be synonymous with corduroy so I usually had a very ’70s fetching corduroy ensemble calling my name on the day after Labour Day.   However, my mother always spent the bulk of breakfast on the first day of school trying to talk me out of wearing my snazzy new clothes.

Y’know, because it was generally around 25 degrees Celcius/80 degrees Fahrenheit outside.

Oh sure, I had been wearing shorts and running through the sprinkler all Labour Day weekend but come 7:12 a.m. on the first day of school, it was head-to-toe corduroy for me.

And possibly a co-ordinating turtleneck.

I was determined.  I mean, what’s the point of wearing a new outfit on the 37th day of school, when there’s actually a nip in the air appropriate to corduroy?  October is far too late for the unveiling of new and year-defining togs.  Everyone knows:  the time for new outfits is on THE FIRST DAY of school.

So, off I went, every year.  Sweating, sweating, sweating.

In grade seven, I added another layer of loveliness to my stunning back-to-school fashion regime.

I insisted on curling my own tresses with my mother’s curling iron.

That year, my back-to-school outfit was corduroy. braces, gigantic glasses, sweat and burnt hair.

It’s a look.

[I’d love to hear about yours.]

Copyright Christine Fader, 2013.  Did you enjoy this post from A Vintage Life?    Share on Facebook       Tweet         You might also like my latest book.