When I was small, I realized a very important facet of my station as a fully-dependent human child: I was not the master of my own fate. My eating, sleeping, bathing times and locations were entirely regulated, along with the clothes I wore, the foods I ate, and the people with whom I was allowed to visit. I was basically a tiny prisoner in some posh minimum-security facility, like a diminutive swanky corporate tax evader or miniature ponzi schemer.
Nobody told me this: I just figured it out. After all, the evidence was overwhelming. For instance, I had no desire to clad my lower half in rust-brown Toughskins pants with knees so reinforced they made me look like an elementary-school robot made of corduroy.
And turtlenecks. Fucking turtlenecks. Every kid wearing a turtleneck looks like they’re being Raleigh St. Clair for Halloween, and no kid is ever being Raleigh St. Clair for Halloween, and do you know why? Because no kid has ever heard of Raleigh St. Clair. Additionally, for the whole day, it feels like maybe you are coming down with a sore throat — a sort of gentle squeezing all day long (or, as the brilliant and departed comedian Mitch Hedberg said, “like you’re being choked by a really weak guy”). I did not choose and would not have chosen that ensemble. I wanted to wear flouncy dresses and sparkly cowboy boots. Sadly, my father had determined that dressing like a Barbie would make my brain stop growing, so really, the Toughskins were for my own protection.