My love for Lady Gaga was a long time coming. I mean, "Poker Face" is catchy, and I will sing it at karaoke/while playing rock band any time because I always want to yell, "I'M BLUFFIN' WITH MY MUFFIN," but, after hearing her first two albums, I wasn't thrilled, and I felt like the largeness of her character didn't match the trendy, dancey pop tunes she kept releasing. That and she just seemed to take herself so seriously. But even though she wasn't my fave, my darling Heather's love for Gaga kept me tuned in to her goings on. I saw her in concert last July, and she was pretty incredible. I mean, that woman can sing, and she can dance. And the spectacle of it all... it really was breathtaking.
Then she released "Born this Way" as a single, which I still cannot listen to without smiling like an idiot. I bought the album for 99 cents on amazon the day it was released, but, due to my devotion to indie rock music, didn't really listen to it much. I think I was on a Black Keys kick when the album came out and was feeling particularly devoted to the grunting of Dan Auerbach.
Then she made a guest appearance on SNL in the Justin Timberlake and Andy Sambourg video, "It's not Gay if it's a Three-Way," and she, finally and forever, won me over.
Well that and the fact that, though she is actually quite a tiny woman, with the help of some big hats, huge shoes, frequent nudity, colorful wigs, overtly sexual dance moves and, apparently, a sense of humor, she is, in the truest sense of the phrase, larger than life.
When I was in college I decided to be an opera singer because I thought I was too fat to sing on Broadway, and the opera world was (at the time) kinder to the fat folk. Opera is huge in every way. Your lover doesn't love you? Sing as loud and high as you can. Your lover loves someone else? Kill him. You and your lover can't be together? Kill yourself. The grandness, the melodrama--it fit me to a T. We all know I have lots of Feelings, duh. But sometimes I wonder if my jokes about the sheer immensity of my feelings undermine how serious they feel in my body. Like when I want a man (like REALLY want him) it feels like my whole body is caught up in the wanting: the flush in my cheeks and chest, the sleeplessness. It's like there isn't anything else in the world but the wanting. It's terrifying and kind of wonderful. Or when I think about my parents dying: my breath stops. Tears spring to my eyes instantly and I think, "How can I live if they aren't in the world?" It's almost humorous. I mean, how can anyone really function having those types of feelings right on the surface? But that's why we have opera, and that's why we have Lady Gaga.
I saw her on the cover of Vanity Fair today while in CVS, and all I could think was, "I want that hat."
I mean, come on. That hat is AMAZING. The hugeness, the wave of the fabric, the boldness of the red. It takes my breath away a little. I look at it and I think, "I am that hat." And as I write this I am crying. I am crying about Lady Gaga's red fucking hat.
My whole life I felt loud and huge and ridiculous. I just wanted to be smaller, quieter. I wanted to take up less space in the world. I wanted to be the kind of girl boys wanted to date, the girl who was a shell into which a man would insert his desire (*SNAP*).
Last night I had a dream about a man I loved once. He was a quiet man; he drove a shiny car and shopped at J. Crew. He drank beer and went to a gym and had a crush on a girl at a coffee shop we used to frequent who was sweet and quiet and tiny. During the time I loved him, and he did not love me, I always felt so angry at my body for being too big, at my voice for being too loud, at my feelings for being too complicated. I thought that because I was not the kind of woman he wanted no man would ever want me. I share this because, as a result of the dream, all day I felt like my heart, my debt, my needs... it was all just too much.
And then I saw that picture, and I thought, "I am that huge, fucking ridiculous, fucking awesome red hat."
And then I may or may not have put my paws up.