Thursday night my friend Sisyphus and I were hanging out at her boyfriend Prometheus’s house, watching the one show we could all agree on. By “agree on,” I mean, we sit there, eyes glued to the television, gossiping during commercials, and then shrieking at each other to shut up, just SHUT UP the minute the show comes back on.
But I have to say, folks, I didn’t enjoy the season finale of “Project Runway.” Aside from Gretchen’s sobbing every time she gets called a bitch (by April, her BFF, no less– whose weird white powdery make-up looked Elizabethan at best), there’s very little to report other than, you know, the trauma of seeing Mondo Guerra lose.
Sorry I didn’t warn you about spoilers, but this is the internet and television. Wouldn’t it be nice if in real life someone could prevent telling you that your grand-parent died with a simple “spoiler alert” disclaimer? Anyway, I digress.
Sisyphus and I were so frustrated, we started wailing, as I lobbed insults like, “Shut up, Nina Garcia. You’re Marie Claire, not Vogue! You’re Marie Claire, not Vogue!” The Michael Kors jeans I was wearing suddenly burned against my skin, and I had to resist yanking them off like a stripper with nothing left to lose.
Sisyphus was so upset she decided to yell, “It’s not fair!” And while yelling this, she decided that just to make sure it was clear how she felt, she’d kick the books on her boyfriend’s coffee table over. Not enough books fell, so she kicked harder, this time spilling a glass of water, and breaking a large candle holder. Glass glittered on his rug, and she ran for a vacuum, as I wiped the books free from water on his rug.
“It’s okay,” she said, and vacuumed, knowing her boyfriend was seething but biting his tongue. “It’s okay, see? See, we got it all up. All’s okay. Everything’s better.”
The problem was we had turned Mondo Guerra into a sort of Messiah. We were dissatisfied with our graduate level poverty in programs that didn’t appreciate us, that worked us too hard, that told us our best wasn’t good enough. And there came Gretchen in her cute-but-dull clothes, the brown palette of prints like something even your sensible grandmother would refuse. And being Team Mondo, we envisioned ourselves in a world of color, where you can survive in spite of disease and eccentricity, where you could win 100,000 dollars to start your own line in a miserable world.
There I was, agreeing with Jessica Simpson, the guest judge, of all people: sure, Gretchen’s stuff was cute, but you’d only pull one of those pieces off the rack. They were all interchangeable. But Mondo, oh you would pull piece after piece off, and wear it, and get looks when walking around town, and you wouldn’t care– because somewhere someone would look at you, sigh and say, “You are a ray of sun on a rainy day. You are the first flower in spring.”
Good luck, Gretchen. I appreciate your socially conscious and democratizing ethic, which will take you far, but all the judges saw when they looked at you was “Ooh! Ready-to-wear in an economic recession! We can work with this.” That diminishes what you do, and will mark you.
And Mondo, you are the first flower in spring.