two girls playing dress up: white t-shirts cloaked in beige sweaters that go down to their knees that are covered in dark denim that skims their chunky loafers that teeter on the floor of the coffeehouse. “two blended mochas,” one says, dangling kate spade on one hand, waving nokia with the other. (i only know kate spade because of friends; the bag looks like any other, like many others i’ve seen at, say, target or mervyns.) wisps falling in their fresh eyes, they smile at each other. she reaches in and pulls out a crisp $20 and slips it to the young man in exchange for the drinks. they pause and take a sip, their glossed lips pressing down on the green straw, and they walk away, giggling.
it’s the the giggles that give them away. the laughter of 30-year-old women talking about men and sex and work is far different than the feverish laughter of teenage girls gossiping about the boys waiting outside the shop. you can wear the make-up, the clothes, the accessories; you can practice the walk, the talk, the hair toss; but let the corner of your mouth curl the slightest degree upward and you open yourself up to them.
thirteen going on thirty. girl, don’t do it.
wipe off your make-up. kick off your shoes. let down your hair. knock your head back and laugh with your whole body. give the phone back, put the purse in the closet, throw the coffee drink away. burn your magazines, all the magazines that tell you to be somebody else, that photoshopped girl who doesn’t exist, she will never exist, and pick up a book that speaks the truth. sit for a while, on the rooftop, dangling your bare feet over the city lights scattered beneath you like stars.