So when I moved back to Trinidad from Grenada when I was 12 years old I remember experiencing a bit of a shock. In Grenada, the biggest highlight of my 11 year old weekend might have been riding my bike around my area and visiting friends. I got to Trinidad and the preteen entertainments were just multiplied with movies at Globe, bazaars and discos. Everybody insisted that the social event of tha year was Fatima's Mayfair and I was hyped for months.
Until I got to the Fatima hall that first Sunday in May and was stuck in a crush of people, many of them older and larger than I was. There was pushing and shoving and I was super uncomfortable.
Though my Nervous Nancy tendencies have intensified as I have aged, they definitely have always been there. And my instinct when I start to be uncomfortable has always been to remove myself from the situation as fast as possible. Somehow, in the age before cellphones, I called my father (did I use a Companion calling card? Did I walk to Pizza Hut and ask to use their phone? The details on this fail me) and my dad came to pick me up. And I went home.
I remember the next day in school when all my friends were recounting their hilarious stories of the evening before I was quiet. They were incredulous that I had left what they were making out to be the best event they had ever attended. I told them simply that I didn't care, because my parents were proud of me (response: blank stares and derisive laughter).
Anyway I was reminded of this experience this weekend when I got an invitation to my first Paris Fashion Week party. It was on a boat on the River Seine, and when we arrived, people were just generally milling about, looking cool, trying to look uninterested in getting on board. Until the inevitable announcement was made: the boat was at capacity and they would not be letting anyone else in.
Automatically the scene became like the opposite of Titanic. People, most of them men, began thronging the entrance forgetting about looking cool. There was pushing and shoving and mashing of feet. A dude tried to jump on the boat. Nervous Nancy kicked in hard. I extricated myself from the line/crowd (at which point I happened to glance through a boat porthole. Capacity my ass! The dance floor was spacey!!) and within 25 minutes I was on the Metro back home.
For most students interested in fashion, an invitation to a real high-end brand's fashion show is not to be passed up. For me, my personal comfort level is of paramount importance and if I'm not comfortable I have to get the hell out of there, regardless if it's the coolest event ever. I don't need to be considered one of the beautiful people by all these randoms. I can be beautiful at home in my bed (true Cancer business). I may miss some things out, but to me an uncomfortsble experience is not an enriching one. Add that to the fact that I've been clubbing and partying since I was 14 years old, there's really no party that's super important to go to. Anywhere.
It was kind of cool for me to realize i still have some of the admirable traits I did in childhood.
Kathryn Nurse: still not a sheep in 2013.