By Sissy La Rue, classy lady
Listen: I am a classy lady. I may not always act like it or look like it or talk like it, but deep inside of me there is a core of unflappable classiness—a core that is never diminished or destroyed, even when I get drunk and sleep with exes, go to the grocery store without a bra, or say things like “right quick.”
Recently, I have taken a philanthropic interest in elevating the readers of this blog to a higher echelon of society. I’m not saying that you don’t have your classy moments; to the contrary, you pull off that little black cocktail dress pretty well. But, as my own dear mother likes to remind me every time I’m evicted from a place and have to move back in with her, there is ALWAYS room for improvement. Members of the classy elite utilize a jargon that can only be understood by people who can afford health insurance and have never had to purchase their jeans at Goodwill. The purpose of this OYIT feature is to provide a sort of Cliff Notes© to high society. Consider me a translator, wading through the flowery aristocratic lexicon of highbrow art and rephrasing it in terms that even the most dedicated Goodwill shopper can understand.
Poetry: Rap for Classy People
Nothing screams “class” like talking about poetry. Screaming about poetry screams “schizophrenia,” but talking about poetry is great, especially at cocktail parties. Below I have translated a well-known poem by respected poet Walt Whitman (the Stephen Malkmus of the mid-1800s). Internalize the meaning, even if you don’t understand the original content, and I guarantee you will be one step closer to snagging that doctor or lawyer spouse you’ve been searching for ever since you realized money doesn’t grow on trees.
Sometimes with One I Love, by Walt Whitman
SOMETIMES with one I love, I fill myself with rage, for fear I effuse unreturn’d love;
But now I think there is no unreturn’d love—the pay is certain, one way or another;
(I loved a certain person ardently, and my love was not return’d;
Yet out of that, I have written these songs.)
[Translation: Remember when you were in high school and Matt York said no when you asked him to the Sadie Hawkins’ dance? You were so embarrassed, but that night you went home and wrote beautiful poetry – or at least poetry that you thought was beautiful at the time. (Now you look back on it and it makes you cry on multiple levels.) Whitman did this very same thing, except his poetry was actually beautiful and is still very famous today amongst the upper classes. What he is saying in this particular poem is that there is no such thing as a bad breakup because the angst you feel upon being dumped motivates you to do something with your life out of spite, whether it’s writing a poem, rearranging your living room, or joining PeaceCorps. I can certainly confirm that all of my past accomplishments were simply attempts to make exes jealously wish they had never left me.]
See? That was as easy as remembering to change out of your sweatpants before leaving the house! You are well on your way to becoming a member of the upper class, or at least of the upper lower class. Join me next week for a modern interpretation of Georges Bizet’s famous and very classy opera, Carmen.