are you out there in all that sunshine, waiting to derail?

Hmmmm, manipulative? Interesting…(via her and her).

I'm prayer Madonna, who are you? Madonna Quiz by Turi.

I used to absolutely worship Madonna (Now I just sort of relatively worship her). The infatuation started the summer before my freshman year when I first saw Madonna’s video for “Borderline” (still my favorite Madonna video, by far). I had heard her on the radio before – when the “Holiday” single first hit the air waves) but when I saw her – that tousled blonde hair, the pouty look, the chic ragamuffin clothes and layers upon layers of jewelry (Rubber bracelets! Crucifixes! Multiple dangling earrings!) I was hooked.

I bought her first record and plotted to take it with me on the first day of school.

I mean, how cool would that be? Me toting Madonna’s self-titled album – while chicly dressed in my own lacy skirt, tights and excessive accessories?

I was sure to impress the J.D. Twins – junior high’s most popular girls (who just happened to be identical twins) – right?

Yeah, right, I was a one girl geekfest – which was only emphasized by the fact that the J.D. Twins had shed their pop music fancies (bye bye Duran Duran!) for the likes of the Clash and English Beat.

They’d also shed their popular status, as well.

From kindergarten through the eighth grade the J.D. Twins were at the top of the popular hierarchy. They were the trendsetters. Anything they did, others tried to emulate. They were worshiped. Copied. Studied. They were the Mary-Kate and Ashley of their day.

I only first met them in the eighth grade when I moved to California -the only words they spoke to me the entire eighth grade year were “Get out of my way”. (Spoken in unison because I was blocking their locker).

The next year, however, the year I lugged my Madonna album to school (I still have this album by the way – tattered around the edges, the vinyl grooves deeply worn from excessive spinning), they had morphed into (almost) completely different people – and lost their coterie of hangers-on.

Dressed in Levi’s (not yet fashionable in our Guess and Esprit-obsessed school), rock t-shirts and trench coats – their honey blonde hair shaved in the back and hanging rebelliously in their eyes - they were now shunned by the popular crowd that was still reading 17 Magazine.

I think the J.D. Twins change may have had something to do with the death of their mother – from breast cancer – the year before. Or perhaps it was just a shift in hormones. Probably a combination of the two.

Either way, they didn’t seem to care about their new status at the bottom of the popularity pecking order. They remained surly and beautiful and ahead of their time. Sometimes they dressed all in black. They created art. They wrote poetry.

I still have a poem that one of them wrote for an English class we shared.

And now when they spoke to me – usually separately – it was about music. We didn't hang out - mostly they seemed to keep to themselves: a unit of two - but they were certainly friendlier than they had been the year before.

Have you heard this band? asked J.D. #1, pulling out a copy of an English Beat record as we sat in front of the school waiting for the bus.

I hadn’t. But I soon did.

I hung onto my Madonna obsession, but through (I will freely admit now) my occasional freshman year brushes with the JD Twins, I started exploring different sounds. And when my radio tuner found itself left-of-the-dial one day – positioned on a college station – I plunged deeply and whole-heartedly into the world of the Smiths, Cocteau Twins, REM, U2, the Clash and the Sex Pistols.

Somewhere between the first day of my freshman year and the last day I realized that high school was pretty different from junior high school. Sure there was a still popular crowd, but they were infinitely less important, influential or interesting as they used to be.

If anything they were an amusing study in cultural anthropology - look at that pack of kids all wearing their designer uniforms.

Nobody really cared about impressing - or becoming a part of - their group anymore.

For me, the J.D. Twins played a part in understanding the difference between following the crowd and being yourself. Yes, I still emulated them to a degree -but less and less as the year went by and I started to form my own tastes, identity and confidence. (At least as much confidence as a 15-year-old girl can have).

The J.D. Twins moved away the next year. I don’t remember where they moved to or what happened to them.

An internet search on their names turns up nothing.

Surely, they are out there somewhere – still sullenly beautiful and eternally cool?

12:36 pm - 08.21.02

sounds: the Flipsides - Clever One
words: Trial by Shame
i am: still a Madonna fan...


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