Anyhoo, growing up in Hawaii lends itself to many *oddities* and superstitions and run-ins with famous people. Friends, even if I tried, I'm not sure I could convince you of what my childhood was like exactly, but I will tell you that it is documented in a series of YEARLY photos (taken professionally, mind you) with my friends, that spans 6-7 years worth of unfortunate clothing choices, and ends, so awesomely, with our senior shots featuring ALL 12 OF US wearing identical black and white ties. I don't care what those pictures suggest--I was freaking cute in that tie, with my black cuffed shorts, and those velvet clog heels that made me six feet tall and a giant among Asians. How I managed to escape being chased through the Indiana cornfields, by mainlanders wielding torches, for the sin of arriving on my college campus in a Mickey Mouse t-shirt is a MYSTERY--and an OBVIOUS testament to my *amazing* personality.
This is the history of the 20-year-old that met Ol' Dirty Bastard in a Guess? Store. She was Wet Seal mixed with the Gap, and Color Me Badd confused with the Dave Mathews Band--all at the same time. Not a girl, not yet a woman, with not a single ounce of personal style or self awareness. The Internet wasn't a big *thing* yet in my world, and I had never seen the Wu Tang Clan on the top 20 video countdown on MTV, so you can understand that in my little island bubble, I had NO IDEA WHO THEY WERE.
Or... why a large group of men walking into the Guess? Store with a working boom box, pulling STACKS of clothing off the racks, was alarming. Not in a racial way--at least it didn't feel like that--but in the sense that they were bold and loud and the polar opposite of the Japanese tourists I was used to helping on a daily basis. They were attracting attention not because they were black men, but because they were blasting music in the kind of classy establishment that is credited with discovering Anna Nicole Smith. You can believe whatever you want, but Hawaii is an unusual place when it comes to race, and I don't say that in a sense that it's free of racism or prejudice, but that it exists with more of a scrappy little underdog complex that comes with a group of minorities that lives (generally) a simple sort of life in a place perceived as wealth and five stars. It has it's share of stupidity and ridiculous racial stereo-types and insecurities over what makes us different--but perceived differences are not the same in Hawaii as they are in middle America; in Hawaii it is the color of white skin that has always been the biggest threat, or fear or source of distrust, or whatever it is that tends to lead to terrible generalizations for people who don't KNOW how to separate random acts of ignorance by individuals from entire racial groups.
So. There was the initial ALARM, but also there was the enormous diamond tooth, or teeth?, that were EVERYWHERE. Singing to the boom box. Needing a bigger size in a striped polo shirt. Really, the entire men's section, which was in a smaller second-floor area, was a flurry of activity, mostly with salespeople and managers who were coming to see what the commotion was about and then being asked for 3 pairs of those long denim shorts in black, please. It was strange, and then I thought it was a joke, and then I remembered that tooth (teeth?) and I knew it was serious, because that diamond wasn't f-ing around.
And then a whisper started that they were famous, and I think a stock boy identified them as the Wu Tang Clan, which sounded reasonable without the use of iphones or the Internet in general--but he could have said it was the Indigo Girls and I might have believed him, because I had NO IDEA. And then they came to check out and that's when ODB graced me with a version of his interlude in Mariah Carey's "Fantasy" remix, which was like, totally my favorite song in 1995--and it became very obvious that I was standing before greatness with a diamond-encrusted tooth (teeth?). And then he signed a Guess? bag for me and the 15 other people working in the store that day who had no idea who they were. Minus the stock boy, who of course, pulled their identity out of his ass. And by then, they were there for what seemed like hours, because by the time they left after spending thousands of dollars, the store had been officially closed for some time.
And as an interesting note--YEARS later when Mike and I were in Hawaii for a visit, Ol' Dirty's "Got Your Money" single was played on every radio station at every second of the day. I found that totally ironic.
So that's the story of how I was, indeed, serenaded by Ol' Dirty Bastard.