I’ve historically been pretty meh on Disney, but Brad and his family are way into it. So, having two kids and not being a monster, I’ve decided to get all the way onboard. It’s too crap to be rolling your eyes while everyone around you is awake with wonder. Alllll riiiight, I can be joyful. Let’s do this!
Anyway, in the few times we’ve been, I found my thing. Subcultures. Disneyland has a bunch of happiness-based subcultures. They are amazing, and there are too many to count. I love them so much, I feel slightly hectic about it.
Anyway, three of the most interesting subcultures are: social clubs, superfans, and “bounders.”
Folks in Disney Social Clubs often travel in packs, and wear matching jackets or vests, like a ’50s-era biker gang whose members are all about cartoons.
Some of them cover their vests in enamel pins, sort of like what you’d see at political conventions. Lots of them also have Disney tattoos.
They’re usually (always?) locals who have annual Disneyland passes. If you’re not used to large groups of people with tattoos, I should say these folks are very, very nice. Imagine the kind of adults you know who might form a club based on their affection for an anthropomorphic mouse. They’re like that.
Some people who come to the park are into Disney cosplay. Sort of like little girls who show up to Disneyland in a full Elsa costume, except grownups.
Disney technically doesn’t allow grownups or teenagers into the park if they’re in costume — which means no wigs or props, nothing too spot on. They don’t want some rando coming in dressed as a grotty Captain Hook, because he wants to take photos with little kids. And legit on that, Disney. High fives.
Superfans get around this rule by dressing “referentially.” So they can’t be mistaken for an official Disney character, but they also can’t leave the park and bite into an apple without falling unconscious. As it were.
And here’s the one that really has my heart, “Disney Bounding.” Disney Bounders make a distinction between cosplay and being Disney Bound, as outlined in this video. They are rules followers whose love of Disney is too strong for them to stop wearing costumes to the park simply because they’ve reached adulthood. Allow me to sum up:
If you’re wearing an outfit that references a Disney character, but doesn’t read as a costume outside the park — or sometimes to half the people in the park — that’s Disney Bounding. It’s actually called “Bounding,” because be cool you guys.
These costumes are a little magical to me, because the best ones take an imaginary world and express it in a tangible way.
They’re a big wink to people who know to look for it, but you can still go out into the real world afterward without being like, “I AM WHIMSICAL! ACKNOWLEDGE MY WHIMSY.” Also, no one mistakes you for a pedophile, which? Favorable side effect. You can usually tell who these people are because they’re wearing color in unusual combinations.
Interesting, eh? I’m so into it.
Anyway, would you ever wear a Disneybound outfit if you were going to a park?
Sure, you say. You can think of no reasons not to. Shhhhhhhhhh. Wear this polkadot hair bow I got you. You look real cute.
What to do if you want to collect bugs without having to kill them first.
Glass insects by Yuki Tsunoda.
We were supposed to be in North Carolina this weekend, but we monkeyed with the baby’s schedule too much the last couple of weeks, triggering an unpleasant “NO!NO!NOWAY!BURNITALLDOWN!” phase. We decided sad-little-baby and incessant-screaming air travel was not our jam.
Fortunately, our friends just returned from a year-long around the world trip and are flying in from Oregon, so this weekend we’ll demand vacation slides over hot toddies. Sunday is bacon and fried potatoes with old friends while our toddlers play adjacently. Our friend Nelson is also having a thirtieth birthday, and directing his first film this year! So we’re pretty excited for him.
Good stuff I found this week:
Are you a Creative Business Lady who should own this vintage suit with bonkers fluffy collar? Probably.
I just ordered my first month of vitamins from Care/of. They send you individualized daily packs of vitamins, and this is exciting because I take many vitamins. Collating them every day in the presence of a curious toddler is the Russian Roulette of Lysine overdose scenarios.
Good mom skill to have up your sleeve.
This Tiffany Interlocking Bangle is so ’70s Jackie Kennedy.
The Finnish have a word for getting drunk at home, alone, in your underwear. Americans call it Valentine’s Day.
Have a happy weekend! Turn your eyes from the news for a few hours, my friends.
Last July I started using my Instagram account to keep a gratitude journal. It’s really nice. Recommend.
Everyone wants to talk about how technology and social media are screwing us all up. But whatever. I think the Internet is such a good place, the funnest place!, if we’re cool about how we use it.
Anyway, I wanted to say “try this!” So I thought it would be good to start a group hashtag. Today I went back and tagged my posts #somelovely. If you already keep an Instagram gratitude journal, or you feel like playing along now, I hope you’ll add #somelovely to your posts too, so we can all get a little shot of vicarious happiness.
A few favorites from my account this year.
Lovely Things: Overdoing it on the wreath. Saying yes to every cashier who asks for a two dollar donation to anything that might make the world nicer. Hank singing in the living room, reaching for all the notes in the Moana songs.
Lovely Things: A kid who just smacks his forehead and starts over when he flubs one of his Christmas pageant lines. All the scuff marks under his classroom desk from trying to balance his chair on the back two legs. Asking if he can hold his baby brother in his lap to share class party treats.
Lovely Things: Nothing on the calendar. Floating daisies in a puddle. Changing a poopy diaper in a public restroom, only to realize you have zero fresh diapers, then making it back to the diaper stash in the car without incident.
Nice, eh? Go get yourself some good feelings. And thanks for being around.
Merriam Webster just added 1,000 new words to the dictionary. Observations:
• Ghosting someone is now an officially awful thing humans do to each other.
• Macaron wasn’t in there before? Weird.
• Microaggression (a slight, often unintended discriminatory comments or behaviors) is one of the new words that gives me hope for the future. Building a shared vocabulary for the ways racism and sexism pervade our lives shapes the way we think, which makes shit like microaggressions less crazy-making.
One of the ways I really woke up to how bad racism is in the U.S. was reading an article in Ebony magazine about how to talk to your kids about police. It was in amongst articles about skin products and travel, right there in the middle of all the regular lifestyle magazine stuff. Something about the juxtaposition really brought it home for me emotionally. I knew that talking to your kids about the police is a rote conversation in our black communities, similar to a “birds and bees” talk, but I didn’t understand it emotionally until that moment.
After that, I started going deep every time I heard about another black person hurt or killed by police. I followed all the news, educated myself whenever it happened. I was shocked, and eventually devastated, by how mundane it is. It has become necessary to scare the shit out of your very young American kids, scare them to tears, so they don’t accidentally reach for their license in the presence of an officer who then kills them because they believe the kid is reaching for a gun.
Anyway, if you’re not black and you feel confused, or like there’s something you’re missing, consider just tuning in a little more. Watch the video above, maybe subscribe to Ebony (it’s like $18), follow a dozen black people on Twitter. Don’t bug any strangers, don’t argue with anyone on social media, just listen to the conversation and feelings happening in a few of our black communities. Google stuff you don’t understand, and see what you can learn.