Who Am I This Time

by Sasha Stone

As I tool around Van Nuys, a smog-sullied hellhole in Southern California, I have become only one person: The Dude

It's not often that the fashion statement of a particular character captivates me so. Before The Dude possessed what remains of my soul, I can remember dressing like Annie Hall, and even briefly like the weird girl in Frantic, or trying to. It's hard to find a good short black leather skirt these days. But now I've shucked my leather and frumpy chic for Lebowski-wear. This is, after all, how anybody who's anybody dresses in SoCal.  

The flip-flops, the baggy surfer shorts, the long hair, man. No matter how you slice it, The Dude wrote the book on cool. So here I go, ready to be cool. Today, for example, I'm wearing cotton cut-offs and a baggy Mike Piazza (former Dodger) t-shirt. Slip on the flip-flops and I'm ready for anything. What I'm trying to communicate, man, is that The Dude is all about comfort. Vanity no more. Does it flatter the hips? Who cares! Will it make me look fat? Who cares! Just pour me a White Russian and pass me a bowling ball. 

The Dude has revolutionized fashion for this single mother living in Van Nuys (aka: the pitt of hell). Since having a baby, I haven't cared too much what I look like to the outside world. How sad. My little girls, however, she dresses more like Maude would if Maude wore real clothes. In other words, to the nines. But me? I dress like, and am for the most part, The Dude. 

Being able to dress like The Dude has given me more time to do other things, like enjoy life. If I'm not worried about what I'm wearing, and whether or not it's flattering, hip, pathetic, scary, sexy, unique, funky, cute, or (gasp) trendy, then I can just coast through life, which, according to The Dude, is the whole point.  

So if you're ever feeling like you can't keep up with current fashion trends, or even stand to look at yourself in the mirror, or if post-partum d's are getting you down, grab a bathrobe, some flip flops, some baggy shorts, don't brush your hair, get some funky sunglasses and you will have a slightly better day. I promise. And don't forget to buy that rug to tie the room together.

Sasha Stone

The Dude

CineScene July,1999