We weren’t boyfriend and girlfriend. We didn’t even really date. To be cheeky, after our disaster, I used to call him my “ex-nothing.”
First I saw him around, and then we drank and slept together, and then we talked and went out to dinner, then we slept together, and then one night he slept in my bed but wouldn’t touch me, then I wrote him a long letter, then we didn’t talk, then we talked and slept together, then we didn’t talk, then we talked and kissed, then we didn’t talk. The time, adult-years of it, melts into one long string of silences and noise. I was a mess and utterly invested in him from the get-go. I would have called it love at first sight, if it had worked out at all.
But first, let’s look at “fasionista.” This word first appeared in Stephen Fried’s 1993 biography of supermodel Gia Carangi. He invented it as a way to refer to the entourage surrounding supermodels at a photo shoot. The “fashion” portion of term is obvious. Less obvious is the “-ista” part. Fried said that he stumbled upon that particular suffix while researching his 1993 book. He had been reading a lot of late ’70s and early ’80s newspapers and magazines in order to write about the life of Gia Carangi, and he kept seeing articles about Sandinistas, followers of the Nicaraguan political party.
The –ista suffix comes to English from Latin. The derived English variant of this suffix is –ist, used in words like “machinist,” “apologist,” “Darwinist,” and “novelist.” These types of words describe a person in relation to an activity, item, principle, or doctrine. The Spanish version of this suffix, –ista, became fashionable in English in the 1970s due to heavy news coverage of Latin-American revolutionary movements.
I’ve been doing a lot of work lately for people–helping with letters, essays, CVs. And I’m generally happy to help. But at the end of the day, it’s work, and so I would like to be paid. And when I shared this page on facebook, I typed and deleted “I’d love to be able to help for free…” or “Now that I’m working…”
I stopped feeling bad the second I remembered that I don’t ask anyone to work for free. Ever. I pay my friends for their art, their expertise, and their time. Because getting paid rocks. And paying your friends for their art and time and expertise rocks.
I will, however, bring something delicious to your party completely gratis. If we’re friends like that.
*Because this is The Internet, I feel compelled to point out that I’m not retroactive billing, duh.