Thursday, November 19, 2009

99%? Really?

There’s an old saying that goes something like this, “You learn something new everyday.” Generally I find this to be true, and today was no exception. I learned a very valuable lesson from a very wise scholar tonight.

After work I went to my local favorite clothing consignment shop. I discovered this shop about five minutes after moving to Podunk, and have been hooked ever since. What I like about this shop, aside from the low prices on clothing, is that the selection constantly varies, and because of that I have tried on and bought articles of clothing that I never would have considered had I seen them in an unused clothing store. I also like that I am recycling by reusing the clothes I buy and sell in there, and that I am supporting a local business and not some big ass corporation. So, yeah, this little shop helps me stick it to the man.

I had an appointment to sell a few things I pulled out of my closet that I don’t wear anymore. Selling clothing at a consignment shop is not a get rich quick kind of a thing. (Why do I bother? See above, sticking it to the man.) I arrived at D’s Closet at 5:30, with a few pairs of pants, jeans and tops slung over my arm. While D looked them over and picked out what she thought would sell, I browsed the racks and brought my selections into the fitting room—a corner of the shop sectioned off by a cloth shower curtain. I chatted with D, while trying my soon to be acquired items and asked D’s opinion. She’s always honest, which I love.

I brought my selections to the counter: 2 pairs of jeans, a silk blend shirt and 2 sweaters. D tallied them up, and I forked over $48.50. Just as I was turning to leave the shop, an older woman burst through the door. The bell over the door clanged to announce her arrival.

She was a tall, imposing woman. Her yellowish grey hair was fiercely pinned back with bobby pins, and sharp contrast with her frumpy wardrobe. She wore a lumpy cardigan and a shapeless peasant skirt with socks and keds—all of which matched her hair color exactly. Her heavy rimmed glasses magnified her eyes and attracted attention to the obvious fact that this woman was not playing with a full deck. Her eyes grew wide, her whites were a yellowish shade, and the color also matched her hair and clothing.

“I came in here because you’re all women in here, I needed to hide,” she explained.

“Let me tell you something,” she continued while pointing her finger at D. “99% of young American men are queer or abusers.”

At this point I bit my tongue. Normally I enjoy engaging people like this in a debate. But I held my tongue and let her finish.

“I walked here from my house, and I was verbally abused four times by men passing in cars,” she held up four fingers to emphasize the point. D and I didn’t respond, and the other customer in the store hid behind an overstuffed rack of clothing.

“I walk around here all the time, and I get these men who yell at me all the time. They are queer, and they are abusers. Nothing more than that,” she continued. If she was behind the podium she probably would have pounded her fist to add emphasis to the words “queer” and “abusers.”

“The state of the young men in this country is horrible,” she declared, then turned around and left the store as quickly as she came in.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've had mmmmkay moments like this with strangers in public before. Honestly, I treasure them. Humans are so interesting and crazyface and awesome and weird.

November 19, 2009 at 9:18 PM  
Blogger Taoist Biker said...

Wow! I'm a 1%'er! That makes me more valuable, right?

What do you mean, she said YOUNG men?!?!?!?!?

Heh. When I was in graduate school and working a public desk, we had a semi-frequent visitor who had some issues. He once walked in and asked where the meteor had hit.


"The meteor. It hit downtown someplace, do you know where?"

"No, I don't know anything about a meteor."

He paused. "This is Richmond, right?"


"Not Metropolis?"

[getting it] "No. Not Metropolis. No meteor."

"Oh. Okay." [nodding] "Okay." And he walked away.

November 20, 2009 at 8:20 AM  
Blogger BJ Knapp said...

TB and Crisitunity, I fricken LOVE people like this. I used to get them in all the time when I had the dive shop.

When I worked in Boston from 1999-2001, I used to take the T to work. Right before the 2000 New Year, there was a woman who hung out on the platform in South Station who held up a sign that said the world would end on Jan 1 2000. As I waited for the train one morning I asked her what would happen if the world didn't end. She never considered that possibility, and not too kindly let me know that I was clearly an idiot for having considered it.

I wonder where she is now.

November 20, 2009 at 10:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

She killed herself on January 2, 2000.

No, I shouldn't joke about suicide.

But it's too late, I did.

November 20, 2009 at 6:49 PM  
Blogger BJ Knapp said...

Oh no you di'nt, Crisitunity!

November 20, 2009 at 9:44 PM  

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