While at Starbucks (yes, Starbucks; they have wireless net and chai lattes, ok?), there was a pair of early-20ish girls (maybe late teens) who were 'whispering' to each other, dutifully trying to guess the sexual preferences of everyone in the store, up to and including the trio of Asian Grandmothers in the corner (more on them later). I was declared a 'scary goth bi geek chick' and the first thing that went through my head was, "Does this mean I get to sit on the menacing couch?" (So, does it, ardaniel, jehanna, lizzielizzie, and palegreyminion?) (The speculators also declared two of the three Asian Grandmothers to be 'straight as a pin, as dictated by their culture' (!?) but that the third was a closet lesbian.)
And about those Asian Grandmothers, it took me a minute to realize something was up. I paused to listen, and realized that while the two talkative ones were Japanese, and were speaking in Japanese, they were ... speaking of web development. "Blah blah blah echi-chi-emu-eru blah blah blah shi-gee-eye." Um. Ok. Then, it got really head hurty. The third Asian Grandmother finally piped up... in Chinese. The other two listened, and responded, in Japanese. Ow.
At this point, I got my second chai latte (on the house, courtesy of the cute coffee chixor), and decided that it was time to flee for the evening, only slightly spurred on by the fact that, oh, they were closing. I had CDs I wanted to go search out, and since Tower is between Starbucks and home, this seemed as likely a choice as any.
I drove to the Tower, and parked my car, which is a much more difficult proposition these days during the later hours since they've opened the 24-hour Shoppers Food Warehouse. But, I got parked, and started walking up to the store when I realized that I had (duh) forgotten my wallet in the car, so I went back to the car. There was an elderly couple getting out of the car parked next to me, with what I am assuming to be their granddaughter. Upon seeing me, the grandmother got very rushed, and hustled her granddaughter away, stage whispering that, "You have to be careful around here these days. That music store brought all sort of unsavory elements to the area, like this girl!"
Now, look. This is the second time in the evening that I was deemed frightening and somehow odd, so once I got into the Tower, I went to the bathroom to make sure that I hadn't accidentally put on any Elvira, Mistress of the Dark makeup, or had blood running down my chin or anything. Taking stock, I saw: an admittedly overweight Asian chick with grey flannel slacks, a white button-down shirt, a black v-neck sweater, grey tights, and black loafers. Ok, hair's dyed red, and ears have a few more holes in them than many people have, but neither of those things are horribly weird. None of the tattoos are visible. I'm wearing a plain silver watch. I'm carrying a plain black leather handbag (Nine West, for those who know such things, so it's not even like I had a Goth Bag Of Doom or something). Glasses. Hell, I was driving an Audi. I mean, all in all, this was a fairly preppy getup, gathered entirely on the highly important metric of "what's clean and comfortable and at hand in the 3 minutes I took to throw clothes upon my body."
I don't get it.
I even managed to elicit odd responses from the clerk at Tower, though not from my appearance. Apparently, they aren't used to folks crossing genres while shopping there, and my choices seemed to perplex the cashier. (Joy Division, Husker Du, Johnny Cash, India Arie, Lisa Loeb, Audioslave, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters, Kitaro, Sugar, and two DVDs (Showgirls (Hey, it was $9.99), and An Evening With Kevin Smith).) I didn't think it was all that weird, but the cashier did a double-take, and said, "Some late Christmas shopping, huh?" "Nope. All for me." "Wow. Quite a variety." ... Ok.
On my way home, I stopped to pick up some food for dvorak, and saw some folks dancing with great delight on the sidewalks of a stripmall, and I paused to watch them, enjoying their enjoyment, and their freedom. This seemed a fitting end to the evening, and I drove off, wondering how long it would be until someone called the cops on them.
Ah, my life.