Monday, May 28, 2012

Short Story: the Hepburn-Islam mashup

Katharine Hepburn makes everything look classy.
Hell, she's using a saucer in the CAR.
I have begun blogging these short stories because my BFF is moving away; an  explanation is here  


It's been raining a lot in Ottawa. I've been looking for my umbrella around the house but it's just not showing up. In my teens, I never carried an umbrella because I felt they were hazardous eye-poking devices, and I hated the awkward social courtesy expected when walking with an umbrella-less friend: how I'm supposed to squeeze our heads under that tiny shelter, without poking out anyone's eye, I don't know. But now that I'm older and no longer sporting the 'Corey Hart wet look' hairstyle that was pretty much rain-proof, I'm ready for an umbrella. The risk of eyeball injury is apparently less distressing than walking around with flattened hair all day.

Nonetheless, the single dollar store umbrella we used to own seems to have wandered off (Mary Poppins, I presume, is behind it), and so this week I attempted to pull off the Katharine Hepburn in-a-convertible look: I took one of my big shawl-shaped scarves, draped it over my head, swished it around my neck, and strode out of the house. 

It worked for keeping off the rain, but as the bus stopped in front of me and I got a good look at myself, I realized I looked nothing like Ms Hepburn. With a particularly modest floor-length skirt on today, plus my also modest long rainproof coat, I looked eerily similar to the Muslim women I used to counsel in my old job. In fact, I know this is how I looked because when I got on the bus, the driver and passengers, now familiar with me after weeks of travel together, looked at me with raised eyebrows, as if to say, 'Well that was a quick change in your life journey, considering yesterday, you were wearing an outfit similar to Britney spears circa 'hit me baby one more time'.'


Adding to my absurdity, I got to work and one of my workplace rituals played out, as it does every morning: the keypad molestation. Every day I get to work and realize my magnetic key card is in a pocket or bag on my person, but I'm unsure of location. Our keypads are fairly sensitive, so I can usually get it to acknowledge my card through a couple layers of fabric. So instead of dropping all my bags and my coffee, I begin rubbing various pockets up against the keypad. The result is that I appear to be giving the keypad some sort of vertical lap dance, rubbing my hips, butt, and boobs up against it. Somewhere along the way, the keypad will decide I've been demeaned enough, and it will happily beep me through. But I guarantee you, this is only after several VIP's have walked by me, and maybe a tour group or two.

I'm learning to accept that the only time anyone is going to mistake me at work for a cast member of Sex In The City is if the show comes back and does an episode where Carrie converts to Islam, loses her mind, and starts rubbing herself all over walls.

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