Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Waiting in line for a doctor, which takes forever, is reading time, writing time, or when the clinic is in a mall, window-shopping time.
So I walk about, looking at display windows, with no interest whatsoever in buying anything. Then from a few meters away, it catches my eye. Amidst the shelves and shelves of rubber shoes, it beckons me, “Come closer.”
And so I do. Very quickly.
It is yellow—not mellow yellow, or ocher, or gold—just outrageously yellow.
A sales clerk says, “Ma'am, most of our rubber shoes are on sale today. That pair isn't.”
I pay no attention, take one in my hands, and caress it.
A second sales clerk comes and shows me a gray one. “You might like this.”
I ignore her.
A third sales clerk shows me two—a white pair with pale blue trim and a beige. “Ma'am, 50% off on these two.”
Seeing me riveted on my one and only choice, sales clerk one adds, “Are you buying that for someone?”
“No I wasn't going to buy, period. But now I am buying this pair!” I replied.
“For your daughter?” Two say in a duet.
“I have no daughter."
"For a . . . niece?" they continue.
A silent gasp. And a look that is properly outraged.
“And I don't care if it is on sale or not. Give me a size six please,” I say sweetly.
They look at each other and slowly turn around. One of them comes back with a pair in my size. He helps me try it on. The two others disappear.
“I'll take it,” I say.
His eyes blink and his jaw drops—the same look my sons give me when I hum a song by Justin Beiber.
People through the ages have gone through so much trouble fighting against gender bias. And now we have gender sensitive laws that lawyers take time defending in court.
It will probably take thrice longer to work against age bias. That is, if people think it is important enough to spend time on.
Well, it doesn't matter one way or the other. I paid for my outrageous yellow rubber shoes, and I will hum Justin Beiber songs, and I will root for Scotty on American Idol. And kids can be outraged all they want!
Those who know me well will laugh and say, “There's no accounting for taste.” Yeah, if I had seen this pair 30 years ago, I'd have bought it then.
Taste reminds me of grace. It defies age, gender, or logic.