(I’m looking for “polo”)

It’s always weird to start a new thing. I say this mainly because it seems like we are all perpetually in the middle of something. Does anyone ever really think about all the right things in the beginning? How many times do we carry on with our lives and then look back and realize, we should have written a journal or taken more photos to help us remember? I think, best-case scenario, we consider actions in the beginning, but we talk ourselves out of it. We try to devalue the moment. Or, if you’re weird like me, we think we will jinx it.

So, against my (self-proclaimed) better judgment, I’m just going to dive right in, in the middle of everything I’ve started. Yes. I should have started this years ago. At best, I should have started this when I started writing. But you know what? I’m on the train now. So let’s do the damn thing.

This blog will be (possibly) unfortunately unpredictable, but (hopefully) satisfyingly fresh. I’m going to try not to dwell on catching you up. We’re not gonna waste time back tracking. I hate back tracking. I’m going to start with a story about where I am now.

Currently, I work for…(actually, maybe I can’t say who I work for?)… I stock and organize chips in the grocery store. Trust me, it’s awesome. I put an audio book on, my headphones in and I just zone out while I make those chips look fantastic for you to come fuck up. During a normal day, I speak to very few people. Sometimes I’m asked to work other stores, and while most stores are in general all the same, there’s still quite a few moments of me wandering around looking for back-stock, looking for different flavors of chips on the shelves-that kind of boring stuff. But my point is, I’m very much in my head during the whole job. I don’t think I look approachable but alas, there are always people who don’t see headphones, or don’t care. And now I’m going to talk about those people.

One of my more recent experiences, involves a young lady in a really small grocery store. I would guess she was in her early 20s. And I say that, because I feel like she’s at least a decade younger than me. I feel like that’s about a generation, right? Anyways, she approached me despite my headphones, so I took them out. I, of course, missed the first half of whatever she said and politely asked her to repeat it. She proceeded to asked me if the other young girl who worked there had approached me. Now, full closure, I don’t pay attention to people, whether they are patrons or employees. So my first thought was, what other girl? I decided that would be rude so I kindly told the girl, no, she had not. She then proceeded to tell me that the girl had wanted my number.

Now, I will tell you what I told her, but I will also tell you what I thought and did not say aloud.

I told her, “No, no one had approached me. But if she wanted to, she could inform the girl that I was married but flattered.”

OK, I lied. I’m going to give you a little backstory. I just recently cut my hair. Pretty short. Like, me and my husband have the same haircut. We even have similar curly hair. Mines very thin, and his is very thick, with a little bit of salt and pepper for both of us. I have a relatively average body frame, both in height and weight. As for the features that make me feminine or masculine, I’m probably biased. I think I look feminine. I understand I am not Pamela Anderson or Dolly Parton, and I apologize those are the examples I use, but I was also brought up by a very sexist, generational, man’s-man for a father. Women looked pretty, and men got dirty. I’ve always thought I looked like my mom- a svelte, ageless goddess- but I was called a tomboy. To this day, I still don’t know what that means. I assume it meants that I’m not lady like and I’m not scared of things like spiders. I digress. Despite acknowledging that I’m willing and enthusiastic about things my father always thought was man’s work, I feel feminine. I wear dresses, and while I’m not any good at it, I wear make up and fix my hair (sometimes.) I buy tons of floral and pink things…

And that brings me to the relevant part of the story. I was very intrigued that both of these young girls have seen me come into the store, straighten chip bags, pull down boxes of new bags, make laps around the store, etc. and had both decided that I must be a lesbian, or at least bisexual.

Real quick, I know that I’m guilty of making judgment calls on someone’s appearance, but I still hold a seed of doubt every where I go (it gets watered well.) I’m always too scared to confidently assume anyone is a [insert identity.] I was so put off, that they seemed so sure that I was a lesbian, and would be available. It wasn’t that I was offended. Believe me when I say, I don’t care what people think I am. I am just always very curious when they confidently come to a conclusion, especially when it’s far (ish) from the truth. I can’t even claim it’s far from the truth. That’s how much I’m attached to uncertainty. I would tell you I’m heterosexual but that’s only because I’m with a man, and have never been with a woman. But I hold no aversion to being with a woman. The thought comes as naturally to me as the thought of being with my husband. So that being said, I feel like I’m heterosexual by, firstly, a lack of experience and secondly, a lack of opportunity.

I guess this is really about identity. I think I struggle with my own identity. And when someone else makes an assumption about my identity, I am so curious about what they see to be so sure of themselves (about me.) Like, will you share your notes with me?

And that leads me to my next story.

This weekend I volunteered to work bigger stores in a bigger city. Which mostly means I was around a lot more patrons, I moved a lot more chips, I walked a lot further, etc. and in the process of getting a full cart of chips out of the depths of the back of a Kroger marketplace, I was stopped by an older man (I would like to add that we’re all in masks.) He proceeded to compliment me on “working hard” and if he had a chance he would tell someone to give me a raise. As I said before, I had headphones in. I recognized that he was complementing me but for the most part, I just thanked him and kept moving forward. About 30 minutes later, he actually tracked me down, and he whistled at me. Not like a cat call, but more like a ‘hey I want your attention’ whistle. I tried to pretend I didn’t hear it (headphones were in) but he persisted. He wanted to tell me how much he appreciated how hard I was working, again. He then complained about how the younger generation was lazy and it was so good to see me working so hard. I thanked him and I nodded and I smiled, not knowing what to say because all I could think was, that if I could not work, I would not work. I’m not one of those people who find glory in wasting away “working hard.” If anything, I work quick- which looks like working hard- because I want to leave. But anyways, he doesn’t end there. He then tells me about trying to hire a young 22-year-old boy who didn’t know how to do something with a hose (idk?) I don’t remember, because I didn’t know how to do it either but while he was speaking, I suddenly suspected he thought I was a boy around the age of 22.

Here we have another situation where I am mistaken for someone I am not. I consider myself young middle-aged-esque. I will be 32. However, I don’t get too caught up on correcting people, because I also don’t like to make assumptions. Like, what if he didn’t think I was a boy, but was just talking to me about boys? Maybe he was just commenting on how it’s nice to see me (a girl) work hard because he doesn’t see boys work hard? I mean, there are still some itchy issues at play here, but the point is, I couldn’t even bring my self to make an assumption about his sentence, much less his identity. The only thing I knew, was this old man really like watching people work hard…And that doesn’t make me feel any better.

So, all this to say, I don’t know who the fuck you think I am or will be but I’m intensely curious to know what you come up with.

Keep up with me and my antics.


Leave a Reply