I overheard a girl’s voice:
“That is just SO unattractive!”
Shit! Have I been busted?
Never-ever in my life, had I ventured outside in a pair of pj’s. But this pair of sweats, that had previously been purchased in the sleepwear department of H&M, had somehow seemed to be a perfect choice for the recent change in the weather. They were that pretty color of a Siberian cat’s fur — bluish-gray and fluffy — and so fucking cozy, the rainy Saturday morning had insisted on calling them out of my closet. Plus they fit over my knee-high Uggs without any bulky stretch in the material. And I kept thinking no one would be able to tell the primary purpose of this attire, so I left the house.
I remembered wearing these sweats on a run once.
“Are those Cossack pants?” my running partner evaluated my look before we hit the ground running.
He himself was wearing a pair of black, shiny tights with zippers at his ankles, which I’m pretty sure belonged to the women’s portion of a Lululemon store that he had raided a week before.
“Do you know any other guy who could pull these off?” my running buddy had puffed himself up, after berating my attire.
I didn’t want to break it to him. We were about to run through West Hollywood, so anything went.
“Are you gonna use these as sails?” he turned the attention back to me. “Just to pick up some speed, or something?”
These men, who make us, women, feel like we don’t measure up to their standards: Why do they find it humane, or even appropriate, to express their opinions out loud?
I was proud of my pants though, and I have pleasantly rediscovered them this fall. When someone mentioned we were expecting a rainy weekend, I had already been wearing these things around the house for a week. And on this rainy Saturday, they were finally being taken outside.
It was a perfect San Franciscan morning. The street — with cute boutiques and family-owned restaurants; a deli with excellent (although overpriced) food; a used bookstore and a funky newsstand on the corner — was paved with a wet and shimmering asphalt. A few sleepy humans came out into the rain to smell the newly rinsed city and its rarely smog-less air. Two pale young men from a Noah Baumbach future cast were the only ones sitting on the patio and mellowly watching the traffic of shiny, rinsed cars. Tiny drops of drizzle were tangled up in the tips of their overgrown hair. They looked like dandelion heads.
The owner of a health store I never visited before was sliding open the rusty gate. A pretty brunette in rubber rain boots, she, too, looked mellow and somewhat tired.
“Good morn!” she said, sounding like a girl who would never outgrow her college-day quirkiness. “Love your pants!”
“Thank god for Zooey Deschanel,” I thought, “for paving the road for us, smart girls.”
“Aren’t they perfect?!” I responded cheerfully. (I was trying too hard — so, I self-corrected quickly.) “So fucking cozy!”
Yes, it was a perfect San Franciscan morning. Except that, I was on my street, in Hollywood.
A giant cup of steaming ginger tea, wide enough to wash my face in, began to sound perfect. I strolled down to the end of the block and stepped inside my favorite coffee joint, with Bohemia-inspired set-up and late night hours suitable for the insomniacs and dreamers.
The light was mellow, streaming down from mismatching lamps, through vintage lampshades and colored lightbulbs. A mirror ball was slowly spinning in the corner. A feline female voice was meowing over the speakers.
“Bjork?” I guessed.
That’s when I overheard the girl:
“I mean: That is just SO unattractive!”
The male barista, who leaned against the counter to listen to the venting female customer, greeted me with a nod.
“Do you know what you’d like?”
“Um? Do you have any ginger tea?” I said.
“Don’t think so,” he said. “But lemme check.”
Carefully, from behind my icicle locks of wet hair, I snuck a peak at the girl: She was pretty and petite. A cute brunette in an oversized, Flashdance inspired sweater slipping off her naked shoulder, she leaned her body into the bar and arched her back. The thong, that her position had revealed above her jeans’ belt, seemed pre-staged. Her hair was messy, wavy, almost nappy, a la Sienna Miller, in her hipster self. Her jewelry was so H&M: giant rings and layered necklaces! She was consumed with scrolling text messages with a single thumb on her Blackberry’s screen.
“Yeah. I don’t think this is about me,” I thought.
The mellow barista returned:
“I don’t have any ginger tea. But I have tea — with ginger?” He linger.
“That’ll do!” I said.
Our transaction was over. The girl returned to venting:
“I mean, just look at this one! How can he be texting me such things?
She brushed her sharp nails through the nappy hair and handed over the Blackberry. She seemed distraught, although slightly showy.
Another lovely girl’s breath wasted. Another stab at her esteem.