Adam went up north for the weekend to play basketball and do their fantasy football draft. I wasnít expecting to feel so lonely.

Earlier in the week, I started feeling a bit depressed because one of the cats has been losing an unusual amount of hair and weight. She just went to the vet for her six month checkup a couple of weeks ago, and all of her tests came back normal. Weíve been discussing with the vet whether or not to bring her back for another exam or just take her straight to get an ultrasound.

So, the timing for being alone for the weekend isnít the best. It was unexpected, though. Being alone has rarely ever bothered me before. I guess Iíve grown accustomed to not being alone.

Normally, on a day like today, when I have a day off, and no one is underfoot, I take the opportunity to clean the house. This morning, I cleaned the kitchen, and I played a DVD of Frasier, so I wouldnít feel alone. I tidied up the living room a tiny bit, then looked around and said, ďScrew the rest, weíll clean it Monday.Ē Iíll still be off and Adam will be home.

When I got hungry, rather than making lunch at home, I decided to go to a vegan cafť. Adam doesnít like it there. Itís a weird place. Itís owned and operated by a Chinese immigrant family, and they have a giant flat screen TV, where they play religious vegan propaganda.

Anyway, I didnít feel like having a lonely meal at home, so I took my kindle and went. It turns out that they recently hired a white guy. He was clearly new to waiting tables, and he seemed totally unnerved by me. He refilled my water glass every five seconds, and nervously asked me how I was doing and if I needed anything else. After my dismissals, heíd go stand behind the counter and stare at me.

I forgot what itís like to be a lone woman out in public. No wonder that I used to think I was the coolest thing since Velcro. What else would a woman conclude? Other than, men are lonely and desperate creatures? Maybe thatís it. They are.

Eventually, the lady who seemed to be acting as the manager, gave him some tasks to do, and started waiting on me, herself. After which, I was able to get through a couple of chapters in my book.

I know it sounds strange that I wanted to be out and among people, but I didnít want to interact with any of them. Perhaps it just goes back to my urbanite nature. Thereís nothing more comforting to me than being in the center of human activity while still maintaining privacy and anonymity.

Afterwards, I wanted to go for a walk, but I didnít feel like driving anywhere, so I just walked around the city. I did some people watching. I forgot that itís Labor Day weekend. The tourists were out in full force.

I know that this is probably totally useless information to anyone reading my entry, but I feel like nattering on about my observations.

There are people out there who donít want to look like tourists. Maybe itís because tourists are seen as uncool or something, Iím not really sure.

I bet the best way to actually be mistaken for a native in any American city is to wear yoga clothes. I donít mean clothes that you might wear to yoga, I mean, clothes made for yoga. I definitely donít mean clothes that could also be worn for doing yard work. People in cities donít have lawns, but they do have yoga studios.

You wouldnít wear a baggy shirt to yoga, anyway, at least not twice. The first time you turn upside-down, youíll quickly figure out why it was a bad, bad idea.

If you donít want to go so far as wearing an actual disguise, but you donít want to stick out, either, there are plenty of other things you can do. For one, donít wear crocs. Honestly, you shouldnít even be wearing crocs at home, either. Even if itís for the dogs sake. Heís got eyes, too, right?

I canít speak for all cities in the US, but I think if youíre coming up to the northeast, do not dress like youíre going to a wedding or a hoe-down. In NYC, Iíve seen people dress up in an effort to fit in, thinking that New Yorkers spend their Saturday afternoons dressed to the nineís. New York is actually a very casual place, as is Philadelphia. Itís just that they are stylishly casual places.

You donít have to spend a ton of money to be stylish. People spend mini-fortunes to buy rags from that slithering cretin at American Apparel. You can get better looking, higher quality clothes for a fraction of the priceÖ just about anywhere else.

My coworker is getting married next month, and she might have some relatives-to-be coming in from some rural place. They are considering not going because they donít have anything to wear. Sheís told them that while she does expect them to dress nicely, she doesnít expect them to run out and buy expensive dress clothes, either. Theyíre still hesitant to come, which has been frustrating for her. I think it is a common misconception that being dressed well means being dressed expensively.

Perhaps thatís due to the entertainment industry. Itís always showing city dwellers in expensive clothes and cars, and living in apartments that only the richest people can afford.

Another way to travel inconspicuously, is to look like a student. This would probably work any place in the world. Every city has student travelers. They are so commonly seen, they are practically natives everywhere. Plus, if youíre a student, itís totally acceptable to look bewildered and penniless.

Empty nesters will be nice to you. I canít count the number of times that as a lone student, Iíve had nice older people engage me in a friendly chat. They offer me maps, directions and suggestions, and mention their kids or even grandkids (who are older than me, now).

Thereís something about a student that tugs at the heart strings of people who have grown kids. They are drawn to the weak wings and small feathers, maybe hoping that someone else did the same for their kids, when they were students (because they probably werenít on speaking terms, at the time, anyway). The only caveat here is that you canít be engaging in some activity that would break the heart of a loving parent, if he/she knew what you were doing. Nerdy is good, in this case.

Iím not advocating that people not be themselves when they should be relaxing and having fun. Iím just talking, really.

Iíve been a single woman traveling alone, so of course, Iíve thought about these things. Itís a matter of safety to look like I am well-acquainted with the local martial arts community, and I know how to call upon a band of roving local ninjaís at a moments notice.

*SIGH* Iím going to a Labor Day potluck tomorrow, and I think Iíll make some vegan cupcakes tonight. Itís cool enough out to use the oven, I think.

0 comments so far

Saturday, Sept. 03, 2011 at 4:08 PM