From : scribble scribble… Address, City, Province, Postal Code… To : scribble scribble… Address, City, Province, Postal Code… Quantity, Item Description, Weight, Abandon or Return, Sender’s Signature… scribble scribble.
As I filled out the customs and postage forms, the middle-aged woman at the counter who’d been talking at me – distracting me with everything from her hereditary predisposition to macular degeneration to the time she was defrauded of her laser acupuncture franchise by another woman whom she’d given a personal loan to to buy said business right before said purchaser claimed personal and professional bankruptcy despite the fact that the 50-year-old teller “never saw it comin’” – took a moment to study me, or perhaps just notice my appearance while I leaned over on the counter to fill out the lengths of required paperwork, and she must have thought to herself that this was a particularly unusual sort of customer. Compared to the usual sorts of dregs that wash up into this Jasper Avenue pharmacy, the Links of London and King Baby dogchainsi peeking out of my moderately revealing, tailored short-sleeve Robert Graham button-up, not to mention a new Seiko day-date diver on a leather strap, slim-fitting grey Uniqlo jeans held up by a Hoffnung Berlin belt, well-worn Prada Sport buckled loafers, a fashionable manbun, and Hugo Boss half-frame spectacles, I stood out a bit, but enough to warrant an unsolicited, ungrammatical compliment ?ii
Evidently so, because from behind thickly-lensed, thickly-rimmed glasses, pouty violet lips, and thinning, chin-level, badly overbleached hair she remarked in the characteristic drawl of a small-town country girl,iii as if there should be a special occasion for my silken threads… and if not for my threads then for my presence in such a humble, common, almost meaniv environment, as if young men dressed to the 7sv didn’t manage the mailing of their own packages, as if it were borderline beneath them, “You’re dressed nice.”
But do not the well-to-do wipe our own asses ? Are the cracks in the “we’re all middle class” mythology finally starting to show ? Or is wearing anything fancier than pajama pants and a tattered sweater stained with Cheeto dust that noteworthy with oil under $50 and unrepentant pinkos oppressing the middle and lower classes ?vi
___ ___ ___
- Among Panda’s favourite toys, it so happens. [↩]
- Which is a bit funny given that just 8 blocks east for there, in Manulife Place, I’d be properly underdressed or at least well into the weekend casual end of the dressiness spectrum. Baltimore isn’t unique in this regard. But nor is Rio, New York, Berlin, etc. [↩]
- The kind that likes a man with a nice truck. [↩]
- In the classical sense of the term, ie. average, common plebian, etc. [↩]
- 9s require bowties. [↩]
- What, you think higher income taxes, or any taxes at all for that matter, affect the rich ? Don’t be naive. We can afford workarounds. Bitcoin for one.
To be clear, I don’t object to the middle and lower classes being oppressed per se so much as I object to them being oppressed with false hope in particular. Let them know that their lives will never amount to a hill of beans and be done with it. Let them hope for salvation in the next life. Whatever. Just don’t fill their impressionable noggins with the expectation of anything other than a life of hard, thankless work in this life. It’s sadistic and immoral. [↩]