Yesterday I was in the grocery store with my lovely wife buying whatever she buys when we go there. Usually food for our two boys who, much like government, consume as much as is provided, and squawk for more. It was a chilly day and I dressed appropriately.
I was wearing my hat, which has a patch from the Pyrotechnics guild international on the side, a pair of baggy pocket pants, a leather belt with a fish belt buckle, hiking boots, and a OD wool sweater. I bought the sweater from the surplus store (a Dutch commando sweater which I have a symbol from Star Trek (Mirror universe) sewed to the shoulder, all in all normal clothing for me.
We got in line to pay for the all the teenager fuel. While in line the bagger kept staring at me. He was probably fifteen years old and real eager to engage in conversation. I just knew he had a question, and I was sure what the question was.
So I said, “Plastic will be just fine”
That shut him up for a few moments, but he kept looking at me.
Then he finally asked, “What do you do?”
I was taken aback by this question. I would like to answer honestly, but there are so many choices. I could answer with a sarcastic response, or a truthful one that didn’t mean anything. So, while I was formulating some sort of answer that may satisfy his curiosity, he tried again.
“Are you a Park Ranger or something?”
I guess he was trying to read the patches.
“No, I program controls at a Community College”
“Oh” was all he said.
“I guess you can never tell about some people.”
He said “Do you want help out with the bags?”
My lovely wife replied “No, that’s the only reason I bring him along”
It got me to thinking, why do I wear what I wear? Do I have some secret longing to be a Park Ranger? Or is my own sense of style so out of touch with my self-image that am basically clueless? Are there a lot of people as disconnected as I am?