Saturday, August 4, 2012

Today's Reason to Wear a Dress: Hobo Magic

This may turn into a rant. I'm just going to warn you right at the start. Okay!
Oh, Olympia...

'Today's Reason to Wear a Dress' stems from a long, ongoing frustration I've had with Olympia's street life. Since I moved here almost two years ago, I couldn't NOT notice the circus-like dynamic of this city's downtown area. Peddlers, pushers, pretentious punks squatting on curbs with cardboard signs. I didn't see humility in these characters' eyes. I didn't sense any sort of life experience, any bit of tragic set back. I only saw entitlement.

Spread Eagles.

(Rant begins!) I come from a big city where the homeless are ACTUALLY homeless. They don't have parents tucked away in hilltop mansions somewhere. They aren't 20-somethings yearning to feel the human condition. They are people with missing legs, that fought in wars and they are construction workers that can barely afford their child support and this living on the street is not something they chose. It's the only option they had left. It just makes me livid to see people younger than me sitting on the sidewalk all day, expecting everything from everyone else instead of just getting up and earning money the way the rest of us do.

Two nights ago I saw a group of three wandering vagabonds carrying cardboard signs. One boy's sign said something like, 'Don't be HOBOphobic'. At the time I thought it was clever and even though I couldn't offer them any money, I stayed and talked to them for a bit. The following day I saw the same boy at the convenient store buying three bags full of beer. With a credit card! I've never even had a credit card! I was very near shrieking. But I held my cool and decided to type this post instead :)

I actually want all of these hairdos! Hot pink oh my gawwwd!

To walk around the streets of downtown Olympia dressed well (which for this city is a bit below the nation's average) is like wearing a bull's eye on your chest. You become an immediate target for any sort of begging. Because you are now the enemy, "the MAN" so to speak. And since I've been wearing dresses, since I've been walking in heels, since I've been putting on red lipstick I have received nothing but sneers and judgement from the young people that crowd the sidewalk asking me for 'some change'.

KT and Andrea: past selves

Well, I want to say that just because us shopgirls dress nice, wear make up and shower every once in awhile does NOT mean that we are flouncy, flourishing femmes. Nope! We are still shop girls that get paid just as much as any other shop girl. (For example, I have eighteen dollars to last me two weeks. Lolzzz!)
What it feels like sometimes.

And FINALLY onto the excuse we have for you to wear a dress today: Because you shouldn't be afraid to! Because no matter how harshly someone judges you, the only opinion of yourself that should ever matter is your own. Because dressing up can make you feel like a million bucks even if you only have eighteen. Because maybe one of those street kids is your spirit guide in disguise and in that case, you should always look your best!

Show those hobos who's boss and strut your stuff! See: below.

(*And just so you know, we shopgirls love everybody! Even teenage hobos, crazy meth heads and wacko ladies that leave a dozen dresses unzipped on the floor of the fitting room! We love you ALL!)

A song to inspire: Marva Whitney's "You've Got To Have a Job!" It's pretty funny actually. Oh, disco era. How we love thee.

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