Sometimes strange things happen in your life. Weird people make odd comments at inopportune times and there’s no explanation for it so you do your best to go about the rest of your day without over-thinking it. If it has not already become heartbreakingly obvious, these are the kind of things that happen to other people every so often, and me constantly. This is not to profess that I am entirely normal, because I’m not. But you don’t see me going up to people in random public venues commenting on their attitude and general appearance. Unless they ask or something.
People think I’m exaggerating, or even completely fabricating, when I tell them about the things that happen to me over the course of a day. But I’m not. I went to the grocery store with my mom on Easter Sunday – so far pretty normal. We were getting eggs and food coloring and pie. I was wearing pink for the occasion, had no makeup on, and my hair was still wet from my shower. The white-haired, suited, Irish man with a cataract standing behind me in line holds a lock of my hair and says: “Don’t ever cut your hair. It’s beautiful and there’s nothing more feminine.” Nice sentiment. But I don’t know you and you’re touching my hair in the grocery store. I pull it away from him and assure him that I have no plans to cut it.
Before I can turn away he’s started telling me how he always thought he would marry a redhead when he was growing up in Ireland, and his daughter is a redhead but his wife is little and blonde like me and he probably wouldn’t have married her if she weren’t blonde so I should stay blonde. No idea what I’m supposed to do with this information.
My mom was standing next to me, and while she has heard many of the stories about my run ins with insanity she’s not usually present for them and was somewhat skeptical about their occurrence until she got to witness this little interaction for herself. Total shock. Even the cashier wasn’t sure it was really happening. My only logical conclusion is that I’m instigating this kind of behavior. Some kind of sign that I can’t see is duct taped to my ass advertising “Tell me the strange things swimming in your head. I want to hear them. Bonus points for passive aggressively hitting on me.”
I’ve been to a lot of places in a lot of cities in the world and without doing anything special I will attract the crazies. Not violently crazy – I’m not getting accosted in the streets on a regular basis, but the everyday weirdos. They can function in the world, but like to purge whenever I’m nearby. I’ve been asked to try on clothes so that guys can pick something that looks good on their girlfriend. Held babies so harried mothers could tie their shoes (both the babies’ and their own). And I get compliments, advice, and offers from men on a regular basis – about everything, from what I should wear and which profession I should pursue, to what brand of painkillers to buy and how to wash my car.
I have come to the determination that I am not paranoid in finding this to be abnormal… even more than the usual abnormal. And I’m not complaining about this role I have been appointed in the universe. But I feel better knowing that other people are aware that this is going on in the world. And I do sincerely hope that Irish man is happy in his choice of blonde, because I’m into the accent and don’t plan to cut my hair, but I do have an age limit.