The other night I went to the store wearing a cotton long-sleeved gray shirt and some navy drawstring terrycloth pants with a white stripe down the legs. I looked at myself before I took off in the car to make sure I looked ok. I had made bread that day so I had a little bit of flour on my chest and thigh, but I just brushed it off and went on my way. I had to buy some necessities at nine o clock at night.
When ready I go through the line and a bag boy demands to take my groceries to the car. "I have twenty minutes and nothing to do anyway," he says.
"Well, alright." I really hate letting bag boys put groceries in my car. What I need help with more is unloading when I get home.
When we get out into the cool, crisp night, he looks me up and down and says, "If I were off work, I would totally be dressed like you."
"Huh?" I say incredulously.
"I mean, you look comfortable."
"Oh, ok. Well, I have been wearing this all day. I homeschool three kids so comfort is a big deal to me."
"Cool. I have an older brother who is 21 and a younger sister who is 15. I'm eighteen. When I am off work, I like love to get all dressed up and wear my pink polo shirt and all that." He puts some groceries in my car. I think about what he has just said to me.
"Pink? That is so eighties. I am sorry, but I can't stand pink on a guy," I say bluntly.
"Oh man, I LOVE it. I mean, all the chicks say that I am 'so hot' when I wear pink." He pulls up his collar in a jivey way and backs up like he is Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future. He tugs on a white surfer shell necklace around his scrawny little neck. "I wear the pink polo shirt and this necklace and the girls are just..." he makes a sort of sizzling sound.
I think about this. He really is not much to shout about, but you know, what do I know? "Sorry," I say. "I still think it is really eighties. Which reminds me. You probably were born then, weren't you?"
"Not really. I was born in eighty-eight."
I really thought that qualified as the "eighties" but maybe I am wrong. Hmmm...
"Well, I am really old," I say, "I am eleven years older than you."
He completely skips this.
"Yeah, and when I go out, I wear the pink polo shirt, this necklace, (he tugs on it again as if I can not see it---how could I not? It is sort of massive) and do you know that show 'Miami Vice'?"
"Yes, I know 'Miami Vice'. Of course."
"Well, you know how they dress?"
"Yeah, horrible," I say. "It has that guy---"
"Don Johnson," he blurts out.
"Yeah, Don Johnson."
"I like to wear sportcoats like that---"
I am getting into my car at this point.
"Sort of an aqua color..."
He is backing up into the night but he keeps going.
"And my hair, I---"
"Crimping must be in again," I say, thinking about girl's hair nowadays.
"Yeah, but I don't crimp it. I sort of spike it--" he comes closer again. I close my door a bit.
"Uh, have a nice day!" he waves.
"Enjoy your pink shirt!" I say.
When I was eighteen I had a baby, I worked so that I could help put food on the table because my dad was sick and disabled, and I, just never like, talked like a total breezehead.