Greetings and Salutations (Let’s not shout at each other)

Anna here: reporting in on my life that is mostly stranger than fiction on an almost religious basis. I’m not much for introductions. Indeed, the most confusing question I’m ever asked is “Tell me about yourself.” Which isn’t really a question at all. And you know, in the vein of being a writer, I’d rather show than tell anyway. 

So I’m on vacation this week from the tiny cafe that tries to consume my creative soul, and it’s a staycation for me this time. I’ve never really done a staycation and I’m finding it a bit hard to get used to being on my own schedule with absolutely nothing to dictate my day except my whims. That is to say, by Friday I was going a bit stir crazy. I actually asked my friend Ken whether I should be doing something valuable with this golden week away from the work place…like publishing another novel, buying a car, finding my soul mate? Ken is very supportive of my mania and suggested instead I just do what I do every off day: go to the coffee shop, write a bit of semi-melancholy vignette style poetry in my red notebook, and wonder (lightly) what I’m doing to utilize the 19 years of education I have under my belt. 

I took Ken’s advice, becuase, in this town, there’s not much to do besides go see a movie, eat at a chain restaurant, or (God forbid) read a book; and I’d already done all these earlier in the week to great length. My first mini-adventure on all Hallow’s eve to pluck myself from the muck of emotions I was stewing in was to drown the feelings in caffiene. It’s one of the best practice methods I reccomend to any of the angsty. Moving the story along, as I wrote in Red a silly something about inner turmoil I spied a young gentleman take a seat at a table nearby. Here’s how you get my attention. Wear a Misfits t-shirt, type furiously on your keyboard as though Ernest Hemingway’s ghost is sitting on your lap, bob your head to the beat of something profound in your ears, and occasionally look my way. Actually, you can probably just do the last one. I’m not a stickler here. This young man was doing all these things AND, dear readers, he had a *silly mustache*. Why of course this translates into my girl brain as (character!) (quirkiness!) (writing material!) Furthermore, he had an intriguing tattoo. A blue nuke, like off of that Phoenix album or Dr. Strangelove(?), on the top of his hand. So, yeah, so what, you ask. Well, so nothing, I just wanted to tell you about it because it stuck in my brain all day. I didn’t talk to this gentleman,because I’m usually the one who goes over and does some bravado bold move like that, and I’m trying to do things differently these days. Past performance dictates that this is the best course of action.

He left before I did. I’d like to think he cast a look my way a few times, and I returned to the coffee shop today to get some work done and *maybe* see Blue again, but he’s out doing things that guys with hand-tattoos do…gallery openings or something. The day just got progressively stranger from there. Although it was Halloween, I was wearing a very mild attire: a shirt depicting the end of the world, jeans, and burgandy cardigan. My mother would later say that it was probably the cardigan that set the loonies upon me, and she’s got a strange point perhaps. Well done outerwear does do things to me so perhaps it triggers some kind of chemical in the mentally unstable as well (separate categories you’ll note).

As I took to the road in my 10-year old-smobile, I promptly hit hell traffic. And the reddest neck in the woods pulled his clanking truck next to mine, eyed my cardigan and decided he had a chance to make me his. The redneck mating dance, and my experience of it, consists of something like this. Said redneck hollars out his window something like, “Hey baby, hey, hey, hey baby.” Should the subject prove unresponsive, ignoring him steadfastly, he can take the high road and flail his arms out the vehicle window, while continuing his call to the female he has chosen for romantic interlude. Then it’s pretty much just a repeat of this until the female either gives in to their charms or traffic moves.

Later, away from the irresistable charms of this guy, I was accosted again while walking through the mall by the airbrush t-shirt stand guy. I had bought some deliriously cute undergarments at Hot Topic with hopes of showcasing these to the jerk I’m casually  wasting time on, and so I was swinging my Hot Topic bag, cardigan still on, and headphones in. Airbrush guy yells something at me. I pause, and take out my headphones….”What?” “mumble…mumble Hot Topic.” “Did I just go to Hot Topic? Well, yeah.” “No…did you get ME anything from Hot Topic?” “Um…no.” And I walk off.

See, here’s the thing, and stand back for the Feminist shrapnel. I’m not an object. And I don’t like being “hollared” at across any space unless I know you and you have valid reasons for breaking my stride. Guys, it’s disrespectful to yell at a woman you don’t know in an attempt to compliment her beauty or style. And I really can’t think of a Happily Ever After where that kind of stunt has worked in ya’lls favor. I agree, it’s hard to meet someone, but may I suggest you take the subtle and straightforward track…offer her your number after engaging her in conversation…kind of like she’s a human, or even on par with how you’d treat someone you admire. Call me crazy, but all you future lovers reading this may want to take note of this in your efforts to woo.

Then again, leaving the mall, I was hollared at yet again by a woman asking me if it was going to rain tomorrow. Perhaps, I just have a fact that screams, scream at me. There does seem to be a tendancy for at least one person to stop and ask me my thoughts on a brand of baked beans, if I tried the free sample of soap, or some other strange query every time I leave the house. Gives new meaning to the term “Freak Magnet.”

The rest of the day went by swimmingly. Neighbors came over to visit my parents, and I got to set up a little classroom time where I showed their son my extensive knowledge of dinosaurs. Bonus: he was dressed as a dinosaur. That’s progress for me. When in social settings I usually make friends with the pets of the house and attempt to teach the family dog new tricks. I’ve moved up to educating the children now. Who knows, maybe by the next party I’ll talk to someone my age. We won’t make hasty decisions though.

Now for the interactive part of the blog! If any readers have a response I should send to my love interest about the following text, please, send it in. The more creative the better. Mind you, I am begining to think that Sir Lanksalot (I came up with that. Clever, right?) has either no social skills or empathy recpetors and/or Asperger’s syndrome (but how in the world do you ask someone that?) He said: “I think I want to see you soon. Not because it’s you but because you’re someone who wants to see me. People like that are in short supply.”

I wonder why, readers. Well that’s it for entry one. Sorry if it ran a bit long. I promise the next one will be more interesting. We will tackle enlightenment or hallucinogens or maybe both.

-Anna R. Kotopple 

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