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April 16th, 2008


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02:36 pm - Journeying through Religious Supplies
Journeys into the local religious supply store are ever an adventure. With the need for a way to transport my vestments across the country without stuffing them into a sack, I ventured into one today at lunch.

Looking as I do right now, with my long-hippie-style hair and my black faux-military jacket with skulls on it, an old gas mask bag slung over my shoulder, I was not surprised to be greeted with a general distrust. The look I was given as the words, "How can I help you?" came out of the saleslady's mouth was really enough to inform me that she didn't truly want to help me.

Indeed, she suspected unsavory motives in my visit.

It's an odd feeling: stepping into a place that supplies religious items, and feeling religiously out of place. Not so much because you feel like you don't belong, but rather because you feel like someone else thinks you shouldn't belong.

I told her I was fine, and knew what I was looking for. I spent five minutes rummaging through vestments, checking robe length against garment bag length, looking for a way to carry my white robe across the country without getting it wrinkly, dingy or dirty. I wanted something that would be easy to carry onto a plane (so no bags that just had hangers for handles) and that would be durable enough to handle being thrown into the bowels of a cargo compartment if needed.

I was slowly becoming frustrated: the concept isn't hard, is it? I'm positive that the clergy of other religions take their vestments with them across the country, and they're probably far more worried about wrinkles than I am. There had to be a solution there.

Well, the saleslady came back out and asked me what I was looking for. At the time, I was browsing through a catalogue of vestments, trying to find what length I needed. I could tell she still had reservations, and I saw her sweep her eyes across the expensive items in the case in front of me, but she was less willing to judge my motives and more willing to sell me something. I have a feeling that her boss had gotten involved.

I informed her of what I was looking for, and pointed out the vestments I already had. I expressed some dissatisfaction with the length of the garment bags on hand, and she suggested a garment portfolio instead, pointing me to a bag I had not seen yet.

I looked this over. Slightly dirty, somewhat worn, and not particularly impressive looking, but sturdily constructed and wide enough to fit my robe: it passed the real tests. I thanked her and said I'd take this under consideration, too (noting to myself that it was twice as expensive as the most expensive garment bag there). I began to wander around the rest of the store, bag in hand, and she watched me as I wandered through candles and a variety of other religious artificats (such as a statue of Christ being tackled by a child during a football game).

In the end, I settled in my mind on this bag, and took it to the counter. I went to pay with my card, and showed her my ID. She eyed it somewhat suspiciously, and another cashier looked at it and said, "Hey, the guy on the ID doesn't have long hair!"

"Well, it's been over a year since I cut it," I said.

The second cashier added, "Oh, I know how that can go. Sometimes, you're just too busy. But, it makes you look more like Jesus."

I ignored the last comment. Not to be rude, but because it really didn't sink in until I had already started speaking, still on my last thought. "I figure I can grow it out long enough to donate it, perhaps."

Now the saleslady who had eyed me so darkly and suspiciously for the past twenty minutes was very friendly: her face brightened and a smile sprang to her lips. "Oh, well that's a wonderful thing!" She took another look at the bag. "You know," she said, "the bag is a bit dingy and it doesn't look very new. Let's take 20% off."

Looks create interesting perceptions among people. I've been learning a lot about what clothes can do for you, and how people perceive someone with long hair. It is interesting to me how age makes a difference, as do place in life and occupation, in how others perceive your choices of style and personal expression.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go teach a child how to hold a golf club.
Current Location: Southeast of Disorder
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: "Margaritaville", -JB

(27 comments Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:duriyah
Date:April 16th, 2008 07:10 pm (UTC)
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People started treating me nicer and with more respect when I lost weight and started wearing makeup.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:April 16th, 2008 07:13 pm (UTC)
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You've been lovely and were never overweight in my eyes as long as I can remember. Did you lose said weight before I met you ten years ago?

Then again, I generally remember people's looks as a reflection of their personality, I have found, rather than the other way 'round.

(Seriously: I don't remember much change in you. Just have always liked you. But that might also be due to only seeing you occasionally over ten years or so. Now I'm really curious!)
[User Picture]
From:duriyah
Date:April 16th, 2008 07:31 pm (UTC)
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I did know you during both the gain and loss. I hurt my back in an auto accident in early 2002 (on the way to a Sixth Night Grove rite, when you were still doing things with them), and had to stop exercising. Over the next year and a half I gained about 25 or 30 pounds. In early 2004 I started exercising again as well as dieting and lost 40 pounds. The weight gain and loss wasn’t too extreme, but it *was* noticeable to people at work.

BTW I’m up 20 pounds again and working my way back down. It’s more than vanity; I feel better when I’m at my ideal weight and fluctuating weight is really hard on the body.

Thank you for the lovely complement!

Then again, I generally remember people's looks as a reflection of their personality, I have found, rather than the other way 'round.

I'm the same way, and I'm sure that's why you didn't really notice the change...you were more focused on my inside than my outside. Which is way cool! :-)


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