I’m in line at the market, wrapped up in my own head, mostly thinking about stuff I have to do at home, upcoming surgery (The Knee is making a premature exit, but more about that later), and all that sort of thing.
Not, in other words, very aware of my surroundings…when it dawns on me that the woman next in line has been speaking to me for the past five minutes.
I turn, and this very pretty woman, in her 40s, expensively dressed with a diamond ring that’s about to put my eye out, is smiling and chatting in a friendly kind of way.
She definitely wants to engage, and what she’s saying is, “PEACOCK ENERGY!!!!”
I blink, thinking, “Rich lady, right behind me in the Louboutins and a $35K ring, is nuts. Sweet, probably harmless, and crazy as a loon.*
This is why I love Portland.”
Then I see where she’s pointing (at me) and realize she’s referring to my hair. Markie-the-hairdresser bleached my lower fringe around back to near-white and THEN dyed it, so that the deep teal blue would show up better.
And as the blue fades (since my hair couldn’t actually KEEP a color to save its keratinaceous soul) my hair has moved through every known shade of blue-green, until right now it’s roughly, well…peacock blue.
So she’s referring to my hair.
And my iridescent blue-green-purple jacket that someone called “mermaid colors” today.
And my handbag with the hand-painted peacock feathers on it .
And my aqua socks which have tiny little eyed feathers painted on the toes.
OMG–it’s like the Matchey-Matchey Fairy whacked me over the head with her magic two-by-four this morning. (Probably shouldn’t mention that my top is deep aqua, my shoes and britches the same shade of brown as my hair…)
What was I thinking? I mean, besides the obvious peacock theme?
All of a sudden, I feel all New Agey, like I’m living right in the middle of a Portlandia set and any minute I’ll break out in a granola rash.
I think Portland has finally gotten to me. Next thing you know, I’ll be inviting the raccoons in for tea. Protesting cruelty to carrots. Setting up housekeeping with the Antmind because, after all, I need to be one with Nature. (and be a person who always spells Nature with a capital N)
Underneath, my rightcoast subconscious is screaming, “QUICK!!!! EAT A TWINKIE!!!!” (which, since I’m in the very Oregonally organic Market of Choice, is not only impossible, it’s probably illegal)
The rich lady and now the checkout lady are watching me and smiling.
They’re waiting for me to smile back, and respond in kind. My sisters in Portlandishness.
I suddenly realize how much I love this city and all its quirky inhabitants, so I grin wide, and say,
“My favorite color is orange.”
Clunk. They give me The Look.
I think I flunked the Portlandia test.
*So why, exactly, are loons crazy? Anybody know?