Wednesday, April 17, 2013

And now for something a little different…

Sometime in the mid 90's I was inside the Ben & Jerry's on Haight St. There was a stunningly beautiful girl in line a head of me that everyone was looking at. She could of been a model for mid-90's waif angst. I'm sure that was a blog at the time. In the style of the day she had on low rise jeans and a T-shirt two sizes too small for her. When she turned around everyone in the store looked at her. She looked right at me. My eyes instantly dropped to just above her waist. There, rising from beneath her impossibly tight jeans, was a vivid tattoo of an eagle. She gave me a tentative smile that went flat when she noticed my eyes in the vicinity of her "eagle" and then another guy behind me said, "Cool tat!" That inspired me to ask, "Is it a bald eagle?"

Why do I tell you this embarrassing story? Because almost a decade latter I was contacted by this girl who is now a 35 year old woman who saw me perform recently and suddenly realized where she knew me from. She works with high risk girls and told me that the day I first saw her was the first day she showed her tattoo off. She told me she felt so uncomfortable the way all men looked at her that she never wore low rise jeans again. I asked her if my comment made her feel awful. She said that it was the funniest comment anyone made that day but it was still creepy. Ugh.

There is a story here about the pressure society puts on young women and girls to dress in a provocative way  but its not mine to tell. Sadly, my part was to be the creepy guy whose comment lingered on years later her head. You never know what affect you will have on another person. You never really understand what we leave with them in our chance encounters. Today I got a rare experience. Today I was shown exactly how I impacted someone else. Its a cool thing to see that and even a more cool thing to feel like there has been growth since then.