Enjoying the gorgeous mosaic

On the way back from a job interview that I had today, which I’ll write about after I know how it went, I stopped off at a nearby bookstore to relax over a cup of coffee. While on line waiting to place my order, I overhead the customer in front of me ask the girl behind the counter the kind of question that to me is a symptom of just how crazy things have gotten now that a good portion of the population goes out of its way to take every chance at demonstrating how progressive it is.

The young lady ringing up the coffees seemed nice enough. I chatted with her a bit after she rang me up. She was in her early twenties, and had cultivated a fun-spirited, quirky little look for herself, with green as her theme. She had green streaks through her hair. She had theatrically painted eyelids in a bright shade of green. She had big green earrings on as well.

I have no problem with any of that. She was cheery and friendly. My problem is with the politically correct goofball she was ringing up.

The woman she was ringing up seemed like an educated professional. In fact, I’m sure she was. I think that’s what explains her question to the counter girl.

She asked the young lady behind the counter what the green was all about. What she actually had assumed was that the green was an expression of the young lady’s “culture.”

I’m sorry, but what cultural heritage did she think the young lady was expressing? Is there perhaps a lost tribe of savages sequestered in some far-off corner of Ireland? Where on earth is there a culture that applies green hair dye and eye shadow, and tops it all off with giant green earrings?

Now, you can find me enjoying the food at an Indian restaurant, or watching a French film, or listening to Egyptian belly dance music — any number of things. But this woman, God bless her, has surpassed me and a good many of the rest of us in her enthusiasm for cultures other than her own.

For this woman, apparently, the world is still something like the “Dark Continent” of a couple hundred years ago, where around every bend is a wondrous new spectacle to behold — where one can even expect to find an exotic creature ringing up a mochachino.

So, the next time life seems a little drab, just take a look around, and indulge in the kind of childlike wonder I witnessed today.


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