Monday, September 24, 2007
A new trend
"Well we have 40 minutes before the movie starts. Let's walk around and kill some time" I said to my buddy Mike. Mike came down to Raleigh as my first official visitor. As a yankee, he was finding the differences between the north (he's from Minneapolis) and the south quite vast. He was having a hard time connecting with the culture - much like me - and what seemed to be acceptable and unacceptable here. Politically, the area differed much from Mike's views, and as a proud gay chap, he wasn't really feeling the comforting hug of approval for his way of life.
We wandered around North Hills, a lifestyle shopping center that resembles a little town with shops and restaurants in a Disney-like setting, with luxury apartments above the shops. Finally, it was determined that it was just too darn hot to be marchin' up and down the square, so we started back to the cineplex. On the way, we passed by the REI store. I was yapping away in my usual manner, and Mike pretended to listen like he always does. Suddenly I realized that I was walking by myself for about 25 feet. I turned around and saw Mike looking in the REI window at the display. He turned to me with a smile and said "Finally, something I can agree with here".
What did he see? A window display with two male mannequins with the tag line "Out is in". You know what? Mike's perception of that display sounds good to me. Nobody should have to hide who they really are.
What did I see? My perception of the display was "go outside more" which I just can't get behind unfortunately. You can get dirty, there are ticks, you could twist your ankle walking on uneven ground, what if you have to pee, you could get a sunburn, could get bitten by a snake.... I will be inside thank you very much.
Maybe REI meant gays should come out of the closet and go camping? Only they know for sure.