One of the redeeming qualities about Seattle is most certainly the coffee. There are coffee shops everywhere. I recently walked into a Starbucks, as those only exist in Seattle, because I wanted to make sure I visit places like this for the #localexperience while I live here.
In typical Kiawah fashion, I was wearing boots since they are my formal footwear considering I own literally zero other “formal” shoes. While standing in line waiting for my cold brew, a coworker looked down and saw my boots and I got a “those are fucking awesome, man. How much did those run you?”
I’ll be the first to admit that these boots are borderline obnoxious. Actually, no. They’re ridiculous. Dried gator skin with some brown tones that retailed for like $1,200. With that being said, I bought them when I was 23 with deployment money at a store that was having a going out of business sale. They were steeply discounted but still. Dumb.
When you combine 23-year-olds who have extra money and a country western store that’s going out of business, you get stupid fucking purchases at 80% off that still cost too much money…like these boots. A friend of mine had the same scenario ($$$) and he spent his money on a storm trooper outfit that he’d wear out to country dance halls. Seriously, he bought a storm trooper costume and he doesn’t even particularly love Star Wars. Ever seen a storm trooper do Copperhead Road? It’s pretty entertaining.
So back to the coffee shop, as I am trying to explain/justify this purchase to my new coworker, and up comes a woman in her 50s with green hair. She overhears our conversation and chimes in.
“How many animals had to suffer for you to have those boots?”
“Well, I think just one gator.”
I should mention I was in a particularly ass-holish mood and of course just couldn’t have stopped there.
“But these boots cost so much because the inner layer is made of Vegan flesh. Every time I take a step I hear the boots scream out quietly Veeeeeeeeeeegan.”
I thought my joke was funny. She clearly did not.
“I’m a Vegan.”
This was quickly becoming the second most foot in mouth moment of my life. The first was in high school back when your mom jokes were all the rage. I made one at the new girl who then claimed that her mom was dead. Not knowing her but knowing this all-too-common comeback, I said yeah fucking right. She opened up her phone and the background was a photo of her mom’s open casket from 3 days prior. She never spoke to me again and I don’t blame her.
It was roughly around this point in the conversation with the green-haired hippie that I began to wonder if maybe I’m a little bit of the problem when it comes to my cultural assimilation to the PNW. I stopped pondering that pretty quickly.
“I’m sorry that as a Vegan I care about protecting what’s around me and those that I care about. Bet you and your fancy boots can’t say that.”
This bitch walked straight into an L-shaped ambush that I didn’t even mean to set up.
“I actually served in the Army for almost a decade so I guess you could say that I probably care about those around me.”
Her face went completely emotionless and she walked outside of the vintage local Starbucks and out into the rain.
Green Haired Hippie: 0
With that being said, maybe it’s time to focus even harder on trying to get along with my new neighbors. If I immerse myself deeply enough one of two things will happen. I’ll either get along great with my community and make some new friends….or I’ll fall flat on my face in this endeavor but be given loads of content. It’s really a win-win..
Image via Shutterstock