Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Some Parents are Cool!

In the early 80's, Band Geek Friend, Bubba, suggested we go looking for part time jobs. The winter break was coming and we needed extra money so we could do some holiday shopping. We went directly to our local shopping conglomerate that included a Mervyn's, a Miller's Outpost, and a Baskin Robbins. Armed and energized with fresh ambition, and perhaps a bit of naïveté, we aimed to fill out applications in every store until we received the first job offer.

There was also a Clothestime, a trendy clothing store for young women. Since we were there we figured, "What the heck?"

"What . . . ha ha . . . positions are you applying for?" the lady behind the counter asked us.

"Oh, being a rude person like you," Bubba calmly replied before I followed him back out the door.

That was before either of us had come out. Today, almost thirty years later, I received a message from High School Friend, Brenda, who shared an interesting update. Her husband had used a birthday shopping excursion with their daughter as another chance to try to make more sense of the social world in which we live (as she so beautifully described). He mentioned the young, gay men on staff in the women's clothing stores. Their daughter, who had just turned 12, was genuinely surprised. "Really? I thought that they were just really good dressers."

Also, today, my niece's mother asked me if I had seen the new shopping bags for Hollister. I hadn't, so she sent pictures to my phone, pictures of two male models lying next to each other on the beach. I think it's interesting that you can't actually see the whole picture at once, just sections of it on four different sides of the bag so that the models' faces are on opposite sides, although their torsos crisscross in between . . .

"Mom, you know only teen girls and gays shop there, right?" my 16-year-old niece had asked her.

I'm such the proud uncle, proud that she gets it! (Hollister certainly knows their target market) Her 13-year-old step sister's response, however, was "Eww, gross!" My niece's mother used it as an opportunity to teach her that choosing one's sexuality is as realistic as choosing one's eye color.

Too bad Bubba and I aren't young enough to apply for the same part time jobs now in these clothing stores. We were a little ahead of our time, maybe. And Clothestime? I can't even remember the last time it was still open.

Tolerance in 2011 - on sale now!


KK said...

OMG this is funny! I totally remember Clothestime and how "hot" it was back then. And I loved Miller's Outpost! Wow, we've come a long way, huh?

Glad to hear your neice gets it. Kids are pretty bright and tolerant these days. Makes some of our generation and above look so out of it by comparision.

I so enjoy reading your blogs, Peter!

Peter Varvel said...

Thanks, KK! Do you remember that shopping/strip mall at Main and River Road? There was also a Straw Hat Pizza place there.
Good times! :)

Cheryl said...

Who knows--maybe they were just really good dressers. :-)

And now I have a sudden urge to blog about Wet Seal, Jay Jacobs and Contempo Casual.