Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Hedgehog Caught Up in the Rat Race

People who really have no business staring at other people like they are weirdos stare at me constantly. I mean, random men and women of all stripes and plaids on the subway, peering incredulously at me as if I just sprouted a second head. Seeing that this happens in NEW YORK CITY, home to the rarest weirdos in existence, makes it oh, so much worse.

This has happened throughout my life, wherever I lived, and however I looked. When I had a mohawk in high school and this morning on my way to work = same response.

Before you start assigning personality disorders: none of the therapists I've seen ever concluded I was paranoid, narcissistic, or delusional. On the contrary, the universal clinical opinion seems to be that I am "attractive". Which is fine, but most of the time the looks I get are more like "Freak!" rather than "Hey baby!". I'm not making it up, in any case. In fact, it sometimes happens when people I know are around me and can verify the incidents. So there.

I think I'm pretty normal: Average size, shape, and appearance. I don't dress in wild fashions anymore, it's all about "Business Casual" these days. My size, shape, and appearance are, sadly, pretty nondescript. Sure, red hair and big boobs get attention no matter what, but it's not like I'm slinking around in slutty clothes and jiggling. As if! The hair I wear up in a sloppy ponytail, the boobs are fully covered.

Whatever it is, it's very fucking irritating. I never want to deal with it, so I walk around in my own little world, listening to my IPod and avoiding eye contact with the people clearly trying to stare me down, or people doing double-takes in my general direction.


Those of you who know me may be scratching your head at all this. It's not everyone--it's every third or fourth person. Anyway, I'm not friends with people who gape and gawk at total strangers in an exaggerated fashion on the street or in the subway.

"There's just something different about you, Trouble," is something I've heard often enough. Nothing wrong with being different, to be sure. Though, whatever "different" quality or vibe or whatever-the-fuck it is that prompts this response...I don't want it. I'm not an attention-whore, anyway, but this is the kind of attention even celebutwats don't want.

It's not:

My perfume or any B.O. issues (handled!)
My voice, posture, or attitude (I'm usually silent, standing in 3rd position/walking, and projecting complete indifference)
My clothing, hair, or makeup (all understated)
My figure (carefully hidden under layers of drab colors and fabrics)

Here's your chance to weigh in: Tell me what you think makes me such a hedgehog in this rat race!


Blogger Leave It To Cleavage said...

I've never actually met you per se, but I bet it's the fact that you exude indifference and that you don't care how people perceive you. They are probably intrigued by this.

4:24 AM  
Blogger marty said...

If I'm walking w/several friends and a homeless person passes by, this person will talk to me.

I am a magnet for the strange and peculiar.

I guess I look normal to them. Hmmm, need to analyze that further.

In your situation, it just looks like you won't gauge there eyes out. You need look more troublesome.

8:59 AM  
Blogger threetoedsloth said...

Same thing happens to me. I usually glare right back until they feel just as self-conscious as I do.

1:58 PM  
Blogger Bobulah said...

i disagree with you, troub. you're not normal. and thank the fucking lawd for that!

the downside to living in an organized society is that we really only have several identities from which to choose. the breakfast club beautifully highlighted the era in which we lay our roots in the never-ending journey of "finding oneself". most people, especially in high school, drift into one of several categories: jock, princess, geek, badass rebel, etc. these seemingly pre-ordained "identities" are an easy/cheap way to establish our personas without actually having to listen to our inner voices and, as a result, brave the wrath of our peers.

one of my favorites (sense the tone) of these pre-packaged identities is the emo kid. you talk to one of them, and they honestly believe that they have skirted the mainstream and are true individuals, yet they all look the same. conformity isn't confined to the locker room or football field. there are many ways to be sheep.

simply put, conformists, when faced with someone who has managed to dodge the mainstream bullet, are reminded that they have not stayed true to themselves, and have followed the path most traveled into the land of acceptance, a true addiction.

you personify this feat. you are trouble. no apologies, no explanations, take it or leave it. where this would inspire someone like me, it is a threat to pack-followers, because you represent a certain strength that they do not possess. those who are strong in numbers often, as individuals, must destroy those who project greater strength than they to hide their own weakness.

so remember, the next time blondie mcsmalltits stares you down on the subway, it's not because she looks better than you, it's because she likes your fabulous gold jewelry and wild red mane, and secretly wishes she had the guts to stop dying her hair, put down her wall street journal, and rock some hardcore diamond studded stilettos while partying with drag queens. pure and simple: she's jealous.

3:10 PM  
Blogger Trouble said...

Thank you all Ever So Eternally much!

Bob, your current writing job does you (or the world, which needs more of you) any justice. And anyway, I love you most unwholesomely.


I rode the R train this afternoon, holding the pole that prevented my careening through the traincar with every jerk and hurtle with one hand and a newspaper (deftly turning pages and re-folding with a practiced judo manuever)with the other, when I felt the familiar intense gaze upon me.

I looked up at a young Latina chomping gum and drilling brown-eyed girl holes through me. Sensing a real opportunity, I said, "Excuse me, why are you staring at me?"

(I used a flat accent and a non-aggressive, non-accusatory tone to ask, by the way.)

She squinted, perhaps considering stabbing me instead of answering, and stopped chewing for a moment. She asked, "Are those real?"

I nodded, hoping she was asking about my boobs.

4:35 PM  
Blogger LisaBinDaCity said...

Ally da Pup has a stuffed animal that looks just like that hedgehog!

Anyway, you are lovely, Miss Trubs, and they are all wishing they could be you. So there!

4:36 AM  

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