I was at Local Coffee, on Sonterra Blvd, the other day. The barista behind the counter had on a shirt, a HUGE wolf face on it's front. I could tell she was enjoying wearing the wolf so I started a wolf-shirt-wearing conversation. She lit up! She had a story to tell! Someone special had given it to her and it carried memories of the fun they had together. She also said the wolf-face resembled the face of a special human friend. Ha! She was quirky. :)
Upon returning home I related the story to Jared, saying how I enjoyed the conversation/seeing someone unafraid of expressing herself. He looked confused. "How is that self-expression? What does that mean?" He said, "What is a wolf shirt expressing about her?"
I tried my best to think logically with him. People groups naturally identify and classify themselves through dress. Business people express that they're business people by wearing suits and ties. Athletes (or wanna-be's) wear sneakers. Youth pastors and musicians wear skinny jeans. (These two professions seem to be the only ones that employ the skinny jean...easy to spot.) Teachers wear...teacher clothes. Logically.
But no, I don't think she was wearing the wolf to identify herself with a certain class of people or an occupation, or even an interest in wildlife. And it wasn't a hippster-thing; she wasn't trying to look "creative". (You know what I mean...beards, slick hair, cardigans, handle bar mustaches, funky glasses, vintage dresses, and fake elk heads on walls.) No, she didn't look like everyone else.
Wolf-shirt-girl and I made a connection and all because she chose to show something of herself, something original, something that meant something to her, something she enjoyed. That's all.
This skin-deep blog entry is just me saying I think beauty and connection happen when people express themselves unashamedly authentically rather than flaunting a sort of costume or blending into the furniture.
I bought Jared a sweatshirt for Christmas.
It has a huge bear head on the front.
(No, I'm not turning into a clown anytime soon.)