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Saturday 5 July 2014

He's paid to say he's a girl

This is what it felt like:
This is what I saw:
This is what you see:
Val is close to my heart, literally; I wore her opium den on a dog harness again. This thrifted floral cotton cheongsam cried out for a liberal topping of her Muse Fondue. (See previous post for details about this magnificent diorama.)

Don't let this demure photo fool you. In the wind this kimono-style neon yellow robe billowed extravagantly into oncoming foot traffic and my toolbox handbag swung wildly at my side creating yet another pedestrian hazard.

Almost daily I am confronted downtown by clean young men wearing blue uniform jackets that say "Because I am a Girl" in their job soliciting money for a charity. They are so wide-grinning and their hair is so perfectly coiffed that they could easily be mistaken for cult members. If I'm feeling particularly cheeky I'll state the obvious, "You're not a girl." Impossibly, their grin stretches even wider and I expect a loud snap as their face splits in two. I wonder how people would react if I stood on an opposite corner, clipboard in hand, dressed in a pink uniform jacket that said "Because I am a Boy."

One time in Tokyo I mistook a couple of well-dressed Japanese Jehovah's Witnesses at my door for salespeople of beauty products. The cover of the brochure they politely held out to me featured the most startling beehive hairdos I'd ever seen. I said to them in slow English, "Hairstyles? Beauty products?" while pointing to my head and fluffing imaginary hair. They looked at each other worriedly and gestured to the sky and their chests. Once I realized what they were really selling, I said no thank you and sent them on their way. I think I heard a gasp of relief on their hasty retreat; I sighed because I had missed out on a hair miracle.

It's a tricky business, sending messaging and receiving them as intended. In the Japan case, clearly the misunderstanding was completely my own. How has your week been? Any mixed messages out your way?


  1. Oh, I love that acid yellow - you look amazing in those vibrant colours. I love the effect they have on the public (generally, a startlement). BTW, L is in for Vogoff - he thinks it is awesome. Will work on something cray-cray for you.

    1. That's great news. I can't wait to see what you guys come up with!

  2. The opium den is so kooool. Likewise your kimono. And so sad you were only offered pamphlets instead of fab hair products in Tokyo.

  3. Love your outfit. You know I made an almost identical kimono jacket last month, only in a slightly different shade of bright yellow. Every body should have one.

  4. I'm loving the Zero Halliburton handbag. Bravo, dude!

  5. You look awesome! What the hell is the "Because I;m a Girl" charity thing about... Never heard of it!

  6. By coincidence, I had two Jehovah's witnesses call by yesterday (I was in my veg' garden). My approach to them was very different to yours!!!

  7. I love all about you, my deares Melanie.
    I hope we can count on you joining Share-in-Style: denim tomorrow 7th
    Tons of loveeeeeeeeeeeeee

  8. Tres tres headaches over mixed hair messages. What is a girl to do? Billowing neon coats rule the streets and pedestrians must beware of such hazards ... they might trip up or walk into a pole from the visual affront. Sometimes the public need such gentle reminders to prod them out of their greige days. xoxoxo

  9. Ohhhh I think you look like a hummingbird!!! Most distressing dealing with mixed messages. Maybe we need to visit more miniature opium tins. Whenever a poor soul approaches me asking for donations I go all sweet little old lady on them and sympathize with them about how difficult it is to ask for money and stand all day and I call them honey and wish them the very best of luck and send them on their way. I love your Japanese hair products story. That is what life is all about.

  10. Hi Melanie,

    Finally catching up with your posts! I guess my serotonin level is slowly going up!
    I love your freaky persons' drawings, well, I love anything you do!
    So you got some of Val like wonders! aren't they gorgeous, what a wonderful idea to wear it as a necklace, only you can think of those things, this is why I love you so much!

    Honolulu on acid - Indifferent decadence- Love and love!

    Hugs- I will reply soon to your last e-mail!


  11. Now does the kimono "go" with the Traveling Yellow Skirt? Or does it CLASH terrifically?! One can only wonder. It goes without saying, the opium den plays well with all. Fun with the chance for something dangerous or at least unexpected, that's your middle name. Or is it that the weather whenever you're out and about in complete ensemble? Who's to know? Rebel, rebel...don't know if it's a boy or a girl... Okay, how's this for a mixed message?

  12. Ooh, love that psychedelic first photo! And the floral frock and acid yellow kimono are groovy, Mel!
    The Jehovah's Witness story made me laugh. Yes, I have had reason lately to consider messages sent and received, and the risk of misunderstandings. It may brew into a blog post, or just sit and stew in my fetid brain till I move on to something else! xxxx

  13. I think that first photo is what you look like when you are on your home planet ;) We have those "Because I'm a Girl" people here too, and they are so fresh-faced and chirpy it makes me slightly ill. They always zero in on me whenever I walk by and sometimes we end up having a fun chat.

    I'll bet that kimono leaves a lightning trail in its wake.

  14. I was looking at those pictures thinking, Melanie is just so damn cute! And then I see my name mentioned yet again, you sweetheart! (The money goes into your bank account tomorrow.) I think you must create a hazard wherever you go because people are straining to look at you as you sail through the universe, turning black and white Kansas into technicolor Ozzzzzzz! That robe seems to be the same color as the TYS - hmmmmm, maybe the skirt needs to make its way back to you.

    I love your story about Japanese Jehovah's Witnesses. I'm sure you all felt a wave of relief when that incident was over! My husband loves to talk to them when they come to the door, and question them, and challenge them politely. The last time they came (two young women) he had them there for half an hour! He would have been great in a debate club.

  15. Love the cheongsam and the neon jacket is fab with it!

  16. I do not understand this "Because I am a girl" thing, but it does not matter because your posts are always so colourful and well written and thoughtful and funny. I think I am in love with yellow at the moment, the perfect antidote to winter, from my southern perspective.

  17. Mixed messages, well perhaps my massage therapist thinking I would be interested in the 'benefits' of alkaline water in order to de-acidify' my system might count as one. I need a tee shirt that says Do I Look Gullible?

    Because I'm a Girl hasn't made it's way to Comox yet, though the Jehova's Witnesses are well established. I miss their visits now that I live in a condominium.

  18. Love your layers of neon, it's so colorful and fun! It's so encouraging to read your post about your adventures in the city, you look great, for stop traffic!

  19. Your colors provide the perfect amount of electricity to motivate me, along with my mooring coffee. I needed the "Melanie fix" today, and will be on the look-out for mixed messages and tricky business. Or maybe I will just pass through the day with rose-colored glasses.

  20. Aaaah the Beehive, apparently the higher the hair the closer to God, maybe that's the secret? the first pic is mind blowingly brilliant, blooming awesome and your gorgeous billowing yellow kimono is swoonsome (new word, I like it) x x x

  21. Looking particularly lovely today. I wish I could be a fly on the wall when you walk through the streets. Or when you address thos man/girls/men. No idea why they do it.
    As I work in communication (advertising) there are mixed messages flying around all day.


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