Questions Without Answers

The recent severe weather rode in on a cold front, which was abundantly obvious if you were walking around outside yesterday afternoon — it was pretty dang chilly. As I was walking to Coffee Plant for some more excellent Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, I was struck once again by some of life’s unsolved mysteries:

Why would a teenage girl be wearing short shorts in that kind of weather?

There is an obvious answer, certainly: To show off her legs. But what is the price of such vanity? How much discomfort is needed to override one’s fashion sense?

It’s not just teenagers, you know. On any given winter day you can spot a dozen women who are scurrying along the sidewalk, chin tucked down, and their arms clasped across their torsos as if to physically hold the heat in with both hands. They look like some kind of wind-up toy as they skittle along.

Why don’t they just wear warm coats?

I mean, surely you can buy a coat that is both warm AND fashionable. Can’t you?

But lately I’ve been pondering a question that is more perplexing than either of those. Since moving to Portland, I’ve had to get used to seeing all manner of men spitting on the sidewalks downtown. From discreet little salivary missiles, to vast puddles of mucous, I’ve seen all manner of disgusting discharges in public spaces. But it’s only recently that I’ve seen THIS kind of spitting.

When did women start spitting in public?

It really sets me back when I see a young, attractive and well-dressed woman lean over and hawk a loogie onto the sidewalk. Is this a case of feminists asserting their right to be just as disgusting as men? Or just a symptom of the erosion of civility in general?

3 Comments so far

  1. Robert Bruce (unregistered) on December 16th, 2006 @ 10:56 am

    Yeah, got my ass handed to me by a woman passerby a decade ago… I’d spat on the sidewalk (not at her), and she laid into me.

    Thing is, she was right. If you’re gonna do it, at least hit the street…

    When you think about dragging one of those things into your house on your shoe, changes the perspective a bit.


  2. divebarwife (unregistered) on December 16th, 2006 @ 12:29 pm

    I have been guilty in much colder and snowier weather than here even of doing that ridiculous half run down the street with no coat and rather skimpy clothing – but only for one reason…if going to a club or show where it would be packed and get very warm inside, you’re going to be dancing or jumping around at the front of the stage and don’t want to hassle with holding said coat all night long and/or you didn’t want it to get super smokey-smelling. So if it’s in the evening and they look dressed to be headed ‘out’ I’d forgive ’em – otherwise – silly vain women!


  3. no one in particular (unregistered) on December 16th, 2006 @ 12:38 pm

    Yeah, I’m with divebarwife. I’m a guy, but I often head to places with no coat on. I have a very nice, very fashionable coat, but do I really want to ditch it on a bench once I get inside and risk it getting stolen? No, I do not.



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