Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Pretty Privilege

So, I’m sitting in front of the bagel store, waiting for the teenager and his friend to come out with their bacon-and-egg bagels, and I don’t have much to do to entertain myself so I begin to do what I love doing most (besides playing tennis and eating popcorn): people watch. Far and away the most compelling person to watch was the woman in the shift. I’m not sure why they call that style of dress a shift; it’s a decidedly unsexy name for what can often be a very sexy dress. This one was classic: simple, short, sleeveless, black. It looked like something Holly Golightly would wear, but this woman was not having breakfast at Tiffany’s. She was bringing a small bundle into the dry cleaner.

Everything about her was perfect. She had perfectly highlighted blond hair that was pulled up into a perfect chignon. She had perfectly tanned legs, perfectly toned arms. Not too much make-up, not too much jewelry, her watch and shoes were classy but not flashy. It was nine in the morning; she was probably on her way to work. She fished her tasteful wallet out of her tasteful purse and tastefully paid the man for her tasteful, dry-cleaned clothes.

I couldn’t tell how old the woman was, even though she walked right in front of my car on her way into the storefront. She could have been 25, she could have been 45, she could have been anywhere in between. She was young and fit and capable, and her car was only parked a few spots down from the cleaner’s doorway. So I was a little surprised when the proprietor carried her fresh dry cleaning to her car for her and set it down across the back seat. Where does this happen besides Hooterville?

This is Pretty Privilege in action. Beautiful women, endlessly fawned over. I used to spend so much time pitying these women. Poor you, I would think. You were born so beautiful, you never had to cultivate an interesting personality or develop a sense of humor. How sad that you have to go through life shallow and dull.

But you know what? Fuck that. I didn’t realize they were getting their dry cleaning carried to their cars. Come on. You don’t have to carry your own dry cleaning to the car? Really?

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