As I mentioned yesterday is has been raining in Austin for the past three days, which is like a year and a half in Texas time, and since the Volvo is in the shop I have been partaking in the varied smells and delights of public transportation.
Now you’d think I would be anti-bus, what with me hating poor people and the environment and all, but you would be wrong; I heart the bus.
See, deep down (okay, not that deep down) I’m one of those Southerners who will have a conversation with anybody about anything (as long as it’s decent) and there are few things that give me more delight than asking how someone’s mama is. Sometimes I ask even if I don’t really know the person, because they won’t know they haven’t said anything and odds are if you live in the South, you will ALWAYS have a story about your mama.
So that part of the bus is awesome, as is getting exercise first thing in the morning. The part I do not relish is getting caught in the rain.
One might suspect that a girl who collects silk umbrellas wouldn’t get caught without one very often. Well, one would be wrong. Sometimes I’ll remember to take an umbrella, but odds are I’ll leave it somewhere. If the homeless citizenry of Austin have, on average, a posher collection of parapluies than the average city it’s mostly because I have personally bumbershot them all myself. See also: Ray-Ban Classic Wayfarers (in tortoiseshell, if you please).
That being said, if you DO get caught in the rain there is an excellent life lesson to be learned (and it’s not “stop forgetting your stupid umbrella, you dingdong.”)
Walk gracefully in the rain.
I know, I know, it doesn’t make any sense, but trust me. Shoulders back, head up (like that little neck scrunch is going to do a darn thing to keep you dry anyway) determined –or at least not miserable– look and purposeful steps.
The moral of the story is this:
If you can walk with dignity in the rain, you can walk with dignity anywhere.
You can walk with dignity when you’ve been entirely humiliated by an ex-boyfriend, you can walk with dignity when you’ve been turned down for a promotion or laid off. You can walk with dignity even if you’ve just show the publisher of your newspaper your rear-end (festooned with Laundry Day Undies) because it’s the ONE FREAKIN’ DAY you forgot to wear a slip. You can walk with dignity and command a room before you even open your mouth if you’re called on to make a speech, and for safety reasons, you can walk with dignity down a dark street at night and make potential baddies think twice about messing with you.
How many of us really pay attention to our walks? And yet they say so much. Remember that scene in Pretty Woman when Julia Roberts lopes like a linebacker through the hotel lobby? Or Mister Humphries adorable mince in Are You Being Served? What about John Wayne in pretty much everything? Just as much –perhaps more– than clothing, your walk defines how people see you and what’s better: it doesn’t cost a dime.
And for a little added tuition in the ambulatory arts, let’s hear from Professor Lux Interior and the rest of The Cramps playing The Way I Walk, live at Napa State Mental Hospital, 1978.