So we were in Starbucks (as we were almost every Saturday morning) but this Saturday was special because, on this day, my 3 year old daughter saw someone that she had never seen before. She finally got to lay eyes on a figure that she had only before seen in books and the movie Peter Pan.
So the story begins very early on a cloudy Saturday morning. My kids and I were looking for a table while my husband took place in the abnormally long line. My daughter and I sat against the wall, and I sat the baby’s car seat in the chair across from me. All of the comfy seats were already taken, so we were sitting directly across from the case filled with treats and we were easily within earshot of the people in line. We had a view of the entire store and, as my daughter sat watching her dad in line, I noticed a bright green flash at the store’s entrance. It was a very unusual sight. A few people wearing cycling clothes were standing in the corner chatting and they all stopped as she entered.
She was obviously a newbie to sport of cycling, but boy was she prepared for today’s ride. She was wearing a color that is hard to describe, because it actually glowed. It was like an alien spacecraft had exploded and this blinding material was all that was left. The color was neon green (we will just call it green with black accents) and she was wearing a lot of it. I mean she had on the neon green and black shirt, the neon green and black bike shorts, and the neon green and black jacket. This lady had the neon green and black tennis shoes, the neon green and black fanny pack, and even the matching water bottle. Her hair was red, short, and very curly; it was so short that it stood up wildly all over her head. Her black bandana, with neon green accents, smashed down the very front, and made the hair around the top and sides of her head stick out even more. As she walked toward her friends, the crowd literally parted as people took in the neon spectacle. Her cycling friends were also dressed to ride, but they were dressed much simpler and did not cause you to choke on your bagel. It is hard to explain because the others also had on unique outfits. They wore shirts of various color (even neon) and many had logos. There was just something so different about this outfit. I am still not sure if it was just that the color was so strange, or that it seemed a size too small as it clung for dear life to her enormous knockers (which were so smashed down that they stretched from her armpits to her belly button). She walked with a swagger that shook her water bottle and something that I am pretty sure was a compass. I did not understand the compass; I mean is it really possible to get lost while wearing the fashion equivalent to a strobe light. This woman was totally and completely covered with glowing green and black. I found myself wondering if she had somehow found neon green toilet paper and stashed it in her fanny pack. Although most of us tried to look away, you just had to look again. It was like a tractor beam was pulling you back to bask in a confusing neon haze.
I sat and watched as everyone stared at her and I tried to figure out if I had just encountered the world’s most confident woman or most naive. Should I applaud her or feel guilty for staring. I was concerned that she may have fallen prey to some slicked-back-haired, smooth talking, cycling salesman. Or maybe she had a cold and accidentally took the drowsy nighttime medicine on the day of her clothing purchase. These were good possibilities, but still did not explain why she put on the outfit this morning. I forgave her for the hair standing straight up on her head. I mean who hasn’t fallen victim to a bad hairstylist (although there really should be a state board somewhere tracking this guy down and permanently removing his scissors). I was smiling at her and trying very hard to look approving. After all, you could tell that she had not exercised in a while and decided to try something new and make a change for the better – good for her! I sat there and hoped the others would come to similar conclusions and would stop staring and mumbling under their breath.
The attention kept coming her way, and not just because of the super cyclist/super hero outfit, but because she was a loud talker. She suddenly started yelling “I’m here and I’m ready to do this!” while pumping her glowing arms up high in the air. This is the point when my three year old spotted her and started saying “Mommy look! Mommy look!” I looked straight ahead of me at the men standing in line, who were also listening to my daughter. They threw me a smirk, as they looked back at the loud talking, loud walking lady. I tried to distract my daughter by pointing to her dad, who was way down at the other end, waiting for our coffees. The lady now announces, to the entire store, that she has to use the restroom and heads our way. As she gets right in front of our table (which happens to be right at the center of the unusually long and slow line), my daughter stands up. She actually stood up on the bench, stuck out her arm, pointed her finger at the woman and yelled “Look mommy, a pirate! Aaaaarrrrrhhhhh!”
I looked up and the entire Starbucks line was completely doubled over. Tears were running down faces, hands were on stomachs and a few even clapped. My face was completely red. I was trying to keep my composure as I looked over at her friends and mouthed the words “Sorry! Those crazy kids!” The good news was that the lady already had her back to us at the time of the comment. I was hoping that she had missed it completely. My husband walks over with the coffees. Some guy, who could not stop laughing, steps over to us and says, “That was awesome!” My husband looks at me and asks what is going on. I tell him and he asks, “Did she really say Aaaaarrrrhhhhh?” A completely different man answered for me. “Oh yeah” he said, as he wiped a tear off of his face. My daughter then looks at my husband and says “Oh daddy, I’ve never met a pirate before!” I was trying to decide if we should just leave, but we stayed and had our coffee and sandwiches.
The lady seemed OK as she exited the restroom. She still looked happy and excited, so I assumed that she somehow missed the whole thing. I only looked at her again when she was outside the store. I could now see that her hair, forced down by the bandana, actually was in the shape of a pirate hat, the water bottle on her hip was similar to a looking glass, and the compass goes without saying. The outfit was so bizarre that my daughter decided it could only be worn by a very select few. Lady neon actually did kind of look like a pirate!
It was a horribly embarrassing morning for me, but for my daughter, it was the best morning ever! She spoke of this morning for months. She told people about the morning that she met a pirate (a neon green pirate at Starbucks). That is the great thing about kids; you just never know what exciting adventures lie ahead, even on what started out to be a gloomy, mundane Saturday morning.