We pondered the absurdity of ice cream and shoe shopping when it was so black and rainy outside, but in the end my sister and I soldiered on after classes with our scheduled plans anyway. We walked everywhere, hunched down over the sidewalks of long, dark, slick main thoroughfares in gleaming black rain jackets, mildly dazzled by dimly gleaming lights and the zooming of passing cars, our headphones in and our walk carrying the silence of the amiable.
We entered a lonely little few-table ice cream parlor first. It was covered in gleaming glass and confetti pink. I had a cup of late-night Oreos cookie n cream ice cream, while my sister got a big colorful ice cream cone. We were the only patrons, aside from a heavily accented man trying to order ice cream ahead for later to the confused clerks, and a woman with her daughter celebrating the little girl’s birthday.
At one point I sneezed so loudly in the silence that my sister stared at me with big eyes, and I started laughing uncontrollably. We fell into easier chatter after that, some strange spell broken. We put on our collective bucket list an edible cookie dough place we recently learned about in New York, and nerded out over anime con stuff.
A big family entered the ice cream parlor as we left. The mother was talking loudly enough for the clerks to overhear about “cheap ice cream.”
The gleaming single-story mall full of storefronts was nearly empty at this late hour. A single red balloon was stuck to the ceiling in the quiet. I’d needed some new summer shoes. All I had right now were big, clunky black winter boots.
The extremely bored clerks in the aggressively red shoe shop immediately went to help me find the right shoes. I shop fast – I get in, I get what I want, I get out. I’m petite with an average woman’s shoe size, so it helps that I’m not terribly hard to shop for. I chose grey and indigo crinkle patterned vans to go with my dark leggings and darker skinny jeans.
I’m boringly practical. I only ever buy with debit, I buy shoes twice a year, and I never spend much time shopping. I’m infamous for always picking out exactly what I want on the first try.
In other words, in patriarchal dude terms, I’m “kinda weird for a chick.”