Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Two out of three ain't bad

Dear person in the building next door that I can see through my window,

I’ve been watching you on and off for a couple of months now and I have a question for you: are you a man or a woman?

Our buildings are close enough, and your windows are transparent enough that I can see you and all your colleagues, yet you are far enough away to confuse me as to your gender. I’ve taken a poll with a couple of my colleagues and out of three, you are two-thirds woman and one-third male.

Your short, bleached hair style in a faux mohawk confuses me, as does the way you heartily scratch your head, just like a man. No woman I know so emphatically scratches their head for fear of disrupting the style and causing frizz.

The masculine outfits you wear also confuse me. Your knitted argyle vests worn over button down, cuffed shirts and your perpetual use of pants have me baffled. You could be a woman, and all that shirt and vest layering are masking your curves, or you could just be a man. From where I’m standing I don’t know.

In the colder mornings I’ve wondered whether your coat/scarf combo would shed any light on my conundrum, only to be disappointed that you wear a coat of manly proportions and a nondescript beanie. Not a frill, feather or folly to be found.

The tinting on both our office windows alas gives me no clue as to the colour of your outfits but they certainly look to be various shades of blue, grey and beige. I can’t see your feet but am sure you wear flat, leather lace ups. Don’t you?

Maybe androgyny is your thing and if you’re a woman, well done because you’re pulling off a trendy male look very well. Kudos to you too if you’re a guy as I admire a good argyle knit and not everyone can pull it off without looking bookish.

My only hope now is to one day see you on the street and be able to resolve my confusion once and for all.

Hope you can shed some light.

PJ

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