Sunday, October 12, 2008

Airport Goth

Once upon a time people dressed up to go on airplanes. It was some kind of occasion, like dressing to dine at the captain's table on an ocean voyage. Then the sixties came and dress codes changed almost overnight. I know a woman now in her seventies who was on an extended trip in Europe when the sixties arrived. When she returned to Canada she was quite stunned. what had happened to everyone? What were they wearing? They had gone from white gloves and hats to tie-dyes and beaded headbands in the turn of a decade. Also around the same time, air travel became more commonplace and no longer an occasion. People now usually wear whatever they are wearing when it is time to leave, or what they need to be wearing when they get there.

That makes most air travellers dressed for either business or vacation, with the business shading from suits and ties to workboots and jeans, depending on the route flown. But a few independent souls buck the trend and wear astounding things. They probably aren't really bucking the trend at all, and are simply wearing what they wear every day, or what they need to be wearing when they get where they are going, but still, they make waiting at the airport more exciting.

I saw this woman as I walked towards my gate. She was reading a magazine as I walked by. I stared, hoped she didn't notice, then got a few rows of seats past her and remembered the old retaliatory taunt for staring, "take a picture, it lasts longer!"

I doubled back and simply asked her, "excuse me, may I take your picture?" She put down her magazine and struck a pose. I guess you don't dress like that if you're averse to a little attention. Thank you to all the airport goths. You make my day.

And on the topic of all kinds of people with all kinds of normal, I skipped a day blogging yesterday in order to extend the Secret Ballot discussion. I'm really enjoying everyone's opinions and ideas. I'm proud to have readers who can discuss politics without getting into a slanging match.

9 comments:

Rob said...

For a second there (before I started reading) I thought that you might have actually decided to reveal your secret identity, and share a picture of yourself with your loyal readers...

Paul said...

Is there any chance Air Canada would ask her to dress less provocatively? ;)

--paul

steve said...

She has to be batman's girlfriend- boarding for Gotham City?

Axel said...

Funny incident, and surely something out of the ordinary, although not exactly like in the pre 60's you describe... :)

LemonJelly said...

That girl is hawt. Thanks for sharing.

Lynn said...

It must be a royal pain for her to go through security and have to unlace those boots so they can be inspected. My partner went through security once wearing thigh-high boots and it wasn't so good. At least they were zip-up.

Lynn

Sarah said...

I'm old enough to remember "dressing up for the flight" too. In our case, we were told to look nice because we mostly traveled non-revenue on family employee passes. We were supposed to blend in.

Of course the dress code broke down eventually and on one of my last non-rev flights last century the agent took pity on a grungy teenager who had spent the night in the Las Vegas airport. I was bumped to 1st class, jeans, backpack and all.

dpierce said...

Most of my business trips are multi-day affairs. I like to fly in the day prior and sit in my hotel to prepare for the morning. So, I'm often flying in jeans and sneakers, and naturally, people assume my travel is personal. This had led to some great misunderstandings and presumptions, especially if I happen to wind up in business class.

Example: I was seated next to an older guy in a suit who, after a few minutes of chatting, made a quip along the lines of, "So, what kind of consulting are you doing dressed like that?" I replied, "Well technically, I'm retired. What are you doing still having to dress like that at your age?" (It was a total lie, but worth every second of his facial expression.)

49C said...

Used to be someone dressed like that was a "stew". Now perhaps she's a FO......