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Sunday, January 15th, 2012
Hey guys, do these jeans make my ass look queer?
Trick question, of course. Trousers can't alter your sexual orientation. (Though wouldn't it be great if they could? Think of the possibilities. "Put on your gay pants, guys, we're going to Boys Town!") Apparently I just look deceptively queer today.
I was waiting for a train home from downtown this afternoon, idly checking my email and kind of annoyed that all the good food places were closed, when this dude walked past me in the train station, stopped, and said, "For a moment, I thought you were a queer. You got a dollar?"
Ideally, I would have replied, "What makes you think I'm not?" or possibly "I left my cash in my straight-boy wallet" or, as Dove suggested on Twitter, "Sorry, all I have are these three dollar bills" (which is BRILLIANT). But I just stared at him, confused, until he walked away.
I wasn't insulted that apparently something about me pinged his gaydar. I wasn't even shocked that this dude decided who I fuck was any of his business and/or that he got it wrong, because our culture is obsessed with obsessing over who other people sleep with. I was just totally flummoxed by the fact that he thought my percieved sexuality was a) a good conversation opener or b) a good lead-in to a request for money. I realise this is probably something some people encounter on a regular basis but I have literally never run into anything like it before, and it stumped me.
I'm going to assume he had Tourettes, because otherwise I can only come up with two possibilities.
First, he decided I probably got called a queer a lot, and would like a boost to my heterosexuality by being told he doesn't think I'm actually gay.
Second, and much more amusing if also more despair-inducing, he actually meant it 100% heartfelt: he looked at me and decided my lithe physique or new haircut or stylish leather jacket indicated I like cock. Then I did something so unbelievably heterosexual that he just couldn't help confessing his misconception. Maybe the way I pushed buttons on my phone screamed "I like tits"?
I need to never go downtown on a Sunday again. The trains are slow, all the good places to eat are closed, and people question my sexuality before panhandling from me.
And in news of what I actually DID today...
The whole "stay inside and comatose for three days" plan kind of died, because I'm feeling better -- one of my coworkers said "It goes away really suddenly" and boy was she right. So I thought I'd stick with the plan I'd made for the weekend and do a little museum-ing today. The Hellenic Museum just opened up a new space, and they're right near the Hull House Museum, so I hied myself down to the Greektown/UIC area and did a little touring.
I thought that the Hellenic Museum's exhibit on ancient Troy would be good, but it was geared heavily towards kids and while I did get to see the big climbable Trojan Horse, even that wasn't terribly impressive and I felt like a creep wandering around the exhibit without any children attached to me. So I went upstairs to the "permanent" exhibit and discovered that they are still, in fact, in the process of creating it.
I was dismayed, but it's actually super-cool: they have a "preview" set up with all kinds of process photos and rough outlines of where stuff will go and neat mini-exhibits on the design and eventual decoration of the permanent exhibit floor. I took a ton of pictures. I'm not sure going is really worth the $10 admission yet, but I don't feel bad about paying it, because my $10 is totally helping to make the permanent exhibit permanent. So that's all right.
Then on the way to Hull House I swung by the Greek Bakery that's across the street and got BUTTER COOKIES YAY before heading south to Hull House.
Hull House Museum is a weird museum because it doesn't really...vocalise itself well. I went because I couldn't figure out what the everloving hell the point of the museum was and I'm still not sure. Hull House was a sort of cross between boarding house, artist's colony, and activist headquarters in early 20th century; the idea was to bring social activism and educational opportunities to what at the time was a pretty major slum, but there's no real coherent presentation of that in the house. It's fun to look at, and really interesting to walk around in, but walking through the house was like reading a badly edited wikipedia article about it. Also the website tends to bill single objects as entire shows, which confuses me.
But it's owned by UIC, so I suppose the point is more to preserve the house and its treasures than to actually present a coherent voice to outsiders. Who knows.
At any rate, both were fun, and I'd like to get back to the Hellenic Museum when the exhibits are actually up, but other than that I feel no real need to return.