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Friday, February 20, 2004

My Style 

I'm sitting in a Starbucks on 7th Avenue with my grande soy no whip mocha. I'm near the garment district where I've been hunting for beads in the wholesale shops. I love New York. There are so many languages around me; I can't help listening to the ESL group at the table across from me. A woman who speaks grammatically flawless, precisely enunciated English with a heavy Chinese accent is leading the group. She's a little bossy and is clearly passionate about the topic. Her style reminds me of when I thought I could teach English to a Hungarian neighbor. She was a 20-something Zsa Zsa Gabor who'd married an American flyboy, and she graciously humored me until I realized that's what she was doing. It was 1962 and I was in grade school.

When I got in last night, the cabbie asked how long I'd lived in Brooklyn. I caught myself answering, "I don't live in Brooklyn," not unlike Miranda would have done before she moved there. I went on to explain that I was visiting my daughter, but I'd moved from Manhattan 3 years ago. He asked where I live now and when I said Champaign Illinois he said, "Ahhh, you teach at university there." "Well, no, but I work at the University." "Same thing. I know people. I been driving 17 years. I can tell you are teacher."

This afternoon I bought an H&M jacket because it looks like one my mother wore in 1962 (so Jackie O!). My daughter wears it now, and I was just looking at it on her closet door this morning. Vintage clothes are always too small for me, so it was fun to find a remake in my size. I'm not sure the retro look fits me, even though the cashier, an exotic-looking woman my age said without a prompt, "Oh! this is you!" I wonder if that means it looks like something a teacher would wear.


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