I am used to being recognized by random people.
Does that sound as strange as I think it does? Probably. It sounds very strange when I tell my co-workers about it, and they all think it's funny.
But I guess I should explain, right?
Right. Well, I am a receptionist for a very well known music retailer out here. We've only got two locations, and all of Austin's musicians and the surrounding areas outside of Austin come to us for their supplies. And to say again, this is Austin. Everybody is in a band, and everybody gigs. And if you don't gig, you go see other people who gig because no matter what day of the week or where you are in Austin, somebody close to you has a live band playing.
So when I go downtown to a show, I inevitably have people tapping me on the shoulder saying, "Hey! I know you! You're the *blank* Music Girl!" And it doesn't bother me because I'm pretty much the face of the store. I'm the first person you see and talk to when you come in, and I'm the last person you see and talk to when you leave. I'm also usually the first person you come to when you need help while shopping or browsing. The guys joke and call me the *blank* Music Spokes Model.
Recently it's become even more common to hear it. So much so that I no longer answer the door when Padawan and I order in because nothing creeps me out more than hearing, "Hey! You're the *Blank* Music Girl!" when I come to the door. It's one thing for people to know where I work, and it's entirely another to have strange men knowing where I work AND where I live. There's a line drawn there, and I don't want it blurred. Downtown? Sure. When I go Downtown I promote the hell out of the store. But in the privacy of my own home? I just want to be comfortable and in my own private world. I don't want to talk to people who I don't even remember about the things they played or asked about when they saw me at work. I just want peace and no worries at work.
So it's pretty easy to say that I'm used to being recognized, and if not by my name, always by the fact that I work for the music retailer, and that's why I wasn't really put off by someone approaching me at the book store on my lunch break yesterday and saying, "Hey! I've seen you before!"
I expected the inevitable title, but imagine my surprise when he said, "You were one of the models for Fashion Week! I saw you on the runway!"
Um...what? I'm...not a model. I'm not interested in Fashion Week. I don't even go to the fashion shows Downtown during Fashion Week, let alone hop up on the catwalk and strut around while people photograph me. Also, the designers here in Austin like their models to be between ninety five and one hundred and ten pounds. I'm five pounds over that and while I want to lose weight, I want to do it for myself and not for anybody else.
When I told him he was mistaken, he said, "No, no! I know it was you! At *name of club*! I was in the same show! I passed you on the runway!"
Well, he couldn't really help his mistake. Male models are notoriously gorgeous and stupid. He fit the description better than Cinderella's slipper fit her dainty foot. Honestly, I was flattered that he thought I was a model he'd worked indirectly with, but he was still wrong.
"No, I promise, I really wasn't even Downtown for Fashion Week. I'm not a model." I mean, I've modeled for an artistic friend before, but the photos were for art, not fashion, and were completely different.
These photos were just to help her build a portfolio. The black and white one I was sixteen, the sepia photo shoot I was nineteen, and colored but paled photo was last year. If she hadn't been desperate for a model I wouldn't have done it, but she needed them. Also, she paid me in chocolate and Dr. Pepper, and you REALLY can't say no to that sort of compensation. But these photos are just art. There's nothing even remotely fashionable about them, and especially nothing high fashion. (Though I'm vainly proud of the most recent one because it looks awesome, even though she did edit it.) It's not that I don't wish I could be a model. Doesn't every girl? It's just as natural as spending your childhood wishing you could be a princess.
It's just not what I am, though. So I tried to tell him he'd recognized me from somewhere else, and finally he figured out that he'd seen me at work, and that was why my face was so familiar. And after all of that I tried to just go back to my book (I had found a copy of Lolita and was mulling over whether or not I wanted to buy it) but he wanted to ask if I was interested in modeling, if I'd ever done it before, blah blah blah.
Well, lucky me, at that moment my alarm went off signaling that it was time for me to walk back to work or I would be late. I made my apologies and left.
*re-reads blog* You know, this was somehow funnier when it happened than it wound up being after I typed it out. But it seriously was funny. You have to just imagine my vaguely confused voice answering his questions with an upward inflection because I didn't know how to react...Also, imagine a ridiculous confused look on my face. Or maybe think I was giving him a weary, I'm-talking-to-a-crazy-person look. It's funnier, I think, if you try to picture it.