Canary Character

by Nic Olson

Character is who you are when no one is looking.

A famous quote by someone not famous enough to remember. I can only hope to be that caliber of person someday. Someone who said something, one thing decent so that he wasn’t remembered but his words were. Here is my version of this famous lame quote…

Character is who you are when you are alone shopping.

You learn a lot about people who wear clothes. You learn more about people who buy clothes. First, the obvious, their personal status (single, married, dating, floozie or otherwise.) There is a difference in purchases between the mother of three and the host of three bar-hopping diseases. Both may like turtlenecks but not both love see through backless haltertops.

Their gender. Usually after watching someone shop you can determine their gender, even if you don’t see what they purchase. But not always. Some dudes love their flowery thongs.

Their consumerism position. Where they shop. What and how much they buy. If their purchases are in any way responsible or are for personal gain or hygene. (I don’t ever want to be a ‘consumer’. It sounds so dirty. I want to be a responsible user and/or a smart spender. Makes me sound like less of a vulture, swooping in for the leftovers doing none of the work, and more like a canary, using myself for something greater and considerably smarter.)

Mental diseases. A clothing store especially. There are a few types of mental issues here. There are the people (always female) that try on literally thirty tops and don’t buy any (the ADD psychopath). The person who comes in four times a day and buy four things each time (OCD drug addicts). And the people who are so awkward in the store that they can’t string together a sensical sentence when asked ” How are you today?” and sweat profusely when trying things on (me).

If you are worried that your lover/wife/crush/stalkee is a weirdo then quietly creep near them as they shop alone. You’ll learn more than you ever wanted to. Boxers or briefs? Or lacey strings?