Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dude, I'm still going to buy your strawberries

Today I was able to sneak in a quick trip to the farmers market. Apparently “quick” is now defined as battling dozens of wayward pedestrians, nearing road-rage to secure a parking spot, hiking across the park with heels sinking into the grass, and wiping sweat off my forehead in regular intervals. Upon arriving, I approached a large organic booth displaying a variety of fruits and veggies. A cheery woman greeted me and exuberantly said, “Oh my! Is that your natural hair color?”

In my defense, I think I am a generally decent human being. However, I hate it when people ask stupid, potentially embarrassing, uncomfortable, and nosey questions. For the record, I have never dyed my hair a day in my life; it is 100% true, natural, Scandinavian blonde. That isn’t to say that I can’t play a dumb blonde well on occasion. I also can play a blonde who could be a fake blonde, but isn’t, yet is annoyed that she’s being asked this question on behalf of all of fake blondes out there. I wanted to say, “No, it’s a wig. Is it that obvious? My oncologist said it looked great.” Or possibly, “Yes, it is. After the sex-change operation, I started growing this lovely blonde hair. I think I was meant to be a woman all along.” I even contemplated, “Why yes. Is that your natural lack of self-control?”

But, of course, I didn’t. Because although my patience-for-annoying-people tolerance was at an all time low today, I do a fantastic job at censoring my thoughts before I form them into words. It’s how I continue to maintain any degree of socialization. I said it was natural and the lady gushed about how gorgeous it was, how fortunate I was to have this hair, and how people pay blah blah blah for hair this color. Blah blah blah. Blah. Blah blah. I bought some strawberries from her and moved on.

A few booths down, I arrived at the only other large organic vendor at the market. I was inspecting the asparagus and trying to remember exactly what veggies I had bought at the store on Monday. You know the ones I spend my money on, and then allow to rot when I get home too late to cook and resort to ordering pizza instead. The young woman behind the booth looked up and said, “Wow! Is that your natural hair color?”

I’m not kidding you.

I didn’t catch on at first. I gave her a quizzical look and told her that I hadn’t been asked that question in years and I had just been asked minutes earlier. Instead of sharing in my disbelief, she diverted her eye-contact and smiled and told me how pretty it was. At that moment, I realized the cover on their new sales tactic had been blown. Perhaps next time they could make it a little less obvious, or alternate flattering comments for their potential customers. You know, or at least redefine what exactly constitutes a safe compliment ...

7 comments:

marissa said...

wow that's hysterical, note, to self if I want to sell things ask people if they dye their hair, did I get it right?

Michel said...

So farmers now think asking if you dye your hair is a flattery comment now??

Wow. Things have sure changed. However, for the record (and too make feel better about the day) I barely remember what my natural haircolor is supposed to be! I think it was some shade of brown, but cannot be sure.

Did you purposefully make me type grandma in the word verification - because if so, that is just cruel.

Jodi said...

Erik went to farmers market yesterday, I'll have to check with him if anyone asked him about this hair! LOL!

Also - maybe it's just the organic booths that do that, I've never had that experience at the others! :)

C. Beth said...

Oh wow, I can imagine the Farmers Market vendor message board. (You know there is one somewhere.) Someone posted last week about their great new way to snag clients, and the fantastic idea spread like wildfire....

In college I was stupid enough to say to a new teacher, "Wow, your green eyes are amazing! Are they real or contacts?" She rather curtly told me they were real.

A couple of years later before I graduated I was involved in a conversation where she said, "People ask me whether my eye color is real. They're contacts, but I tell them it's real just because the questions is SO RUDE."

Oops. Lesson learned.

Call Me Cate said...

I think it's just you. I've never been asked such things at the farmers market. Of course, my hair (and eyes, in case Beth was wondering) is naturally this shade of mud.

I love your mental responses though. Sometimes people just don't think. Or they think commenting on eyes or hair is a safe conversation starter/sales tactic. I guess compared to asking the overweight chick when her baby is due, they're somewhat right.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

It seems like an odd way to sell produce.

Jeanne said...

I thought it was some kind of snide "why is someone who's so fake she's trying to pass as a blonde buying organic" thing.

Just ineptitude, apparently.