Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

18 Jun 2004, 18:14 p.m.

Men In Black And Blue

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2004 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

Often, if I compliment a woman on her couture, she responds either with a compliment on my clothes or with a description of the item's provenance and bargain-basement price (e.g., "I got it while I was in [country], they use such great colors and textures there, and it only cost [amount]"). Both men and women sometimes respond to compliments with self-deprecation, but until yesterday I'd only seen women immediately, reflexively tell me how much they paid and where.

Yesterday, while waiting for a light to change, I admired a stranger's pleated/ruffled short-sleeved button-down shirt. It reminded me of Adam Parrish. I told him it was snazzy.

"Oh, thanks! Thriftmart, in the Mission, maybe six bucks."

We walked across Fourth Street, the crowd separating us, as I burst into guffaws.