In a local store, a young female employee dressed in jeans, a sweater and a scarf spotted me in my summery top, capris and light cardigan sweater and said in my general direction (ostensibly to me), “Oh…someone didn’t dress appropriately for the weather…this is Santa Cruz you know. ”
I smiled a side-way smile and nodded to indicate that I had heard and received her comment. Truth be told the sideways smile was more of a smirk than anything else.
Silly girl. She clearly mistook me for some lightweight who doesn’t know how to deal with temperature fluctuation. Perhaps she thought I was someone who is from a place like Southern California where a temperature drop into the 50s is a cold day.
Well, that may have been me – once upon a time – but I am moving into my 15th year in North Dakota. My skin has thickened, my durability has increased – my heartiness stock is up. And while it is true that I am not by virtue of 15 years in the state a native (clearly, that is not the case as I wore a light sweater today in mere 50 degree weather), I have enough time in to say that I can take the ins-and-outs of a day like today in Santa Cruz, California without jeans and a sweater. I am from North Dakota – I am no pansy. Pansies are sweet and adorable, but decidedly fragile. My days of weather fragility are far behind me.
I have become sturdy and determined and much more able to survive the whims of nature over time. I used to think that the process of being more North Dakotan would result in me becoming something much more industrial – something much less definable as a lovely flower. But a rose by any other name is still a rose – I am just a hardier version.
So, no Santa Cruz shop girl, I didn’t dress appropriately for the weather, because if I had I wouldn’t have been wearing a light sweater. Give me another 15 years in North Dakota and I will return on a like weather day in a bikini – then it will be your turn to smirk.
Day nine hundred and eighty-three of the new forty – obla di obla da