Had a weird experience at my local coffee shop yesterday. I have this really cute tank top that is american flag-esque. Red and white stripes on the bodice, with blue/stars piping and straps. Totally cute. And if I may say so, I make that flag look gooooood, yo. ;)
So I'm ordering my usual (small skim capp; extra dry), and the woman behind the counter tells me she likes my shirt, to which I reply, as you would expect, "thank you!" But I no sooner have the "...you" out of my mouth than she says, "I love the irony. I'd wear one too if I could wear it upside down." I had no idea what she meant, so I just nodded and smiled and said something noncommittal. It didn't really register till later what she was getting at, and when it did I was really angry. Like, Zell Miller angry. Okay, maybe not THAT angry. Maybe closer to Ann Coulter angry...
She was thinking that I wear flag shirts like Ashton Kutcher wears trucker hats, ie, as a way to poke fun, to appropriate some element of the demographic without actually being a part of it. Obviously I am not the average soccer mom who wears my santa claus/reindeer Christmas sweater, Halloween pumpkin light-up earrings, and July 4th american flag shirt because they are so gosh-darn festive. But I'm not wearing a shirt reminiscent of the flag because I'm trying to deride or disrespect it. It really upset me because she seemed like a cool enough person, but it was just such an unnecessary potshot at patriotism that truly served no purpose. Like somehow to be liberal I have to think the flag is stupid? Or that the flag represents something evil? Can't I both be a liberal AND feel kind of teary-eyed when I see a flag waving and the national anthem playing?
Short Story Long: I am of course going back to my coffee shop tomorrow. Wearing my Rage Against The Machine shirt. Which I will tell her is "ironic," since anyone who bathes regularly and does not wear hemp knows that they s*ck.
Oooohhh--cue the outraged emails from lovers of both Ann Coulter and Zack de la Rocha. I can't wait.