Tag Archives: architectural controls

Riffing On The ‘Raff

Every now and then reality smacks me upside the head and shouts, “Hey, get a clue!”  This has been one of those weeks.

It started the other day when I was in my gym uniform of yoga pants and T-shirt with a fleece jacket over top.  I looked down and realized I was colour-coordinated from my shoes to my sunglasses:  Black sneakers with green and turquoise on them, black yoga pants, turquoise T-shirt, black jacket, and sunglasses with the same green as my sneakers.

It was a wholly unnatural state, and I felt like a poser because I’m normally neither yoga-panted nor colour-coordinated. (Granted, pairing black with black isn’t much of a fashion achievement, but it’s still far more presentable than I usually look.)

Other than a momentary twitch of surprise, I didn’t think much of it at the time.  But it came back to me later while I was talking with a real estate agent who had apparently mistaken me for a member of the DINK upper-crust.  (That’s an acronym for ‘Dual-Income, No Kids’; not the lowercase ‘dink’ as in ‘prick’.  But I suppose some might dispute the distinction.)

Anyhow, she was promoting a property that had stringent architectural controls and restrictive covenants.  She dropped the name of a big celebrity who lived down the road, and rhapsodized about how wonderful the restrictions were because they maintained the property values.  She didn’t actually go so far as to say “It keeps the riff-raff out”, but the subtext was clear.

While she nattered, I was thinking, “But what’s wrong with having a flagpole?  And if it’s a 20-acre property surrounded by trees, nobody will ever see the house anyway – so why should it matter what colour it is?  And what’s wrong with leaving a dirt bike parked beside the house?”

That’s when reality jumped up and bitch-slapped me.

Well, shit.  I’m the riff-raff that they want to keep out.

I’ve always thought that someday I’d grow up and develop taste and sophistication, but y’know what?  I’m over fifty.  If it was going to happen, it would have already.

The stark realization is staring me in the face:  I’m never going to wake up in the morning with a burning desire to wear expensive designer clothes.  I’m never going to want to live in a fancy gated community where the cream of society looks down on people who are gauche enough to park their recreational vehicles… wait for it… outside the garage where the neighbours might see them!  *gasp*

I’ll always be the woman who, when Hubby asks if we need to fuel up before driving out of town, replies, “Nope, I’ve got gas.  Oh, and my car’s fuelled up, too.”

So maybe it’s time to leave my matching gym ensemble in the drawer and embrace my inner riff-raff in my baggy faded work jeans with the contact cement on the knee and grease smear on the ass.  And maybe I should get some ratty T-shirts with obnoxious slogans like “Love me, love my dirt bike” or something equally shocking.

After all, if I’m gonna take my place among the riff-raff, I’d better do it right.  It’d suck if I wasn’t good enough for them.

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