There is a trick to walking through a crowded grocery store wearing a sombrero.
You have to be it. Own it. Every movement, every gesture, every facial expression must ooze comfort. I am not talking about cocky bravado – that would reek of overcompensation and defeat the entire purpose. You must, rather, be simply confident. Walking around in a sombrero must seem like second nature. The vapid stares from the other shoppers must fall off you like raindrops upon stone. The giggles are ignored. Questions like “dude… why are you wearing a sombrero?” meet with a low-key, clever retort.
The only problematic moment of my trip (Kenard Avenue Kroger, for those of you keeping score at home) occurred at the very end of my visit, when I had to ask an 18 year old store clerk where in the freezer case I might find puff pastry. He looked up at me from behind his fortress of boxes, and his face slowly started peeling back into a surprised smile.
Of course, it’s possible that Kroger corporation has developed a world-class sensitivity training program, whereby front-line staff are drilled in respecting customers for sartorial diversity…
I wasn’t going to chance it. I just eyeballed him. You’re gonna laugh at me, punk? No. You’re not. You’re going to tell me where the puff pastry is because I wear this goddamn sombrero every time i visit the grocery. Arright?
I suppose I should back up and mention that I hosted a tequila party this past Saturday Night.