Adult

“I have a personal question.” This is Crystal, my coworker—actually, she works for me. Her voice is barely above a whisper. She’s treading on dangerous ground. This is the first conversation we’ve had. “Why is there a bird on your truck?”

crow1A couple of years ago, I drilled a pair of holes into my truck-bed side-rail and bolted on a metal crow. It’s substantial, about eight inches tall. Probably the size of an actual crow.

“Um, I don’t know. It’s a goof. I’m just having fun.”

But this isn’t true. The crow has a purpose. The same purpose as the forty-some stickers covering the tailgate, the bumper, the back window, my rear fenders. The same purpose as the bicycle cog hanging from my rear-view mirror. And the two lapel buttons pinned to my sun-visor—one says “PUNK” the other says “ROCK.” And, of course, the metal praying mantis crimped onto the end of the radio antenna.

There *is* a purpose. There’s a reason for all of this. But I’m not entirely sure what it is.

I’ve just started a new job. It’s an important job, an “executive” position. I’m the Director of Operations of a successful Charter School in Gettysburg. I’m a role model for the children. My presence is supposed to put the parents at ease. Garner respect from the teachers. I’m an adult. I think I’m expected to act like one.

When I switched jobs, I changed my wardrobe, as well. You could argue that my last job, the Finance Director of a YWCA was also an executive position, but the place was a fitness center and a child care. Everything was always a little gross, sort of dirty. It made me want to dress casually. I wore shorts and a button-up short sleeve shirt. I dressed exactly the way I would dress to go to a barbecue. It’s what I wear when I hang out at the farmers market on Saturday morning. My work attire displayed all of my tattoos.

For my interview, I went shopping at Kohl’s. I bought a dress shirt and a tie. I even bought a blazer. I own ties and jackets, but they’re all thirty years old. I bought them the last time I dressed like an adult. I’m guessing they’re out of style. The ties certainly are. Things are skewing skinny again.

My truck, my shorts, my tattoos. They’re my way of putting a stake in the ground. A line in the sand. They’re my shallow, immature symbols that I haven’t sold out. My way of showing I still have spirit, maybe integrity. But now I’m wearing trousers. I’m wearing a dress shirt and a tie. As the weather cools off, I’ll even add a jacket.

With my tattoos covered. I look exactly like everyone else. Now, what do I do about my truck?

26 thoughts on “Adult

  1. You have just described my past 20 years of trying to figure out how to hide my sleeved arms to work the corporate jobs that will support my family, long sleeve button up shirts get warm in the humid summers. My car was my car, that was mine, I was in management not executive level so I am not sure that mattered all that much. I say keep it, once I found that I was loosing myself to the corporate vibe I started to feel that rebellious punk rock kid creeping back up in my personality and in places it wasn’t probably okay. I feel that I need to keep some part of who I am alive in order to not feel like I have become a corporate drone. Ultimately it is up to you though and how far you want to go, some places will look down on an executive with a car like that, others not so much. Remaining who you are as you succeed in work though is important because it could lead to you not succeeding because you have lost a part of which makes you, you. I hope this makes sense, either way I have struggled with the same thoughts and concerns. Would love to hear what you end up doing. I really enjoyed this post.

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    • Oh, I’m keeping the car, I’m sure of that. Like the tattoos, I can’t wash it away and I can’t afford a new one. I seem to be the only person in town who cares about being the person he used to be. Everyone else I know is a grown up.

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      • Ha ha ha, yeah agreed. It is why I play my guitar loud at 11pm just to show the world that I am still here!! I don’t have many neighbors so it isn’t that rebellious but the thought is there.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I wouldn’t mind seeing that big bug go but as for the rest – resist! You have seen the movie about the pod people , right ???? ✊🏼Resist! Long live the truck – and what it represents!

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  3. I don’t think you need to touch your truck, but I also don’t think wearing a shirt and tie means you’re selling out. Clothes are just clothes, and they change to suit the occasion. Even punk rockers have need of a shirt and tie every once in a while, doesn’t erase the tattoos or who you are underneath the clothes.

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  4. This caught my attention – “I have a personal question.” This is Crystal, my coworker—actually, she works for me. Her voice is barely above a whisper. She’s treading on dangerous ground… You never explained why she was treading on dangerous grounds… I am going to use a similar line in all of my blogs and never tell why she is doing so…

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