An environment predominantly frequented by men, or equipped for primarily male pursuits usually has a certain je ne sais quoi women identify as a masculine vibe. Think of leather club chairs in a dark panelled study, or the spare utility of a hardware store. A woman walks into those places and on some level knows she is sojourning in a foreign land. She may enjoy DIY projects and delight in soffits and screwdrivers, but if she designed the store for her own pleasure, it would probably look and feel quite different.
In Canadian Tire yesterday, I spotted a stranger in that masculine land. Working the customer service desk in her sturdy red polo shirt, she processed returned items such as lug wrenches, safety chairns, and flexible conduit. When it came time to give her the fan I bought the day before which turned out to sound approximately like a speed boat while not actually circulating any air, I saw it - a badge of her homeland, acknowledgement of her immigrant status.
Like the Dutch around the world will plant tulips to remind them of home, or Italians their lemon trees, this girl had a pink bow hanging from the corner of her computer monitor.
July 13, 2012