Black leggings. Black and white sleeveless tunic top. Black button-free cardigan with tight sleeves. Black sandals. It’s an edgy look, I’m thinking, especially at my age: I turned 71 this year. It’s definitely not grandmotherly.
House dresses or dressy dresses. Matching low-heeled pumps. Nylon stockings. Not one pair of pants of any description. Shorts? Ha! Capris? Nope. Jeans? Don’t be silly. This endless parade of dresses was a grandmotherly look, I’m thinking, completely appropriate in that day to my city-dweller grandmother’s age: She turned 71 in 1961.
But there is no dress here. No matching pumps, no stockings. Virtually no colour. It’s an edgy look, I’m thinking in some satisfaction as I edge forward in the US Customs line at Toronto’s international airport. And that’s appropriate because surely I am edgy, at least for my age. Not edgy in the sense of nervous, fidgety, or irritable. Edgy in the sense of cool. Edgy in the sense of unconventional. Edgy in the sense of interesting: deserving a second look.
Black leggings. Black and white sleeveless tunic top. Black button-free cardigan with tight sleeves. Black sandals. A US border guard standing away from the formal kiosks looks up from his tablet and with one glance identifies me from the photo taken by the Nexus kiosk five minutes ago. A photo linked via face-recognition software to my Nexus account, and to my unsuspicious history of unsuspicious travel to and from the USofA.
I acknowledge my name, but don’t move. What’s up?
Waiving his right to ask any additional tricky skill-testing questions–What is the purpose of your trip? How long will you be in the USofA? When was the last time you were in the USofA? Do you have anything to declare? Do you have anything to hide?–he waves me through. For his purpose–protecting the homeland–he clearly doesn’t think I deserve a second look. After all, his first look showed a grandmother. In his world, I’m thinking, “edgy” and “grandmother” don’t often go together.
Maybe he didn’t notice that the cardigan had no buttons. Yeah, that must be it.