Opinion

COLUMN: Why she wears antlers. Every day. No, really

I started wearing antlers during the Yuletide season. You know, the kind made from fun fur and wire. I did it simply because I wanted to.

Let me clarify: I don’t wear antlers to special occasions, I wear antlers every day, every place I go, solidly, for two weeks before Christmas.

If you have been driving alongside someone with a six-point rack on her head, it may have been me. Whether I am walking in the mall, driving on a highway or shopping for groceries, I wear my rack. If I am out of my house or have visitors, it is on.

I also have an eight-point rack but I save that one for special occasions like indoor parties. I’m not crazy. I don’t wear my rack at Easter — that would just be nuts.

My six-point rack is my favourite for travel use. It flips nicely to one side for entering a vehicle and is easily popped back up to full flag at destination. If I fly over the holidays, I check my rack through security, as any responsible person would.

“Anything to declare?”

“Nope, I’m used to flying.”

I wear it in the waiting area, on the plane and to pick up my rental car. Comments and sideways glances vary, but my antlers draw many, many smiles.

Invariably, I meet people who respond in different ways. I have noticed there are three distinct attitudes people demonstrate when faced with an adult wearing antlers.

The first segment of the population catches a glimpse of me and openly laughs with me in the fun and lightness of this expression. Some people ask where I purchased them and whether they’re good quality, or comment that they don’t look homemade. (Is this a bad thing?) Generally, they are a fun, open and expressive group of people. Some snort, “Nice rack” or “Hi, Rudolph.”  Booze permeates the air around some of the rougher statements.

One gentleman came up to me, scowl on his face, and said, “That’s not how they go, they should be like this…” and proceeded to adjust my rack. Apparently, he had seen pretend reindeer before and was familiar with how the species developed. When he completed my adornment adjustment, he huffed, turned on his heel and walked away. I am forever grateful.

The second segment includes the person who stifles a giggle while in my view and lets it rip after they pass. These are the introverts. They are generally happy people and not comfortable interacting with a pretend reindeer.

Then there is the third segment, the ANGRY people. These creatures of God are upset immediately and almost always give me  The Look, sometimes with The Brows. This facial tag-team is devastating.

Aside from the non-verbal slander I feel expected to interpret, I am often privy to a slew of comments and barbs the ANGRY person directs at their spouse or children. These poor creatures are judging me and, more importantly, themselves. Everyone has their struggles. Did I mention this is during the Christmas season? Bless us, everyone.

What segment do you fall into? Are you going to judge? Or are you going to look at what I wear and consider it a way to awaken people’s enthusiasm for life? To let them forget a trouble if only for a breath of a moment?

If you see me this winter, please don’t make me into your hood ornament; rather, indulge in the joy and playfulness that is created in my child-like way. Maybe get yourself a rack and transform your season.

 

Nikki Bryce is a Port Moody resident.

 

 

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