When one is by oneself in Los Angeles, one has the potential to encounter anything. My contrasting interactions:
While walking from the pier in Santa Monica to the beach below, an older man walked up from the beach. He was not creepy or crazy looking, just older, and all of a sudden he says to me: "You just need to know you have the most gorgeous hair on planet earth. Just beautiful!!" I, startled and full of smug false-modesty, thanked him. My hair is longish now and thick in spite of the fact that I've lost alot of it. It has a bit of a natural wave when it's long, and the red that it has faded into since my fire-engine red dye job around Christmas (think Lola Rennt) is fairly natural looking. As it was about sunset, I can imagine it looked big and fairly spectacular. I have always been complimented on my hair, so it is some matter of strange pride. Interesting how the things about oneself that others enjoy become the things about ourselves that we value. Does something have value if you give it value, or do you only recognize the value that it has always had?
Me, waiting to cross the street to the museum. Weird dude [not homeless-seeming, but definitely odd and down-on-his-luck looking with weird eyes] comes up behind me, I'm not sure of his nationality/ethinicity, he had an accent and English was clearly not his first language.
Weird dude: "You going to cross? You want to cross? You want to cross now, with me?"
Me: "Um, no, I want to wait for the light to come on."
Weird Dude: "Come on, cross with me now, you want to cross?"
Me: "No... I'd rather wait with everyone else."
Weird dude: "I'm not being suicidal or anything, just saying!"
Me: "Um, no."
Weird Dude: "Are you Jewish?"
Weird Dude: "What are you, then?"
[light comes on, we start crossing the street]
Me: "Um, I don't know..." (there is a Hacidic Jewish community nearby. I could not tell if he meant heritage or religion. I'm not sure of my heritage at all, but I'm fairly certain there's not much Jew in there. if there were I'd be psyched as I am obsessed with Jewish men. Anyway I wasn't about to think about it too seriously)
Weird Dude: "Naaaah I bet you're Jewish and you're HIDING IT!!"
Me: "No, definitely not. I'm pretty sure I'm not Jewish..."
Weird Dude: "I BET YOU ARE. What else would you be?"
Me: "Ummmm Polish?"
Weird Dude: "Ahhh Polish people *mumbles something that Polish people do*. WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO?"
Me: [walking very quickly to get through the crowd and away].