There are times when you've gotta love a town like this. I had a drink last night with a woman that answered the question, "So, where'd you grow up?" with the response, "1-800-The-Road." I thought, at first, she must have meant that her family moved around a lot, which, in a sense, she did. Except, then she repeated again, "Yeah. Yup. 1-800-The-Road." It turned out what she meant was literally that she'd grown up in a manner much like being a kid in a touring circus. Her mom was a stage builder, designer, and manager. For a couple of years her mom did this for Rock Shows, till she realized that wasn't the best place to raise a teenage daughter. When the woman I was sharing a drink explained this, the reason was "roadies" rather than "rock stars."
Later, they moved to doing this sort of work for Renaissance Festivals, and Fairs of various sorts. As a result, the woman I was talking to has apprenticed costume making, with a designer and a seamstress, she's painted signs, done construction work, learned hula dancing, been a go-go dancer on stage, and learned various other performance arts as well. Needless to say, I was impressed. Did I mention she's also fluent in French, making her bilingual with English? She got her undergraduate degree on a pre-med track, and when accepted to medical schools realized she didn't like the politics of medicine and so gave up the career option.
She asked me, after filling me in on 1-800-The-Road, what my "secret talents" were. I responded sincerely that I'd worked as a 1-900-Psychic for a while, and used to train camels, to which she emphasized she loved camels. Later we bonded over my MAC lipstick--she named the color I was wearing, "Russian Red", on sight. I didn't tell her I can detangle necklaces faster than anyone else I know, or that I can tell you what cut and species of salmon you're serving me just by looking at it.
Fyi: If you search 1-800-THE-ROAD online, you get info about how in New York State the number 1-800-THRUWAY replaced 1-800-THE-ROAD for Thruway road information.
After drinks I took her to an art show and rock performance at the Masonic Lodge, where I bumped into first one of my work colleagues, and then one of my students, in the midst of my wearing a white backless one-of-a-kind Russian wrap dress, over skinny jean black leather pants, A.D. style lace up booties, and that "Russian Red" lipstick. Philosophy professors aren't supposed to wear red lipstick, so bumping into the colleague was awkward. He honestly didn't know how to talk to me. The student, on the other hand, seemed pleased. Discovering your prof really is a genuine person must be some kind of relief.