Different modes for different folks

I’m about to post a controversial opinions, and no apologies. I don’t have much of an agenda. I roam the world and I observe. What I take from those observations may not always be politically correct, but shit, life isn’t always politically correct.

This morning I went to the local Sunday market. It was the first one I’d been to living here, and it was the usual collection of makeshift stalls set up in a car park, selling odds and sods, used books, clothes, seedlings, costume jewellery, second hand junk, tools, and so on. In general, more trash than treasure, but trash with character.

I found myself interested in the people attending the market this cool Sunday morning. I’ve lived all over Melbourne, mostly inner city, but in recent years further out. I’ve rubbed shoulders with different types in a variety of suburbs, and I’ve concluded that the better the suburb the better looking the people.

There’s a lot subjective about that, of course. What’s ‘better’ after all? Well, I think most people can figure what that means, even if they disagree. As for good looks and beauty, that’s generally in the eye of the beholder too, and fair enough. I’ll qualify that. The better the suburb the more perfect the looks are – jaws are squarer, noses more aquiline, hair more abundant, and bodies more trim.

What heightens the apparent difference is the difference in mode. By mode I mean a combination of dress and attitude, as well as appearance. That differs quite a bit between suburbs and regions, and a lot of it is obvious – we have bohemian pockets, suburbs popular with goths, fashionistas, alternatives, established suburbs with an older demographic, ethnic pockets here and there containing people from all over the world, and white bread areas of the young, prosperous and ambitious. And so on.

None of this is to say necessarily that one is more alluring than another necessarily. In fact as a reasonably cosmopolitan guy I like the diversity – it’s one of the things that makes this town great.

As a male with a keen eye for my female counterparts I have a very open mind. Being perfect means nothing. What draws you is something else. It’s very likely that the conventionally attractive woman will lose out to the less attractive, but somehow more alluring rival. These things go beyond good looks.

At the same time we feel more comfortable with our own. If we look around and feel everyone is pretty much like us then there’s some comfort in that, even if that means everyone is wearing garishly coloured tracksuits out of doors. Appearance counts, but so too does outlook and attitude.

Why I noticed it so much today is that I felt quite (happily) different. I have a different mode to my suburban counterparts. As I walked away I wondered where it was I fit in most seamlessly.

Where I lived most recently, Hampton, was a better fit for me, though hardly perfect. By and large they were people who I would (and did) have a beer with, or stop to have a yarn about subjects as diverse as the prospects of the pink ball test, and the merits of the TPP. I was the odd man out there in that I was single, and with a dog instead of children. It’s the sort of thing that makes me the odd man out in many places.

I reckon Hawthorn was a good fit for me, and many years ago so was Elwood when I lived there. Different stages of my life meant for different fits. I was comfortable in South Yarra too, and enjoyed both St Kilda and North Melbourne. Put me on a tram line to the city and I’m generally happy.

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