Monday, January 5, 2009

The March of the Undertakers

Now that I live - er - work in downtown San Jose, I get to see a different group of people a bit more closely than I used to. As a result of that observation I want to know what it is with the working stiffs down here and all the black they wear.

I may be guilty of a tiny exaggeration. A few other colors are allowed: brown, dark blue, and dark gray. But clearly the closer any of those colors is to black, the better.

And this isn't just goth kids. This is people going to work at 8:30 in the morning. As I get off the freeway and wait at a light there is inevitably a stream of somber individuals all dressed in black, hiking from their parking places to their office buildings. It looks like a casting call for another remake of The Adams Family. Every morning. Dark coats and jackets, suits, etc. It's depressing.

And, of course, I stick out like a sore thumb when I wander around. I wear a bright red jacket, and I just ordered a new one in bright orange.

Years ago I visited Germany and Italy for a week each. Just walking around town in my red raincoat it was clear I did not belong. The only other person I saw wearing anything nearly that bright in color was a female Japanese tourist. Everyone else was in black or brown. Everyone.

It's not quite that bad in San Jose, but it's close.

This is California, not New York. When did it become so uptight?