A Philosophical Shopping Trip

While I am looking for work and a place to live, even if just on a rather periphery basis, I am supposed to be going into town a minimum of three times a week for a half day without getting sick or having a panic attack, and work up from there.

Today I went shopping on Main Street in Stony Plain. Main Street is very beautiful with lots of old classic buildings with false fronts and wrought iron decorative poles and benches and trash cans with baskets for flowers.
I had breakfast at Bings, and then headed over to front street, as I like to think of it, to visit the boutiques.
Stony Plain is a darling little picturesque farming community with a colourful past and its own version of Jebediah Springfield. Main Street has murals interpersed through out, and the large brick faced and wooden buildings feel comfortably full of largess.


Just a little ways away from me actually is a mural honouring several major innovators in the fields of telecommunication and energy engineering and technological development, on the side of the Source, ironically enough.

Today I chose to wear a sundress with an interesting tribal-Christian theme in the underlying She are both from thrift shops and the tights are from Village Fashion on Main. My boots are from Blings and Things, my backpack is from the Source, my shopping bag is from One Man’s Treasure, and my purse is from the local youth centre.

I had intended to stop at a shop on what I think of as High Street or Front Street — Main Street PROPER, shopper heaven, to buy the cutest little purple fascinator for my hair. Unfortunately I couldn’t quite afford it, but the lady let me try several on, and we talked about the niqab issue.

She is a slightly older than me lady, though she probably doesn’t realize it, and has neat grey hair and moves with spry gracefulness. Her store is replete with luxury clothing for affordable money and is located inside one of our heritage buildings, formerly a dance hall and lodgings. As you enter the building through the solid green doors with their engraved glass, it is walking into a museum full of life and vibrancy. Casual Connexions is just to the left, and the lady who owns it is a proud fashion affadicicio and member of the Red Hat Society, which apparently has to do with dressing up!


Casual Connexions
   Casual Connexions

My kind of place. Almost everything there is approximately twenty dollars, from the fascinators to the sweaters, clearly favouring accessories. It bursts with colours in strong shades of grape and pointsetta red, and shoes emblazoned with sequins twinkle at you from underneath the belly dancing outfits. Nothing here is cheap or poorly made.
Two comfy chairs sit underneath a mirror by the counter, and I gratefully sit, my leg aching.
She tells me that she doesn’t understand the problem really; she sells beautiful things and she wants the women who wear them to feel beatiful and safe in them, and feels that in Canada, that should be the right of al women. I am playing with a purple fascinator, wishing that I had an extra 20. This is the entire reason I came to town.

Playing dress up at Casual Connexions at Heritage Mall.
Playing dress up at Casual Connexions at Heritage Mall.

I’ve stopped in before and she knows that I do security and defense journalism but doesn’t really understand that, and that I am a shopping nut with a taste for luxury eclectic.

She tells me candidly that she personally feels that the niqab has no place here in Canada except possibly as part of a dress up or costume outfit like for belly dancing or martial arts or Hallowe’en, like with much of what she sells.  She told me that she wants women who leave her shop to be delighted with the way they look and she hopes they’re bold enough to wear whatever they like on the street, but feels there’s no place for covering the face during a citizenship ceremony.

I point to the scarf on my head and tell her that although I support wearing hijab at the ceremony and although I dislike niqab I will support wearing it in public but not during the citizenship ceremony, and explain that I came to wear hijab because in the area where I used to live, people tended to be remarkably superstitious and got weird about my hair.

IMG_6414[1] IMG_6431[1]

So I started wearing anything to cover it, from baseball hats to this, really, and that when I was sick, a veil.  That I’ve gotten to where I feel comfortable like that and prefer to have my hair covered, but it was never really by my choice.  I do it because my hair makes people act aggressively otherwise, and I’ve just gotten very used to it.  That in and of itself says something.

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