“You look like an artist”, she said.

She was an artist herself, so what did she mean?

We had walked into her gallery in Laguna Beach. It was, as it turned out, a cooperative of local artists. ISHI wanted to see a picture from that gallery that had been featured in one of those local magazines that featured various artists and many more restaurants in that area. We saw the artist’s work and it was really quite nice. But it made it a bit more awkward that the woman at the desk was an artist herself because we felt obligated to say something about her art, which was okay enough, but really not to our collective taste (yes, collective because usually we have similar taste in art, although there certainly is some art that I appreciate and ISHI does not, and yes, visa-versa, but of course my taste is better). While he was signing the guest book (I have no idea what comments he left, but it seemed to take a long time, long enough so that) the artist made that particular comment.

Was it the camera I was holding? That was what I responded to.

“No, I’m just a grandmother who likes taking lots of photos of the grandkids.”

But maybe it was my nonchalant attitude towards dress.

Or make-up.

Or style of any kind.

Today, while walking through the Grove in Los Angeles, we noticed a woman of a certain age who sported blue and pink hair. I did not note what she was wearing; I got caught at her head.

“Maybe she’s a musician”, I offered. My father thought that wasn’t possible, because no one would want to pay to hear her play looking like that.

“Maybe she’s an artist” was what I was really thinking.

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