I panicked. Do other places have a dress code? I’ve seen lots of welcome signs and none of them said come as you are. I had never thought of places having a dress code just to get into town. Maybe some towns I have to wear a suit, which I don’t own, or a dress, which I also don’t own, at least not one that fits. Do I have to wear blue and green and pass a yelling test to get into Seattle? What if I don’t have clothes that color? Maybe I should be more careful. Who knows what kind of trouble may be lurking at the entrance to other towns, but of course I was in Aberdeen so I could come any way I wanted to, even in my birthday suit if I was so inclined, according to the sign. But I won’t because I don’t have a decent one of those. (Mine’s indecent.)
Maybe they meant “Come in a Car”. I’m safe. I have a sedan, nice, small, goes fast or slow, pretty color, holds four people, has four wheels, and a motor that runs when it’s not idle. It would be easier to drive in Aberdeen, no semis to compete with on the road, no huge pickups to avoid, just little cars, zooming from here to there. My friends might not be able to go through town, though with their SUV or their truck. A truck doesn’t count, does it? That would make sense except for the people that walk or ride a bike or a motorcycle, or a bus or a train or a boat.
But then I thought,” Come as you Are”, how else would I come? Maybe I should come as I aren’t. What could that be?
Since Aberdeen sits on the harbor, maybe I could come as a pelican, all brown with a long beak that I cannot carry out front so I lay it on my back to fly. That would work. I aren’t a pelican. Or maybe as seaweed, all anchored to the ocean floor, a rock for a holdfast, swaying in the waves. No, I’m not good at hula dancing. I know, I could be one of those swinging clams on the beach, you know the ones. They slip out of their shells at night and party so much that they forget them when they retreat into the sea, so we find those exquisite little numbers just lying on the sand where the clams dropped them. I’ve certainly carried enough of them home. Or perhaps I’d come as a shark, with rows of spiky teeth and sandpaper for skin, all ready to carouse and bite, and cause no end of trouble. But then I thought, no, I don’t want to come as a sea creature, I mean, I would have nothing to wear. I don’t even own a sharkskin suit and those clam shells are far too small to fit into.
I guess just being myself is enough for Aberdeen. So I’ll drive through on my way to the beach, in whatever I happen to be wearing. And stick my mermaid tail out the window. Let them gawk. I’ll write book about it.