Orillia: Weird Things

Do you ever get the feeling that weird stuff just happens in Orillia?  Yeah, me too.

Actually, I suppose in many other places the things I consider weird or odd or out of place in Orillia are probably common-place, even if they aren't "normal". In this case, a woman wearing a stretch bra with no cups in it happily shopping through the clothes.

Today is Saturday ... for one of my daughter's and I, that's garage sale day. We're not as avid or arduous about it as we used to be, but we still go out and check out the wares, even if we don't buy much very often anymore. Usually we have a little "list" of things we look for over the summer, and often find them.

Today, we didn't do the garage sale route. The Salvation Army has a $10/bag sale (this I believe was at least the third year in a row) that they use an auditorium for. You get a big green garbage bag (or as many as you think you need) on your way in, and when you leave you pay $10 per bag.  It's a church rummage sale only "megafied".  The first year we went, we filled 5 or 6 bags (between the 2 of us, not each) and had things for the whole family. It worked out rather nicely.


This year we only bought 2 bags ... not that there wasn't a lot of stuff, but neither one of us needed much so the 2 bags contained things for other family members too.  It's a sale worth visiting next year if they do it again.

While a bra might be seen as not much different than a bathing suit top ... it really is different. Bathing suit tops usually have some actual cups in them; this was stretchy with no cups ... one could see the, ahhhh, assets right through it. It isn't the sort of thing one expects to see, unless you're in a woman's undergarment shop.

It was a little weird to say the least. While there were some raised eyebrows, nobody said anything and most sort of tried to ignore the fact that she wasn't wearing a shirt or top of some sort.  It isn't something you see too often in a conservative small-town like Orillia.

That got me thinking about the oddities I've seen in town. Most often, it's in the summer months and more often when there are events (which is nearly every weekend come the summer here). Once, years ago, there was a topless woman just wandering down the main street of town. That one did raise a stink, though I can't find the article about it (there was one that also happened in  Guelph, that generated a court case) and lest it just be women we are concerned with here in small town Ontario, let's not forget the guy who liked to wander around naked or pantless (see: Muskoka Region, Judge declines to set precedent).

Early in the flamboyant Pride era my daughter and I ran across a fellow down at the Metro Plaza (it wasn't Metro way back then) dressed all in black ... in the heat of the summer. Black jeans, black cowboy boots, black long-sleeved cowboy shirt, black cowboy hat ... but his face was brilliantly covered with the type of makeup women would use, and his nails were gaily painted. This was long before it was common to see men expressing themselves in this way (puts me in mind of Boy George) so it was something you noticed. At least, you noticed it when you lived in a town like Orillia. It stuck out, and it stuck in your mind.

Funny that ... when I lived in Toronto (before I married) unusual appearances weren't that noticeable - not that they didn't happen, it's just that even then they were much more common than here in Orillia. Today, many things have gained more acceptance (even in a small town), but they still aren't as common, and still draw stares of the old guard.

Although Orillia is pretty tame, and still fairly conservative ... we do seem to be moving towards the future.


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