It’s cold again in New York City. People have broken out the jackets, hats, scarves, gloves, are out on the streets less and are dressing in layers. Still there will always be foot traffic in Manhattan especially so there will always be buskers and people trying to shove something you don’t want into your hands. This year though I’ve noticed something quite curious; a sharp uptick in earmuff wearers. Earmuffs are not unheard of in a place like New York City but it just seems a little early for something as drastic as earmuffs. And yet here they are.
I just took this fact as an anomaly or just one of those things until today when I saw a portly gent who reminded me of Newman from “Seinfeld” with curly hair, no jacket, and earmuffs. He glided through the crowds while others were being stopped by all the hagglers, homeless, and folks with pamphlets. This was when it occurred to me; earmuffs are the perfect thing for someone to wear, even in relatively mild weather, who doesn’t want to be bothered. This Newman look alike obviously had somewhere he had to be; still he wasn’t bothered much at all. Upon reflection I came up with three reasons why earmuffs are the perfect accessory for those who don’t want to be bothered.
Foreign Object: This gentleman I saw today had purpose. He walked with a spring in his step and he drove through with confidence. He also had these earmuffs wrapped around his head which looked like a minx. Anyone with big puffy cloth wrapped around their head obviously must not want anything to do with whatever you’re selling. Or that’s what I’d think if I were trying to approach a crowd full of strangers.
You Have a Cold: Earmuffs are pulling one out of the juvenile handbook. Granted a lot of people in cities where there is a lot of walking and a lot of inclement weather; Boston, New York, DC, Chicago; will wear earmuffs from time to time. But earmuffs are also pulling a rabbit out of the old “mom-I’m-sick” playbook. You have a red nose, you have your scarf all tucked into your jacket, your mittens are hanging down by clips at the end of your jacket sleeve, and you’ve got your earmuffs. That is the first thing I think of when I see people wearing earmuffs; “gosh they must be sick!” This is the perfect guise if you want to be left alone.
Location: Of course the most obvious reason that earmuffs are perfect for people who want to be left alone is that they cover your ears. If strangers are trying to talk to you, you can just pretend you didn’t hear them. Ear buds from your iPod or whatever are often ignored, so stuff your ears with big puffy earmuffs and you’re good!
Have a happy winter all you people who don’t want to be bothered. Wear your earmuffs as the rest of us duck and dodge and avoid all these strangers.