“…by watching her I began to think there was some skill involved in being a girl.” ~ Scout (To Kill A Mockingbird)
You can tell a lot about a person by their scotch tape dispenser. So it came as no surprise when I found this awesome little jewel behind the desk at Scout Boutique:
Specializing “in form-fitting, pin-up style clothing for all sizes of women,” Scout Boutique has become a regular, weekend pit stop for me when I’m on or around Main Street. I was first summoned to Scout back in June to deliver a coffee. At the time, I’m not sure the recipient realized I’d be travelling over 20km to deliver a coffee bought across the street from where she was, but I happily made the trip.
I don’t think it’s demeaning to say that Scout is a girly place, provided you keep in mind that the women of Scout are more likely to buff their nails with a switchblade than they are to collect and trade Hello Kitty stickers. It’s colourful, flirty, and fun and, as far as guys are concerned, filled with a lot of sighs followed by thinking, “I wish my girlfriend would wear that.” The clothing is very feminine, yet (and I don’t dare say “empowering” or Nicole will knock my teeth in) there is a feeling that the women who wear clothes like these have a better sense of self than most. The clothing isn’t too revealing or inappropriate in any way; it’s just obviously been designed for women to wear. Some of the prints are whimsical, all the colours are bright, and the accessories include: purses, earrings, and tasseled pasties.
Last Friday, I was in the neighbourhood and popped in to harass Nicole for a while. I’d just finished a meeting and didn’t have anything to do until an appointment in Richmond a few hours later. As we chatted, she asked if I was available Sunday to come down and take some pictures. I said it was my nephew’s first birthday party and I probably couldn’t make it. She explained there’d be a group of burlesque performers from the Screaming Chicken Theatrical Society Go Go dancing at the store…
I told her my nephew would be too young to remember how long his uncle stayed at his birthday party and I’d see her on Sunday.
As part of Scout’s Sunday-Funday Sale, the SCTS was down at the store promoting swimwear as well as the upcoming production of Terror at Rock Out Beach: A Burlesque Strip-sical at the Waterfront Theatre on Granville Island.
I learned early on that guys need to stay alert need to stay alert when visiting Scout. Men who aren’t used to dealing with pure “sass” need to take care. Just before 2pm, Melody Mangler crossed 8th Avenue, walking towards the store. You could hear brakes lock up for miles. The two families eating at the diner beside me stopped to watch, mid-meal, the food hanging off their forks. She flashes me a smile and walks into Scout. The little girl at the diner, still in a state of awe, coos: “I love her tattoos.”
Moments later, Nicole asks, “Does this look slutty?” I turn to face her and she’s wearing a little black dress she was born to wear. “Um, no,” I stammer as my brain merely answers, “GUH.” “Maybe after five?” she asks with a smile. She walks back inside and I follow like a moth on a pheromone trail. We stand by the mirror. “You don’t think it’s too tight?” she asks. “Nah, you’ve got curves; use them.” My brain again answers, “GUH.”
As I turn to get some fresh air I notice that Goldie Monroe has taken to the window. I know that clothing retailers often take great pride in window displays that are well put together. Goldie Monroe certainly doesn’t disappoint.
Surf music fills the store, Goldie Monroe dances in the window, Nicole gives a yea or nay to a customer popping in and out of the dressing room, and Melody Mangler has hit Main Street to hand out fliers. Again, I am certain I can hear brakes locking up for miles. She returns about half an hour later, then she and Zachary Wood (also from the SCTS) relieve Goldie and take their turn dancing in the storefront.
A blue pick-up truck stops in the middle of Main St. The driver leans his head out the window towards Karly and Goldie. The young woman in the middle of the bench seat glances over and laughs. The passenger on my side has seen me dogging them from across the street and gives me a thumbs up. “Holy Fuck!” he says with a grin. It’s probably safe to say that the young woman between these two has never shopped at Scout but given the chance, she probably will now, having learned that you can make a dog drool or you can make a dog heel. Both is preferable and anything is possible when you’re dressed by the women at Scout.