From a Facebook status on February 27
After spending two hours in a Smokey the Bear suit last night, I now know how it feels to be Mickey Mouse, or Daffy Duck, or any of the other easily recognizable characters in American society. Stand by a bar, and people will ask if you want a drink, before doubling over with laughter and saying, “What am I saying! You can’t have a drink! You’re a bear!”
Stand next to a sign that clearly states why you’re there, and people will ask, “Why are you here?”—which is somewhat amusing when you’re dressed normally, but is painfully existential when you’re a college graduate wearing a bear suit.
But my favorite question came from a woman wearing a cowboy hat, who leaned in and screamed into my eye, “ARE YOU A BOY OR ARE YOU A GIRL?”
Seeing that I wasn’t allowed to talk, and the Smokey the Bear suit had no forms of visible genitalia, I simply held out my hands, figuring they, if anything, would be proof enough of my gender. I’ve never thought of myself as having man hands. Its not to say they’re feminine, but when I’ve seen them in photographs, they remind me of something you’d see on a Hobbit—chubby and slightly grotesque. Then I took the job at Victoria’s Secret and found just how difficult it is to fold panties when you have a Y chromosome. Whatever previous conceived notions I’d had went out the window. I have man hands, and there’s no way around it.
“Are you trying to tell me you’re single!” The woman said, looking at my ring finger and laughing.
I shook my head.
“Oh, you’re just trying to show me your hands because it will tell me of you’re a boy or a girl?!”
“Well, would you look at your bone structure?” she said, taking it in her hand. “They’re so beautiful and dainty. Oh my…oh my. Sharon, come here and have a look Smokey’s hands. I mean to tell you, this girl has the most exquisite bone structure I have ever seen!”