Meet me in St. Louie


For ages, America has been keeping a secret. In all of my road-tripping travels, I never unearthed the truth. But this weekend, all of that changed. What was once kept tightly under wrap is now being revealed via this blog. I experienced the Central West End of St. Louis. And it was amazing.

Equally cosmopolitan and quaint, the streets are lined with trees and brick buildings. Dignified and impressive homes on private streets extend from the urban hub outward, like spokes on a wheel. Boutiques and antique shops and restaurants keep the sidewalks busy with shoppers. Companion is a notable coffee shop; between free Wi-Fi and 30 cent mini-cookies, it worked its way into my heart very quickly.

The people-watching was awesomely diverse, with everyone from skinny hipsters to older couples walking hand-in-hand. My favorite find was a slightly cross-dressing man, almost retro in style. He wore tight jeans and a leather jacket, but also a woman’s blouse, diamond earrings, and pink lipstick. I watched him from my perch in the window of a restaurant, walking up and down the sidewalk on his cell phone. He was animated and flamboyant, gesturing wildly and laughing freely. It gave me the sense that if I sat down to talk with him, I’d probably think he was fabulous.

I watched other people pass him on the sidewalk, gaping and gawking at his gaudy get-up. It made me sad that we make assumptions about people before ever talking with them. Because when I walked past this man, I overheard him talking about a “costume change,” and I thought, I wish I could get in on that conversation. He was vibrant and colorful, and just as valuable as anyone else.

It reminded me of a speaker that I heard on a weekend retreat in college. I don’t remember who he was – I think he was famous, though. One of those Christian authors who are all the rage for a little while, and then fade into the background until they write another Prayer of Jabez or whatever. But this man talked about how we need to “ascribe worth” to every person that we meet. To every person that we come into contact with. To every person that we interact with at the grocery store and the mall and at work and in our homes.

With everyone that we come across, we need to take the posture of saying, “I ascribe worth to you.”

I think that would change the world.

Just my thoughts. And St. Louis was awesome.


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  1. Jack Ensor on February 3, 2008 at 11:15 PM

    Right. It was just the city that made your trip so great. I’ll buy that.

  2. graham r on February 3, 2008 at 11:35 PM

    words… or names?

  3. Sarah on February 4, 2008 at 12:15 AM

    You’re a sly one.

  4. bec on February 4, 2008 at 12:36 AM

    greebs starts with g too.

  5. Kate on February 4, 2008 at 1:09 AM

    it was greg boyd.

  6. kristy on February 4, 2008 at 4:35 AM

    hey lovely darling…i’ve been really enjoying and taking to heart – your blog posts. i feel like i’ve been in your situation many times, felt the way you feel…and it’s encouraging to hear your words. i posted a link on my blog under “inspiration.” if this is an issue, just let me know. i just wanted other people to experience your story.

    <3 k.

  7. Marsha on February 4, 2008 at 5:46 AM

    St Louis has always been one of those places I have wanted to see. I have always heard good things.

  8. My name is Annie. on February 4, 2008 at 7:52 AM

    Kate, yes! Thanks. Greg Boyd, author of “Letters From a Skeptic: A Son Wrestles With His Father’s Questions About Christianity” and about a million other books that take the wordy “______:______” title format. He was a great speaker.

  9. Christina on February 4, 2008 at 9:13 AM

    I spent Thanksgiving in St.Louis once (5 or so years ago) and liked it quite a bit. The Arch was surprisingly cool.

    Oh yeah and this: “Eeeeeeeee!!!”

  10. Sarah Kate on February 4, 2008 at 10:36 AM

    Yes, I think you may like things (words, people, whatever) that start with “G.”

  11. jjkissinger on February 4, 2008 at 12:07 PM

    Paragraph 4, Sentence 1…so Dr. Seuss of you. Well played.

    Have you ever read a blog called “Go Fug Yourself”? It’s hilarious…and I’m pretty sure you’d love it. You’d giggle, guffaw, and glisten. Or something.

  12. RJTrue on February 4, 2008 at 11:18 PM

    “I ascribe worth to you” … love that. Seriously. I love watching people and, better yet, I love watching people who are watching people. So much to learn in that! Keep on girl!

  13. ASMurf221 on February 11, 2008 at 5:39 PM

    I was in St. Louis that same weekend visiting friends and hanging out for Mardi Gras. I have always enjoyed the diversity of St. Louis. I just started reading your blog at the beginning of this year, and I found it very interesting that we were in St. Louis at the same time.

    Annette from Orlando

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