I once lived with a very competitive flatmate in Chicago, in a predominantly Mexican neighbourhood. She competed with me on everything – to the extreme. She started mildly by turning her hair orange in an ill-fated attempt to match my blond hair the week after I moved in. She then took the doors off of our bedrooms to compete on how much sex we were having, and I always presumed, how loud and boisterous we each were. She even quit her job so she could join me on my job hunt, and prove that she could get a job quicker than me. One autumn, early evening, after sitting in a coffee shop for the better part of the day staring at want ads and both trying to get a date with the guy behind the counter – we gave up and walked home.
On the way, a car full of teenage boys cruising the neighbourhood slowed as they passed, dimmed their headlights and yelled out, ‘Hey, why don't you come home with me, I’ll treat you like my queen!’ My brunette flatmate acted all exasperated, as if this happened to her all the time. But a few seconds later, someone from the car yelled ‘The blonde one!’
I also got a fantastic job offer the next week.