Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Man With The Silver Purse

When I initially chose to write humor, I had personal reasons that I thought I could never explain. This is mostly still true. However, the after effect of having several humorous novels under my belt is that I now seem to see humor in everything that happens to me.

Recently, I was standing outside the women's bathroom in a restaurant located near the exit door. A man walks towards me carrying a giant silver purse and when he nears the door he swings the purse up onto his shoulder like a woman would, or rather like it's meant to be carried. When he figures out I have seen him do this act, he pauses in front of me, slipping the purse off as if it's contaminated, and holding it out in front of him he says "it's not really mine".  I smile because it is impossible not to, and frankly the young man is very good looking, not to mention obviously charming beyond belief.

Then I laughed because I hadn't really seen him or the purse until the man saw and spoke to me. I was too busy staring off into space wondering when or if my bathroom time was ever going to happen.

The "Real" Buddy Holly -- I assume
When the man spoke, really all I saw at first was the giant silver purse and him slinging it over his shoulder. I noticed secondarily that he was very masculine, nice shoulders in his shirt with a military short haircut and glasses. He reminded me of a very athletic Buddy Holly, but more like the  actor from the movie La Bamba who played him, anyway. . .

As he hovers by the front door, smiling at me and looking sheepish, I'm smiling back at him fully now. Finally, I'm getting a tad embarrassed and thinking I shouldn't be practically flirting with a guy who 1) has a purse on his arm and 2) probably a female somewhere in the vicinity with a claim to it. No, it didn't dawn on me that I shouldn't be flirting because I was old enough to be his mother. My brain didn't go there. It was one of those moments you just give yourself over to and don't question. Luckily, he went on through the exit door at that point and relieved me of my attack of self-consciousness.

Finally, the bathroom door opens and out walks a young woman with a tiny, barely walking little girl who is talking non-stop. I exchange the pleasantries that women often do in such situations before hurrying to take advantage of my turn in the facilities.

Shortly after I return to my table, I look out to see the woman strapping the little girl into a car seat in a mini-van and notice the guy with the purse on his shoulder is standing next to her. This makes me laugh again.

I thought how strange it is to me now that there was a time in my life where I might have been put off by a guy with a giant glittery purse on his shoulder. I thought how interesting it is that at my current age the purse wasn't even a factor in my judgment about whether he was attractive or worth the trouble to flirt with for a moment or two.

Eventually, I realized the thing I admired most about the man was not the way he looked, or even his obvious love and care for his family. It was that for a moment or two he was able to laugh at himself and make me laugh as well. He had me at the first smile he made me give him while he told me "it's not really mine". He could have told me anything afterwards and I probably would have believed him.

I read once that laughter is power, but it seems to also be a very powerful aphrodisiac. Men should buy a purse and pull this as a stunt to pick up women. They might be quite surprised at their success.
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