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Thursday, February 6, 2014

A Brief Yet Vital Encounter

The sky outside my 48th floor window is white.  White and gray, and, if we’re optimistic or, perhaps, a bit drunk, it can be argued that there’s a shade of blue in there as well.

It is February, and we take what we can get.

Frankly, I’ve had enough of winter, a sentiment I espouse, oh, every February.  We’ve had our fill, thank you, and eagerly await the first signs of spring.

Until then, however, and with roughly two months to go, we have hunkered down, en masse, as they say, to sullenly drink our beer, assuring each other that a cream sauce or a fistful of heavily buttered  potatoes is a reasonable addition to all meals and sluggishly picking lint from our sweaters.

It is in this uplifting frame of mind that I find myself walking the skyways.

The skyways!  The people of Minneapolis got together, like our good neighbors to the north, decided that this walking outside stuff was unreasonable, and so set about to never do it again.  Toronto linked its buildings with 18 miles of tunnels, Minneapolis to 8 miles of second-floor walk-ways, thus ensuring that we only spend the first 15 and the last 15 minutes of the work day dressing for the out-of doors. 

It’s a strange thing, the gradual addition of layers of clothing.  By February, even the slenderest Minneapolitan is beginning to look a bit robust.  Our waistlines are gone, our legs padded with the leggings we’ve added to our routines.  In some cases, we have no necks, buried as they are under turtlenecks, decorative scarves, and gravy-supplemented chins. 

To tell the truth, if I’m not wearing at least a dozen items of clothing at all times, I feel positively naked.

So there I am at lunch time the other day, walking at a clip somewhere between brisk and panic, as is required by all of those in the Northern Climes, when I look ahead to see a man looking at me.

I am often approached by people who think they know me.  “I dunno why,” my dad likes to say.  “I think you look like you might be someone else.”

There is also the possibility, of course, that I have something unbecoming on my face.  I reach up, search with tentative fingers.

And then he smiles, the man in front of me – and sucks in his gut.

“Nice day!” he enthuses as he passes me.

And just like that, and as silly as it seems, it is a nice day.

Spring is not here, but it’s not far away.


And I walk, briskly, back to the office.  

37 comments:

Shelly said...

You've still got it- even in the arctic temperatures- you've still got it!

Delores said...

Even with a 'gravy supplemented chin' and several layers of bulky clothing he could see the potential that is you. It is always a complement when a man sucks in his gut before speaking to you.

Pearl said...

Shelly, I'm only wearing 8 articles of clothing today. I feel particularly scandalous.

Delores, I loved that he did that.

Ray Denzel said...

the power of a good looking woman to make a man speak!

Dawn@Lighten Up! said...

As my friends in high school used to say: "He was checking you out. He WANTS you!"

wellfedfred said...

allll riiigghht Pearl!

Layering gets to me for so many reasons - lack of mobility, wrap/unwrap… so I'm glad to hear you can make the most of it!

joeh said...

Mrs. C can't even tell when I've sucked in my gut.

How nice of you to have noticed.

Pearl said...

Ray, I gotta stop smiling at people!

Dawn, I know, right?! ;-)

wellfedfred, the danger, of course, comes around April, when you start to UNwrap and realize that the layers have been hiding the weight you've put on...

joeh, I thought that was you!

Steve said...

I'm all for some spring. If we could skip it and go to summer, I'd be happy.

Leenie B said...

Ah, the gut-suck. Even better than the wolf whistle. Certain to lift a lady's spirit even if it comes from an unwashed vagrant.

Makes me almost want to leave my house---nah, I just sit here and read blogs and pick the lint off my layers of sweaters.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Good Lord Pearlesque, again we run in parallels - had virtually the same experience only yesterday!!! Winter sun drives folk peculiar - I even had the parka unzipped.

Risque I tells ya - and the bloke apparently had never seen the innerwear of homespun for a very long time.... Fifties funsters unite!! YAM xx

savannah said...

Sweet Mary Sunshine, sugar, but while I am happy for your being appreciated (and rightly so), I started to shiver just thinking about y'all's weather up there! xoxox

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I just counted (out of curiosity) and I am wearing 9 items of clothing. Indoors.
Pass the mashed potatoes.

Daisy said...

He sucked in his gut! That means he LIKES you. :D

jenny_o said...

When ya got it, people KNOW it, layers or not!! Nice bright spot in the day.

What I need to know is how to count the layers on my legs/feet. Do socks, second layer of socks, and leggings count as 3 or 6? I just really feel I can't have a good conversation about layers without knowing.

Mitchell is Moving said...

You are the most wonderful story teller... and obviously a hottie... even under all those layers. I wish someone would suck his gut in for me one day. What an ego boost.

WrathofDawn said...

Strange days indeed. I was walking at that near panic clip the other day, past three bus shelters towards my bus which was parked next to the farthest shelter. As I passed the first shelter, the sole male occupant sang out, "Excuse me!" I turned, and saw a young man in his early 20s festooned with a number of facial piercings, tattoos... a cool dude indeed. I expected he'd ask if I knew what time it was, or when the #such-and-such arrived or for a light or a cigarette, but instead he said with great enthusiasm and what I took for sincerity, "I LOVE your coat!" Surprised the hell out of me. Said coat is a mid-calf length down-filled parka in (dare I say it) winter white. There is nothing alluring about it and I am a stout 57-year old. And yet he felt compelled to tell me he LOVED it. (Emphasis his.)

The colour seems to amaze people. I have had more comments (all but one complimentary) on this coat than on any winter outwear I have ever owned. I had a woman at another bus stop tell me I looked very "rich" in that coat. (Which is why I'm riding the bus lady. I gots lots o' dollars. Uh huh.)

I think it's the cold. It makes people brains go funny.

No one's sucked in their stomach though. That, my sister, is a compliment of the highest order.

bill lisleman said...

Do you think he noticed your lint free sweater?

Glen said...

I only ever say hello to my fellow commuters when they have something on their face - it makes commuting worthwhile

Pearl said...

The comments are even better than the post!

Regarding counting layers, my dear Jenny_o, I figure regular socks to be one layer -- but aDDitional socks are one each, as are leggings. :-) What the hell. I got nothin' but time on my hands over here.

vanilla said...

Two pleasant words from a stranger changed your whole outlook. We all need to put a smile to our words!

Joanne Noragon said...

A little sugar perks up a whole day.

Jacquelineand.... said...

Ya got it Pearl and now both of you have had a little brighter day!

Susan Kane said...

That is one heck of a compliment! Hot stuff, lady.

Launna said...

Thanks for the laugh tonight Pearl, picking lint from our sweaters... haha... I know I am beyond sick of the layers clothes... tank top, shirt, hoodie, maybe two and two jackets... I only have six layers... you would feel naked... haha


Here's to spring showing up soon :)

River said...

Woo-Hoo! Pearl has an admirer!

Inspector Clouseau said...

When I attended the University of Michigan, there used to be saying: You'd better pick the guy or gal you wanted to spend the winter with before Thanksgiving, because you would never get a good look at them for several months through the layers of clothing.

Pat Tillett said...

That was good Pearl! I feel so bad for you about all the layers. It got so cold here the other day, that I had to actually wear long pants!

You folks are made from stronger stock than us...

Sioux said...

Pearl: the Man Magnet...

Linda O'Connell said...

You've got the look! Accept the gut suck and up him a wink.

Buttons said...

Oh I hear you I had a whistle aimed at me yesterday and was all excited with those 6 layers on I turned and seen a Blue Jay:) Close enough made my day. Hug B

Daisy said...

Obviously a man of great insight who could see beyond all those layers. Hope it warms up soon! The weather that is...well, him too, if you want.

Inspector Clouseau said...

Pearl, Why You Little...

We feel honored to have had you visit our site. Whenever we are interested in some entertaining glimpses of life, we pay a visit to your site, and we strongly recommend that others do so.

You were forthright enough to admit that you do not understand American football. We'll be the first to admit that we do not understand American politics, and the current tone of the conversation about social and moral issues, and the state of our Nation.

Hmm. Maybe the two major political parties should be required fight it out in the trenches on a field of battle like the teams in the Super Bowl. Now that's a thought.

Come back and check us out periodically. We like (and need) your point of view.

BTW: What are your favorite snacks?

Rose L said...

Ahh, to have a man suck in his gut to impress...I will never see that again!

The Chicken's Consigliere said...

Do they cat call in the sky walks? Not only are you smart and funny, you're hot. Well, not hot in the literal sense because it's winter, but you know what I mean. I'm hot in the literal sense despite it's being winter, but I'm menopausal so...wait...where were we. God, is it hot in here or is it just me?

Diane Tolley said...

I think I must look like someone else, too! In my thirteen layers of clothes. I'm going to go with a heavily-padded Scarlett Johansson.

Suldog said...

Always takes me about a week to get used to wearing less clothes when the warmer weather rolls around. I do feel as though I'm showing things that shouldn't be seen.