There I was on my way to Zitomer, the Cartier of drugstores, when I came upon a woman sobbing beneath the Carlyle’s canopy. Naturally I couldn’t just go by, not after seeing a man take all of her shopping bags dumping them in the nearby gutter. Hmm…now it was Father’s Day eve so I thought, was he just that unhappy with his tie and Brooks Brothers cardigan? They looked like Connecticut personified in their well-pressed slacks and blazers, cordovan slip ons gracing their feet.
Takes one to know one.
We both watched him make a beeline to the Mark across the street to have a drink no doubt. Not a bad idea, I thought, though she seemed to need one more than he did.
As she stood sniveling, I said, “Um, was he someone significant?”
She started to sob all over again. “No, just ma husbun.” All I can say is, that line inspired this essay.
“You know, it’s cocktail hour, ” I said, stretching it a bit since it was barely 3. “Why don’t we step into Bemelmans for a little boost. I could sure use one.”
She took out her compact to rid herself of that raccoon look men so often cause and said, “That’s a great ah dea, and thank you for the suggestion.” I then helped gather her bundles still lolling on the street like they had just been mugged: Michael Kors, Armani, Max Mara, Polo, Prada, Juicy Couture. This woman was one serious shopper.
I loved how me, being a perfect stranger didn’t trouble her in the least, and I’m betting it’s due to my slim fit chinos, button-down and Gucci flats held together by Elmer’s Glue…but she didn’t know that. Style attracts style, even if mine was more resale than retail.
We sat at the bar like two college coeds who hadn’t seen one another in a while. There was no awkwardness, no hesitation, especially when she told the barmaid, just charge this to my room. She was staying at the hotel. Well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle, in nice pants. I even forgave her that big hair sitting on her head like lettuce.
“So, I’m Susannah.”
“Lillian, but please, call me Lily.”
“If you don’t mind me asking Lily, what happened that he tossed your packages that way?”
“He’s angra I didn’t ba him anything while I was out. But he’s so fussa. Every ty-me I do, he hates it all. Now in Dallas where we live, okay…it’s easa to bring it all back, but this is New York Cita. It’s vera inconvenient. But now he says, I don’t love-em.”
“So, let’s go buy him something..anything. I’ll go with you.”
“No, to hell with him, treatin me that way and leavin me standin there, my balongings thrown on the street like unwanted ter-ash. If you hadn’t come ba we’d all still be there.”
“Maybe not, and remember there are no accidents. We were meant to meet. After three peach daiquiris, a drink with a kick to say the least, I convinced her to at least order online having it delivered to the hotel. So in no time, Mr, you don’t love me, had a navy cotton pullover, an array of argyles, a shitload of CDs and a one snazzy Tom Ford bow tie.
We were rather drunk at this point, especially when she leaned over and whispered, “He likes bow tas..a lot…with nothin else on ta speak of. It realla turns him on.”
Now there’s an image.
“What about you?”
“Not so much…want anotha drink?”
“Just a bow tie…nothing else?”
“Sometoms he’ll keep on his socks.”