I was sitting at a little cafe in midtown when a well-dressed woman, two stools down, looked up from her phone and said, “What does hirsute mean?”
“Hairy,” I said, without thought or pause, a word that always makes me think of Mr. Detuzzi, the father of Debbie and Janet, two childhood friends.
I couldn’t have been more than 8 when I came home and said to my mother, “Ma, Janet and Debbie’s dad…he’s so hairy…he looks like a bear.”
“He’s hirsute,” she said, which is why I never forgot it’s meaning.
Mr. Detuzzi would mow the lawn without his shirt, his back looking like a throw rug, strips of sweaty hair waving from beneath his arms. He was a handsome man too, but did he need Nair, or a wax, in a big way.
“Some women like that,” said my mother. “It doesn’t particularly appeal to me, but…to each his own.”
Well, it must have clearly appealed to Mrs. Detuzzi, because if it were me, I’d be chasing him around the yard with a razor. “Come-ere honey, you need a trim, even more than the lawn.