I love the word natty, meaning elegant and debonair…fashionable in dress, carrying that certain extra something with dash and poise, so when I saw this spiffy looking, elderly man making his way to Park Avenue, I took an admirable pause.
He was of average height, wavy gray hair brilliantined, just enough. He wore a full length camel hair coat with gray woolies peeking underneath, while a plush navy Burberry scarf billowed in the wind. But what really got my attention were his shiny, cordovan laced up shoes, picking up the first shards of the early morning light. He was a classy, well-heeled…natty man who alas, walked like a snail.
It was the changing of the guard taxi wise so the avenue was packed with exhausted, impatient drivers not too thrilled to see this man turtling along.
I was worried he might get hit, especially after a guy already screamed at him before he even reached the corner.
What I’ve learned about helping the elderly is to do it tactfully, to not make them feel old and incompetent…so, I slyly sidled up and said, “Excuse me sir, I’m feeling a little faint, so could I take your arm crossing? It would really help if I could.”
“Of course young lady, will be my pleasure, ” he said, extending his camel haired sleeve showing, he was not only chic but also, clearly a gentleman.
I looked right and left, just waiting for some tired, turbaned twit to shout out something about our speed, which was pretty slow, but were allowed to take our time till we reached the northeast corner of Park and 79th.
“Thanks sir, I really appreciate you helping me.”
“Not at all, not at all. Will you be okay?”
“Yes, I’ll be fine. You have a great day.”
He saluted me like an old Colonel, and with great style, slowly, went on his way.