Thursday, April 24, 2014

Kind of a Drag

This was the opener for a song in the days of my youth (when I was so young I thought the singer was saying Canada Dry--is there still that brand of soda nowadays?). Now that I'm in my mid-sixties, I find myself silently singing this at unexpected moments--like yesterday when I fell in love at an AT&T outlet.

My sister gave me her old iphone and recommended AT&T, saying their customer service was exceptional. Since what I know about iphones could be tattooed on the belly of an ant, I took the phone and my vast pool of ignorance to the nearest AT&T, where I immediately knew I was floundering in the deep end.

As I wandered farther into the store, past round display tables that attracted customers far more tech-savvy than I, a young man greeted me from one of those tables. He stood there with a co-worker and nobody to talk to, so I joined them.

Quickly my neophyte status became blazingly obvious, but these guys were kind. They only displayed amusement when I told them I didn't download movies because I used an all-region DVD player. It was as though I'd admitted that my books were only available as illuminated manuscripts that were sold at monasteries.

They gave me a lot of information that I needed to think about before making a decision and one of them gave me his card. He looked surprised when I said I'd rather be contacted by email, and showed a flicker of relief that he wouldn't have to get in touch by sending smoke signals in my direction. "May I please have your email address?' he asked.

When I gave it to him, he smiled again. "That's a great address. Have you ever been to Bangkok?'

Nobody can be quite so condescending as a young man who is tall, handsome, and of Subcontinental descent--so I replied, "I lived there for eight years. My address is the title of my first book."

And we began to talk--about Bangkok, about Bombay, about travel. When I said goodbye, he put out his hand and held mine for a minute. "I'll see you to the door," he said.

There are few moments when i want to be young again, but when this man asked me if I had plans for my evening, I had to force myself not to respond with "That depends. Would you have dinner with me?" But my spring is a Seattle one, not  the Roman variety; my last name is Brown, not Stone; I have no real yearnings for a Tennessee Williams ending to any story of my life. Still it's reassuring to know that attraction can flare within me as quickly and as distractingly as it did forty years ago. Then I was hampered by lack of chutzpah; now I have almost as much of that as I do wrinkles. Kind of a drag...


Amanda said...


Janet Brown said...

Thanks, Amanda. I tend to think it's just sad--why can't I meet an age-appropriate man whom I think would be fun to spend time with? But then on the plus side, I have no distractions from writing...