Monday, August 11, 2008

Man-Ho, Ho!

My co-worker, Jim, has been a Navy man since before “It’s Not Just A Job, It’s An Adventure” was its slogan. All it took was the three little words recruiters used back then - “See the World” - and it was “Anchors Aweigh” for Jim. Now in the Reserves, he’s biding his time at the Nursery where we work until his retirement. But to a sailor, even a land-locked one, well, shore leave is shore leave: Jim likes the ladies, and the feeling is more than mutual. By that I mean, I would call Jim a “hound,“ except that hounds have been known to lick themselves - Jim has the ladies do that for him.

I’m always dazzled by the Monday morning tallies, and even more impressed with his masculine finesse as he catches a smoke over by where the bags of soil get loaded into ladies’ cars. It’s not the only manure flying, believe me. These ladies, who definitely have fertilization on their minds, arrange with Jim to “meet later,” and he assures me the encounters are anything but “garden variety.” (Aren’t euphemisms fun?)

But one story of Jim’s had “No Fair!”-ness written all over it. It seems that Jim visited an old “swabbie” buddy in San Diego, a Navy town second only to Subic Bay in the Philippines. Apparently, there is a breed of girl who “follows the Navy,“ another euphemism, meaning “Sailor Slut.” Understand, I do not mean that in a derogatory fashion - I completely know what it’s like to go weak in the knees over a hot bod in tight white pants - I came of age in the era of Disco, after all. I‘m just being blunt about someone who has turned a hobby into a lifestyle. (I, for one, can say without shame, that I am a “It‘s a Wonderful Life“ Collectible Whore.)

It seems that Jim’s buddy found him a shipshape “Follower,” and told him, “Bro, Tiffany’s gonna be with you this weekend.” Apparently, Tiffany concurred, and they were off to the races. No muss, no fuss, not even money exchanged - just Jim and Tiff “partying” all weekend long (more euphemisms). Sunday night, he stepped back on a plane and was home in two hours, probably smiling the entire time.

It’s here I must cry, “No Fair!”

This is what I want to know: Where, I ask you, oh, where is a similar party for the ladies?? I’m not talking about the shrieking, faux-flirtations of a bachelorette party - why on earth would I use an impending marriage as an excuse to lose my inhibitions? No, no, no, I’m talking about a visit to the house of a friend who really, really knows me, where she puts my hand in the large hands of a tall, gorgeous man and says, “Stephanie, this is Francesco. He’ll be taking care of you.”

Francesco’s warm blue eyes would lock into mine, he would kiss my fingertips, and the rest would be a blur. No feigned interest in his life. No pointless blather. No judgment about what others might think. No wondering “Where this is going?,“ since I’d already know. Just Francesco and me, and more Francesco.

That’s what I’m talking about, cousin Sigmund: that’s what women want.

Unfortunately, most men’s efforts to encourage us ladies to “carpe diem” (seize the day) end up more like “carpe doofus,” a la Pepe Le Pew. Case in point: an email culled almost verbatim from a Europlayer trolling my online dating service, on which I appear sans makeup. Cue the ooze, and:

"I am empressed (sic) . . . What a wonderful idea it is to be naturally yourself. I like it. By the way, why wear makeup at all when you are blessed with beauty? Ah! Being beautiful naturally has its benefits. Look at the money saved not buying makeup. . . Something, about me . . . When I meet a woman and begin to know who she is, I would ask to see her without the makeup. You see, if and when two people become involved, a time may come when the two of them may share the night. So here comes the morning, that is when you see each other at your best. I feel you are understanding what is to unfold. So this is why I am so empressed (sic) with your truth . . . and I await your reply . . ."

I’m glad Pepe is “empressed with (my) truth,“ but I don’t think his “understanding (of) what is to unfold” and mine are remotely similar - for example, “comes the morning,” I am definitely not at my best.

If the Good Ship Le Pew is my only option, I’m content to sit on the dock of the bay and watch Jim and his Followers play. But you never know: there just might be a Francesco out there who knows that when it comes to "taking care" of older women, really, it's not just a job - it's an adventure.