Wednesday, March 29, 2006

I get hit upon at Subway. (Obviously, I'm not ready to go back to work.)

Years ago, when I was with the "big firm", one of my married contemporary lawyers (now divorced) remarked on how a particular attractive secretary was "hitting on" him. (I take that to mean "to flirt with intention".) I expressed surprise. Really, I had never heard of that happening in the firm, we were all so busy and intense, but he said that it happened to him a lot. "Why, it never happens to me!" I blurted. (I thought to myself, "Why did I say that?" "Am I disappointed?" "Am I relieved?" I didn't come up with an answer for myself.)

He said, "Well, you just don't have the look". He was not able to explain the look that you have to have to invite female fishing expeditions nor the look that I have that doesn't. Just as well, of course.

So Monday I am standing in line at the Subway where I go. Its not in the nicest area nor is it the nicest Subway. Its in a dipalpidated "food court" in a run down building next to Macy's (ne Burdines) on Flagler Street. I walk right past a new one to go there, because I started going there years ago and got to know the manager, a Pakistani who brings his little boy to help him when school is out. He's such a nice man that I have become one of his more loyal customers.

He has developed several other Subways over the years, and lately he has left the store in the hands of his employees, whom I also know and who are competent people. He is off managing his growing sandwich empire. At the cashier's position, where he used to sit, is a new member of the team, however, a Pakistani woman who is somewhere, I think, in her early forties. The main thing that arrested me about her appearance was the diamond in her one of her nostrils (which I find, uh, painful to look at).

She's been there about 10 days. Monday I get my sandwich and move over to her spot to pay. I am untypically fully dressed in my lawyer's uniform, because I had an appointment outside the office and came back by the Subway for lunch. (Usually I'm without the coat, my tie is loosened, my sleeves rolled up, and I am reading the WSJ.) Today I am 100% spiff and undistracted by any newspaper.

She says to me, "Hi, you're the reason I come here every day. Just to see you."

(I think "What? . . . What did she say?")

"Oh, uh, Hi, how are you? I don't want the combo. Just the sandwich. Bye!"

Really, this has me puzzled. Have I crossed over the Santa Claus line here, so that when younger women see me, they think, "What a sweet old man!" Or am I getting hit on at Subway? Each of those possible answers has its definite down-side.

Whatever, its Wendy's for me from now on.

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