Sunday, August 15, 2010

How's Your Backhand? Good? Good.

Oh, summer time, how I love your promises of lushery, concerts, hanging out on balconies and fire escapes, cute dresses and new haircuts. I have grown accustomed to the fact that I am a mosquito magnet and weirdly proud of being an SPF 55+ wearing body double for any of the pale folks of Twilight.

New Yorkers are weirdly forward, I think because there the odds of seeing some random schmo you had words with in line or on the subway are so damn slim. Still, I've been surprised by the apparent city-wide reaction to my alabastery.

Drugged out man on subway last night, after I had sneezed twice: You must have allergies. Are you allergic to the sun?

Italian man in the East Village: Wow. You're so white. What's your name?

I could go on. But my all time favorite this summer came from a middle aged, leather-skinned customer. She was the gaudy type, who has probably been tanning regularly since the tanning bed was invented in 1978. I was serving her something appalling like virgin cosmos in the mid afternoon while she was with two men having some sort of casual meeting. I was wearing a cute, short, black skirt so I guess she saw this as an invitation to talk about the skin I had exposed.

"I just want to let you know I think it's great that you haven't caved into the pressure to tan. You look fine."

I smiled, holding my tray. "Thanks" I replied, but before my backhand could help itself from continuing the volley I added cheerily, "Getting skin cancer would really suck, you know, and for what, vanity?"

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