Sometimes I'm a slow learner, but I can be a very fast teacher.
After a frustrating and unsuccessful afternoon of job hunting, I decided to meet my husband for drinks at our neighboorhood tavern. When he showed up he kissed me briskly on my cheek. We ordered drinks, ran down the days events. However, as happy as he seemed to see me, there was a distraction I could not compete with blaring from every plasma in the bar. The NBA playoffs were in full swing; and my husbands, like most patrons' eyes, were fixed on the highlights of last nights game. Well, Almost all eyes. It seemed Kobe Bryant wasn't the only one in the place with a fanclub. Sitting directly in my line of sight, an older gentleman sitting across the bar enjoyed his view. My husband was working on his second drink and had seemed to scarcely notice my newfound admirer. I tried to ignore it. Afterall, it is a free country, right?
The older man with the fixed sights was talking loudly on his blue tooth. After a while I forgot how uncomfortable I initially felt. Maybe everyone who looks in your direction isn’t undressing you with his eyes. Get over yourself, Kris. My husband and I began to banter forth and to about the chance of a blowout for Orlando Magic. Then,I felt my face burning again. Casanova across the bar was making a bid for eye contact again, only this time; he spoke. From across the bar, in a matter of fact tone stated, “your quite beautiful”. Nothing more, or less; just a simple observation. It took me a second to be certian he was speaking to me. He had been very loud on his bluetooth, but this statement was barely a murmur. When I responded with a cheerful thank you, it caught my husbands attention. “who are you talking to, babe?” “Oh, that man across the bar says I am “quite beautiful”. I teasingly poked him in the side of his ribcage. He was not amused. He looked up across the bar, but the man had since turned his attention elsewhere. “what? Why are you smiling back at him then?” I was very confused. “Well, babe, I mean, wouldn’t it be rude not to thank his kind compliment?", I said.
The husbands' irritation was increasing. With a sarcastic snicker he mocked, “Not when he is sneaking around, gawking this whole time, mouthing pick up lines to my wife right under my nose.”
Now it was my turn to laugh. “Babe, that is paranoid thinking if I ever heard it. Are you suggesting he didn’t think you could see or hear him? Your sitting right next to me. If anything, he is complimenting your taste in women. Don’t be ridiculous, there is no way that old man was being malicious, just highly observant.”
Yeah, laugh all you want, Kris. If his intention was not disrespectful, he would have told me “your wife is beautiful.” not mouthed it to you. But I promise if I walk away right now and leave you here alone, he will say something else to you.” “Lawrence, your being childish. That man aint thinking about you or me. Lets just order appetizers and forget it”. he was not caving. He walked to the restroom despite my pleas for him to drop this macho child's play he was entertaining himself with.
I was fuming. Why was he so upset about a simple compliment by a perfectly harmless stranger. Was he upset that he had neglected to make the observation before this middle aged man? My silent ranting was interrupted by a hand on my shoulder. “excuse me, miss, I was on my way out the door, and I had to tell you again how stunning you are. Gorgeous. I work at the bar across the street. Head bartender. Come see me anytime.” Up close I noticed a look in his eyes I had not initally seen....
I stand corrected. Or rather I sit quite humble. I can say with some degree of certainty, the first impression is most often the most accurate.