27 June 2007

Chivalry or Lechery?

Time - just past 9am


Location - 17th and M, National Geographic side

Weather - 90 degrees/90% humidity

Characters - gentleman in his early-60s/myself

Costuming - his: Savile Row quality navy pinstripe suit, French cuffed, spread-collared light blue dress shirt, matte silk burgundy with gold and navy fleur-de-lis patterned tie, solid silk burgundy pocket square and seamless chestnut wingtips; mine: high-waisted black pencil skirt, wide black belt, tucked-in sleeveless silk-jersey v-neck shell with deep scoopneck back and gunmetal matte-satin peeptoes.

The Encounter:

(tap on the shoulder from behind)

(turning to my left and slipping off my headphones) "Yes?"

"Miss, you're perspiring."

"Excu...what?" I asked, genuinely unsure of what he had said due to the fact I still had my music - "Sweet Escape" by Gwen Stefani - at full-volume.

(pulling out his pocket square) "You're perspiring -- on your back, you're perspiring."

"Oh, I...I..."

Taking my half-bemused half-shocked open-mouthed expression as sure-go-ahead permission, the man, who looked like a cross between a character out of a Guy Richie film and JR from "Dallas," took his kerchief and proceeded to gently whisk away the beads of sweat off my exposed back and shoulders. There was no awkwardness or glint of I-know-I'm-crossing-the-line guilt in his blue-gray eyes. He wiped me down as if the gesture were as commonplace as a mother wiping dried ice cream crust of her child's chin. When he completed his task, he simply replaced the cloth to his suit, assured me the rest of me looked "just fine," nonchalantly crossed 17th St., turned left and entered AEI.

No creepy post-wipe sniff, no initiated flirtatious banter (the "fine" he used was clearly the ambivalent kind of "fine," not the you-lookin'-fine "fine") , no feeble attempt to exchange cards, no over-the-shoulder lookback -- no nothing.

And I just stood there, let an entirely new 24 second countdown expire, and wondered to myself if I'd just encountered the last truly chivalrous man in DC or perhaps the most lecherous.

35 comments:

etcetera said...

GROSS. seriously.

Ataraxia said...

wow i would have been creeped-the-F-out...to the point that the chills would have overcome the blistering heat and immediately dried up any perspiration!

Anonymous said...

I can already tell from your tone that you LOVED it. You are such a strange bird, Jo. Entertaining as hell, but truly truly strange.

Anonymous said...

That was lechery, Johanna. With more than a dash of fetish tossed in.

Et Cetera and Ataraxia (?) are on the money.

N-Y-i-E

brown rowergirl said...

let's see, older, well-dressed, brazen, noncommital, a fetishist and probably a neo-con -- I'm surprised you didn't run in those spiked heels to give him *your* card.

freckledk said...

Someone is going be sniffing that kerchief, before doing unimaginable things to/with it. Ewww.

dc girl said...

couldn't have said it any better, freckldk.

How do you attract these types?

suicide_blond said...

i think its kinda hot....sounds like a scene from a david lynch movie...but then im a freak! lol
xoxo

ataraxia said...

at·a·rax·i·a, n. = peace, tranquility & repose of mind

hmm...and according to wikipedia:
ataraxia is a Greek term used by Pyrrho and Epicurus for freedom from worry or any other preoccupation, and for Epicurus to achieve Hêdonê, the great pleasure.

Jo's new boy toy...er man toy... is going to be achieving Hêdonê tonight :)

K said...

Why does it have to be one or the other? He sounds like a chivalrous lech.

Bring it, daddy.

Johanna said...

K-

That's every woman's dream. Men want "a lady on the street and a freak in the bed"(nod to Luda, of course) and we want a gentleman on the street and a lech in the...well, I actually like a lech in the street, too, so I'm gonna have to think this one through a bit more.

suicide_blond-

good call on the David Lynch parallel...makes me want to go home and watch "Mulholland Drive" for the 85th time. Once, can I just *once* understand what's going on in that film??

Good couch scene, though.

Anonymous said...

Great couch scene.

Anónimo No Mas said...

Plant me firmly in the lecherous NeoCon camp. That hanky is going to be on e-bay.

S. said...

Completely inappropriate, even given an allowance for his age.

Besides, if he were a gentleman he'd know that women don't perspire, they glow, but telling a strange woman on the street they're glowing works on too many levels...

Anónimo No Mas said...

Horses sweat,
men perspire,
women sparkle.

Johanna said...

Since my Die Hard/steak/cocktail dress evening was delayed two nights (sad face), I can chime in and say...

Anónimo No Mas-

Oooh! E-bay? I love the thought of my sweat being quantified in a money amount!

anonymous-
mmmm...couch scene. I've been trying to build a post around it (sorta like I was able to do around that *other* movie that starred my girl-crush all through high school, Gina Gershon) since I launched this thing back in December.

S/ANM-
I tend to glisten, not glow or sparkle, but you're right, I'd have been more offended had he gone straight for that line instead of the much more appropriate, "Miss, you're perspiring."

off to type "couch scene" and "mullholland drive" into Google...

NYCer said...

Anónimo no mas is right--what shall we set the opening bid at? $1000?

Anonymous said...

ok, that guy was lecherous. he crossed a line. he was walking behind you, checking out your hot bod, ok, nothing wrong with that.....noticed you were perspiring....ok, you notice things when you're checking people out....but...but...wtf? it would be less creepy if he was trying to pick you up. wipe sweat off a stranger's back and put it in your pocket??? wrong. wrong. WRONG! he must have some bizarre sweat fetish. he's probably beating off with that handkerchief stuffed into his nose, breathing your essence as we speak. ewww

Johanna said...

$1,000?

Um, I think my ethnic/academic pedigree (not to mention the fact that I sprayed Sake by fresh right where he de-glistened me) begs a bit more than that.

I'm just gonna kick back, watch Nancy Grace (b/c she's entranced me - I can't stop watching), throw the squeaky egg and continue to be amused with the commentary on this thread...

Anonymous said...

...and i just have to add, after all your posts advising women against evening shoes in the daylight hours, WHY were you wearing satin shoes at 9 am. you have some 'splainin' to do, miss!

Anonymous said...

nancy grace's eye makeup entrances me. it's just so expertly done. just the right amount of shading. i could stare at it enraptured for hours.

Johanna said...

anonymous-

VERY good point. However, I rail against evening shoes in the barely-there, super-strappy sense -- i.e. when women show too much of their feet. I have several pairs of matte-satin peeptoes which have a conservative enough cut that the material - which again, is *matte*, not shiny satin - doesn't look out of place.

truly!

best,
J

S. said...

And another thing... Who uses a pocket square for such things? That's why you carry a handkerchief..

Johanna said...

re: Nancy Grace

I think she must have stock in Benefit's Hoola bronzer. She spackles that shit on like a fat kid puts peanut butter on celery sticks.

Anonymous said...

Pocket square by Zegna: $79.00

Sake by fresh, 100 ml: $75.00

Sweat by Johanna: Priceless.

Johanna said...

Priceless - now *there's* an amount I agree with.

If I weren't so bronzed (real and fake), you could see me blush :)

bff in chicago said...

a lecherous well-dressed man, I must admit, is kinda sexy. I think we can all agree that if he had been in sweatpants and a tank top, you'd have used those runner's legs to swift-kick him in the groin.

once again, appearances *do* matter in the first impression, don't they?

Joanna said...

Johanna, Johanna, what are we going to do with you? You are too precious!

Would you go around and wipe off perspiration from misters?

Let me put it this way. If you saw a piece of spinach on someone's teeth, would you approach them and say, "Mr, you have a piece of spinach on your teeth--let me get that off for you," and then proceed to take out your $400 dollar, gold platinum tweezer from your pocketbook and pick off the piece of the greenery off of the stranger's teeth???

Yea, you were sweating like a pig, but that didn't give the man to behave like a pig!

Fantasy is just that--best in fantasy. I agree, in theory, this encounter would have been very, very hot. Heck, you could even weave an erotica story out of this. But in reality, it was just well, you know, a little bit smelly.

You are one entertaining lady I've got to say. I don't even know if you're making all this up! You do tell great stories.

Brunch Bird said...

Buh-lech. That's so gross. I always love walking by the NG building because there's always such cute, adventurous explorer types milling about. Now I'll just be on guard for Fetish McSweatwipe.

intern in the city said...

The best part is that this douche walked into AEI. Are you sure it wasn't Amb. Bolten?

p.s. LOVE Mulholland Drive. Don't get it, but I love it.

west coast devotee said...

Oh, to have been there to see your half-bemused open-mouthed expression!

I guess it's pretty weird he did that, but that he did that to *you* is just classic. Dude was audacious. And apparently pretty good at reading hot young things who are hot and bothered for his EXACT type...

bff in chicago said...

okay, you're right...he is pretty handsome. ugh! I hate your situation!

bow seat said...

It's hot, and you're thinking about him, so effective as well.

Anonymous said...

S.:
Actually, a pocket square could be used; you use only one corner of the square. Then when you refold it you can expose only the fresh silk.

This principle also governs the more creative uses of a good silk tie. Ahem.

But it's an intimate gesture a smitten gentleman might use to bridge the gap between a gentle touch on her back as you steer her to your table, and stealing a kiss after a couple of cocktails on a summer evening. Using it on a stranger takes something elegantly rakish and makes it seem nasty.

N-Y-i-E

brown bear '02 said...

I think there's an "anonymous" who's got a serious crush on you...