Saturday, May 06, 2006


A French lady moved in next door to me. She seemed like a really nice lady. She had a kid or two that didn’t live with her. She wasn’t overweight or gross looking. But for some reason she just didn’t ring a bell for me. Sometimes those things are hard to explain.

One of her closest friends, another French lady, lived nearby. This other lady and I had experienced more than a few mutual penetrations and absorptions and were still close friends. (Part of that story can be read in the archives, The Coffee Klatch, Jan. 27, 2005. See! Some of the fiction isn’t even fiction.)

My new neighbor told me I had been recommended highly. No matter what I might think of French men, I will always have a soft spot in my heart for French women. One of my earliest sexual experiences (I was a late bloomer, a virgin until 23) was with a French girl who worked as a secretary in Tehran. Her accent was so strange when speaking French that the other girls would laugh at her. We would equate it, I suppose, with someone out of the Ozarks speaking English. Her father, being not sure to whom they might have to surrender next, had insisted she learn both English and Russian. In those days she was of great value to the company she worked for in Tehran and very sweet and patient with me.

I digress.

I was a bit anxious to relieve the pressure from my new Frenchie neighbor, so I suggested I take her to a dance put on by Parents Without Partners. They had a thriving chapter in our area.

I will never belittle Parents Without Partners. I met many marvelous ladies there including my wife of nearly twenty years.

Let me digress a little more. In a PWP group I once referred to ‘the mother of my son’ in mixed company. I got attacked verbally: “Can’t you say ‘your wife?’” a lady asked. “What’s the matter with calling her your wife?”

“She wasn’t my wife,” I explained. “I wasn’t married to her.”

Right away it was assumed I was a runaway father. In those days a father raising his own kids was pretty rare. Needless to say, I wasn’t popular right then. But, as is my wont, I made no effort to correct the impression. ‘Screw ‘em,’ is and was my motto.

Back again to the theme, if there is a theme.

So I took this moderately attractive lady to a PWP dance. She spoke very good English but with one of the thickest French accents you could imagine. As soon as she spoke, men started clustering around. This was looking good for me. I faded away and let her be the ‘bell of the ball.’ Her dance card was filled all night. Guys came up to me and asked “where do you find these great women?” like I had some kind of search engine.

I had some friends there who I danced with, and talked to, and snuck feels on, and generally flirted with, none of whom were men. I write that not just frivolously but to better explain the punch line of this story. In that organization I knew practically nothing about the men.

When the band stated playing, “Good Night Ladies,” I found her. She was ready to go home with me, which surprised me a little.

In the car, I asked her how did she get along? What did she think of the horde of men?

She looked at me sadly. “They are all creeps,” she said in her heavy accented English.


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