A guy like me, someone who has, as I like to tell the honeys who work in HR, a considerable "skill set," gets used to being gawked at while riding the mass transit system here in New York. Hey, it happens. A person sees an exemplary specimen of the human race walking amongst the common folk, it's hard not to look.
But this morning, after the sideways glances and flirtatious flits of the eyelids gave way to almost-disconcerting stares, I had to wonder if I'd perhaps reached my prime. Granted, it's scientifically proving that I'm 20.2% more dashing when decked out in my gray Donna Karan suit (which, to be honest, is my only suit) and a pink shirt. So when the first woman on the 5 Train this morning eyed me like I was a $100 wedding dress at a Vera Wang sample sale, I chalked it up to that (after first checking my fly to make sure it wasn't that).
But then another woman checked me out. And another. A little disconcerted and a lot lazy, I transferred to the 6 at Brooklyn Bridge so that I could sit for the rest of my ride in to work. At 14th Street/Union Square a woman stepped into the train and took the seat next to mine, eyeing me as she did so. I rattled my paper in a manly fashion and went back to reading after sneaking my own peak. After all, if you're going to be treated like a piece of man-meat on the train, it should damn well be a hottie checking you out. Satisfied that she met my stringent standards, I could coast along for the remainder of the day, confident that not only did I still have it, but I had it in spades.
Then: "Excuse me," she says.
Well, in the infamous words of Foghorn Leghorn, "Wuh-hoaaaaaaaaaaaaa, Nelly!" She was not only checking me out, she was going to try to pick me up. And, being a faithful man in a happy relationship with a beautiful woman, I was going to have to crush this young woman's dream. Here, in the middle of a dreary work week, she'd plucked up the courage to approach a complete stranger and ask him out, and I was going to dash all her hopes.
This, my friends, is the burden of the beautiful.
"Yes," I said, looking into her eyes. I wanted to send the message that while I had to deny her these earthly delights, I understood her motivation and saw her worth as a lovely woman.
She gave me a quick, nervous smile, too a little breath and said to me: "You have this... I don't know ... blob of lotion on the side of your nose that isn't rubbed in all the way."EDITOR'S NOTE:
For more hot subway action from me, buy this book!