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Bosoms

18 April 2006

The Consort is good at many things, but he is not good at recognizing people. And because the nature of his job implies that every year he will have to recognize an additional 200 or so students, you can imagine that this sometimes turns out to be trouble. Compounding this is the fact that the Consort, who doesn’t like to lie, is very bad at pretending to remember people. He can’t fake it very well.

Last week as we were leaving Home Depot we hear, “Hi, Professor! How are you?” So we stop and go over to the young woman in the ubiquitous orange apron who had called out.

“Oh,….hi?” says the Consort.
“How are you?” The perky young woman continues.
“Yes,” says the Consort.

[awkward silence]

I break the silence to say that we are finalizing a kitchen redo, and then the Consort is able to jump in and begins chatting about different flooring options, and the conversation is saved. But he still has no idea who this woman is. [I can tell. After 13 years, you can read these things.]

We extricate ourselves, and continue on to the car. The Consort admits that he still can’t remember what class she took from him.

“Her name is Deanna,” I tell him.

“Oh! Deanna! Yes, now I remember. I just couldn’t place the face.” We segue into a conversation about how there are only about five “ style types” of college women, and even fewer—maybe three—“style types” of college men, which makes it difficult to sort out who is who when you run into them outside of the classroom.

“But her name was on her apron,” I tell him. “Didn’t you see it?”

“I can’t look there,” he tells me. “Then they’ll think I’m looking at their breasts.”

“But that’s what I did, and I don’t think she thought I was ogling her,” I reply. “That’s why people wear name tags, so you can learn their names!”

“They’ve done studies, you know, and it seems that women can gather information more quickly from a glance than men can. That’s why women may be more adept at reading feelings from body language than men.”

“Because evolutionarily, it hasn’t been necessary for men to be able to read feelings?”

“Yeah. If all you’re going to do is swipe the stranger with your club and bash their brains in, then who cares what they’re feeling at that moment?”

“So modern society creates a barrier for men—even the sensitive type, like you—to be able to feel completely at ease.”

“Precisely. Now we worry about getting in trouble for looking at women’s breasts.”

“Where their name tags are.”

“Right. Which we can’t read fast enough.”

Damn those nametags. Maybe we should start wearing them on our foreheads.

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