Friday, March 5, 2010
"I, too, dislike it.
Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one discovers in
it after all, a place for the genuine."--Marianne Moore
My friend Bobbi, the Queen of Auctions, oftentimes purchases items that she thinks I will enjoy. Several times, she has purchased boxes of books, sometimes for as little as $1.00 per box, and I've always found at least one treasure in each box. One time she brought a box of old hats for me to see. These hats were probably from the 1940's and 1950's and had labels from stores such as Montaldo's, Lazarus and The Union, all well-known stores in Columbus. One hat in particular, a black tri-corner hat, reminded me of the one worn by the poet Marianne Moore. I wore the hat quite often, thinking I looked quite spiffy. One winter day, I went to Revco, wearing a black coat and black slacks along with my Marianne hat (yes, I name the hats!). A little boy looked at me and said, "Look, Mommy, it's a witch." I answered, with a cackle, "But I'm a good witch, like Glinda in the Wizard of Oz."
Because of Bobbi's and my own purchases, I have accumulated a large number of hats. Each day, I would wear a different one to work. I was working second shift and I would go through the door at Department 22, and a voice would ring out, "I LIKE your hat." Each day, I would look around but I couldn't see anyone. I would just go to my own Department 28. After about a month of daily hearing my secret hat admirer, I was disappointed that the voice did not ring out one day. That evening a young man came into my department and handed me a green transfer paper. I said, "Oh, you're coming from Department 22." He laughed and said, "Turn around." Of course I asked him why and he said, "Just turn around." I turned around and his voice rang out, "I LIKE your hat!" I exclaimed, "Oh, it's you; why couldn't I ever see you?" He answered, "Every day, you'd waltz through that door at the exact same time, wearing one of those DUMB hats and every day I would yell out, "I LIKE your hat" and every time I would jump down behind the fixture and you would turn around to look to see who said it." I whined, "But I thought you LIKED my hats!" He said, "Well, I wouldn't hurt your feelings and say I HATE your hats!" I shook my head in bewilderment and he continued, "I decided I wanted to work for the most predictable person I've ever seen; I told my wife that I'd know what to expect from you at all times unlike those emotional men!" I told him that I loved his destroying the stereotype about emotional women. He said, "Well, I actually have an ulterior motive; Jim Rodgers told me that you would help me with my college classes." I asked his major. He laughed and said, "Can't you guess--psychology?"