Yesterday, I took an accidental tour of Lower Manhattan. I got off at the newly re-opened World Trade Center stop and thought I was pretty close to 55 Water Street, my destination. I was wearing only 3 inch heels. This should have all been factors in a very happy outcome.
Instead, because I am extremely directionally challenged, I had a 30 minute walking tour of the area. I did see some rather lovely buildings that I’m rather fond of, but I’d have preferred the sight-seeing in flats. I was only 8 minutes late to my meeting, and the facilities gentlemen who were waiting for me were typically gracious.
On the way, sometime during my walk, I was ogled for the first time in quite a while by a handsome early thirties banker type. Striped suit, new phone, gorgeous haircut – I know the type very well. When I lived in London, I spent most of my time around that type. It is quite a fascinating sub-culture. Even in this economy, it’s a ferrari existence with all the clothes and the appearances and testosterone and competitiveness. They are nicer than our press suggests, most of them, but it’s not a stable species. Too much adrenaline, so I don’t think they ever really settle down.
They used to be something of a hobby for me in my twenties, although I’ve always preferred the geekier technorati. Less aftershave, longer hair, cooler hobbies. But the bankers are a discerning breed and so I was extremely flattered.
The last time I remember banker ogle was three kids ago, three sizes smaller, longer hair and some very racy European suits. The old me was at home in the fast-paced City of London, American accent nowhere to be found, very stylish “flat” in the trendy Docklands area (a recovered spice factory, no less). My girlfriends and I were like the “Sex in the City, London Edition”.
And I was so, so, so happy to meet my now husband and leave all of that.
Sure I’d like to be that size again, I’m not going to deny it. I’m growing out my hair and laugh about getting my super powers back. But the idea of commuting in four inche heels every day, or showing that much leg? Oh please.
My life has four children, seven chickens, ten acres in the country and a wonderful husband. What on earth could I possibly be lacking? Absolutely nothing. My God has blessed me extravagantly, and blesses me daily with the energy and patience to juggle all of it.
Still, my husband forgets to say nice things to me about how I look, or cook, or anything really. It isn’t intentional, he has that brand of emotional autism frequently found among technorati but I’ll take it over the philandering, irresponsibility and vanity I found in the banker types.
I’m still a Southern princess, and will be forever. But I don’t think I need as much reinforcement and validation from external sources as I used to in my insecure twenties. This phase of my life feels sturdier, more real. I can do stuff. I don’t look for approval from anyone but my God, and I have all the love I need from Him and my family and circle of amazing friends. So the Princess is chilling out in her old age (of not even forty). I’m thankful for the tumult of my twenties because it prepared me for a life of chickens and babies and chaos and commuting.
Still, the little look and the approval it conveyed did make me smile. The multi-block trek in heels was worth it for the two seconds of banker appreciation. I was wearing a new dress ($6 from our local outlet, what a big spender!) and I’m glad it appears to be flattering because my husband failed to comment. I’ve been making an effort to look the part a little more since getting the big promotion, and so it was nice to see my efforts recognized.
Thank you, nice handsome banker man. I hope you enjoyed the rest of your day as much as I did.