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Saturday, June 14, 2008

To See Ourselves as Others See Us

This morning I felt gooooooood! My slinky black skirt and a black v-neck top made me look svelte, sophisticated and very, very sexy. Best of all for a screaming boot fanatic like me, brand new FMB boots. You know the kind... high, high heels, pointy toes. Those boots said look at me and drool.

I sauntered across the intersection at work, blithely accepting a truck driver’s shouted admiration as my due. Okay, I couldn’t quite make out exactly what he said, but hey, I knew I looked like anyone’s wet dream, so I smiled sublimely at him.

At work, the very hot, new guy actually came up to me for the first time. He looked into my eyes and said, “Love the boots.” Yesss. I have been trying to get this guy to notice me for weeks. If only I’d known all it took was sexy, black boots.

The boss’s secretary walked past and I watched her eyes drop. Like I was fooled! She was checking my boots out. By lunchtime I’d lost count of the number of people who commented. Men, women, they all looked at my boots and smiled. The new guy walked past several times. I heard him whisper just under his breath, “Super gal” and “Fantastic”, I think he said something else, but I didn’t catch it all.

By the afternoon when my friend got back to the office after an off-site meeting, I was positively preening. Modesty be damned...I had to tell her. “The new guy talked to me! He said he loved my boots,” I whispered as I stuck my feet out proudly in front of me.

My friend looked. Then she smiled. That’s why I love her. Even if she had had her eye on the new guy, she wasn’t going to begrudge me my success. “Yep. They’re great boots all right. Those little buttons down the side. The way they sit under that black skirt. So cute. So Victorian. You look just like Mary Poppins.”

New guy’s head swung round from where he was standing four feet away. “Hey. That’s what I thought. I start singing supercalifragilisticexpialidocious every time I see them.” He grinned at me.

Mary Poppins. Supercalifragilistic...? NOT supergal you look fantastic? Instead of suave, sexy and sophisticated, I looked like a nanny?

The boss’s secretary popped her head up to say, “Ah! That’s who it was. Mary Poppins. I knew you reminded me of someone. I thought maybe Queen Victoria.”

I could feel my ego crumbling. Okay, there might be a few men out there whose vision of Mary Poppins encompassed a sexy dominatrix, but no one, ever, on the entire planet, thought Queen Victoria was sexy.

While I was still trying to recover from the blow, one of the juniors popped in for a moment. He looked at me and said, “Wow. Are you okay? You really got that truck driver stirred up this morning.” As warm fuzzies went, it wasn’t much, but it was better than nothing. I just smiled graciously and agreed, “I did.”

“Hell, yeah.” He nodded frantically. “When you stepped out in front of him, he was so mad he was still yelling when he passed me at the end of the block.”

So there it is. The mirror held up to reality in which we finally see ourselves. I thought I was sex on a stick, but the stick turned out to be a brolly handle, and closest I came to making an impact was a near miss with the side of a truck.

Tomorrow I am going to wear conservative brown and low heels, with maybe a swirly cape to liven things up just a teeny bit. If you read any reports of Hobbit sightings on the streets...don’t panic. It’ll just be me. Alysha Ellis...who writes fiction because real life does NOT work out the way I plan

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