The Soccer(ball) Mom

On a recent weekend, I was making my way through the strollers on Seventh Avenue in Park Slope when I was stopped by a middle-aged woman standing in front of the local toy store.  She had a coffee cup in one hand and a shopping bag in the other and got my attention by gesturing with the cup while asking, “Could you help me?”  I didn’t stop and continued past her because I assumed she was pan-handling.  But out of the corner of my eye I noticed that her cup was half-filled with coffee and that she was reasonably well dressed.  So, in a moment that would have made Malcolm Gladwell (Blink) proud, the neurons, protons, photons and god knows what else starting firing away in my brain and I synthesized a lifetime of information and realized that she probably needed some kind of help that had nothing to do with me reaching into my wallet. And/or possibly . . . she was flirting with me and this was her not-so-clever gambit to get my attention.

I say that because for some time now, I’ve assumed that any woman who pays any attention whatsoever to me must be flirting with me.  And having someone go so far as to  speak to me is, in my mind, tantamount to a request to be the father of her yet to be born children.  I know that may sound sad and possibly delusional but that’s . . . that’s . . .actually, there’s no way to finish this sentence without sounding even more like a moron.

When I was a kid–maybe nine or ten– my sister, Charnie, would sometimes ask me to act out a scene with her that was called, “The Handkerchief Drop”.  She would position me in a spot in our house, walk by me and “accidentally” drop a handkerchief; at which point I would pretend to be a bon vivant and pick it up while saying, “Oh Miss . . . you’ve dropped your handkerchief.” And this would lead (in Charnie’s mind) to a wild love affair, followed by a fabulous marriage to a very handsome and wealthy man.  Charnie would practice the “drop” in a wide variety of ways, always counting on me to inform her of the lost handkerchief. I’m not sure how many performances of The Handkerchief Drop we would enact  . . . well no, that’s not true.; it would be exactly as many as Charnie wanted to because she knew that I, as her younger brother, was happy to be her foil for as long as she wanted.  After the performances, Charnie would often disappear into her room, close the door and, other than yelling at me to keep out, not be seen or heard from for months at a time.

Not sure....but I don't think it was her.

Not sure….but I don’t think it was her.

But getting back to the woman who I think wants to have children with me.  After I realized she wasn’t hitting me up for money, I asked how I could help.  She motioned at a soccer ball that was lying on the ground that apparently had fallen out of the bag (with the toy store logo on it) that she was holding and asked if I would be kind enough to put the ball back in the bag.  This, I gladly did after which she thanked me.

And then, as I was walking away while trying to evaluate how serious of a flirtation had taken place, it dawned on me that there was no reason the soccer mom couldn’t have put her coffee cup down and done the returning of the ball into the bag business by herself.  Instead, what had happened was, that at her direction, I had reprised my role as the bon vivant in a revival of The Handkerchief Drop.  Now being performed in an entirely different venue and re-titled, The Soccer Ball Drop.  Don’t you just love show business!


2 Responses to “The Soccer(ball) Mom”

  1. stephaniecavanaughs Says:

    Shadwell! Was that a clever play on schadenfreude? Nicely done. Clearly she was testing your limber aspects.

  2. iron(ic)man triathlon Says:

    Stephanie… thanks for the edit. (damn spell check!) I passed that test….so glad it wasn’t a dime i had to bend for.

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