I had a secretary once, back when people had secretaries, who looked like she stepped out of the pages of Playboy. With a few more clothes on. She had a Barbie Doll body without any help from anyone except Mother Nature. Meanwhile, the rest of her bore no resemblance to those brainless, bottled bimbettes who work as Hef's personal pets on The Girls Next Door. She could speak in coherent sentences. She was naturally pretty without makeup. She didn't dye her hair or wear hooker clothing. And the pole next to her desk was for hanging up her coat.
We worked in the Hancock building, which is a block away from the Playboy building. I suggested more than once that she think about becoming a Playmate. That's the kind of mentor I am. Get some pictures taken and walk over there I would say. I told her she could make enough money to go to college, because she was very smart. But she was worried that her dad might see the pictures. I said he'd get over it. She'd get over it too. Nope, I couldn't convince her.
Instead she became a copywriter like me, then chucked it all to get married in a tight white leather strapless wedding dress from Neiman Marcus to one of the guys at the office. Afterward they had three boys.
The other day, out of the blue, she emailed me to see if I was dead. I wrote back and said yes, but maybe we could have lunch.
That very night, I was interviewing kids for a high school video and this tall football player wearing a backwards baseball cap stepped in for his close up and said his name. It sounded familiar. I looked and I immediately knew he was his mother's kid, since he looked just like her from the neck up. He even had her extra long, black eyelashes.
Looking at him made me wonder what I would look like as a guy. I was also reminded of something a guy said to me once. He claimed he knew exactly what he wanted in a woman. "I want someone just like me with tits." I think he'd rethink that notion if he got an up close and personal view.
Aside from wondering what I'd look like as a guy, I also think there's something weirdly cosmic about my old secretary contacting me after years and years on the very same day that I run into her son for the first time.
Anyway, I did one of those adult things that's guaranteed to make a young man cringe. Hey, I know your mom and dad! Your mom was my secretary once a long time ago. You look just like her. Luckily, I didn't blurt out anything about Playboy.
He gave me a look that had EEEEEEWWWWWWW written all over it. But he gave her the message that I said hello. Now she wants to have that lunch with me and my daughters, since she used to stay with them when I had to go out of town. She hasn't seen them since they were ten and twelve I think.
With them both long gone from home, some days it feels like I haven't either.