I was invited to a cocktail party many years ago during my freewheeling youth and, after looking around the room, I realized I knew no one there except the host and he was busy schmoozing with other guests and refilling glasses, including his own.

I ended up exchanging cliches and platitudes with a fellow in a green seersucker suit who, unfortunately, turned out to be an insurance salesman. He adroitly switched from small talk to actuarial matters and started out alphabetically with accident protection  and annuities .  By the time he got to major medical and mortality tables I was looking around for the nearest exit.  That’s when I noticed the attractive girl across the room who was staring at me fixedly and not paying much attention to the host who had just handed her a glass of wine.

I looked again when Seersucker Suit had finished surety bonds and was starting on travel coverage,  Miss Pretty Girl was still staring, but now she was actually walking toward me and smiling.  This could be the start of something big, I thought.

“Excuse me,” she said, reaching up and touching my shoulder.

“That’s quite all right, what can I do for you Miss?”  I replied,  trying to sound like Robert Redford.   She smiled again. What a great  smile!

“I noticed your jacket collar is all twisted and it was driving me crazy.   Please let me straighten it out.  It’s just one of my quirks.”

As she worked with  my collar I was hoping this was just one of her opening gambits, but then she turned to Seersucker Suit and said,  “I think we should be going home now, Dear.”

It wasn’t a total loss. The next day I called and arranged a date – with Metropolitan Life.


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