So I was in the art store at lunch buying some pens and paper and such, when this young man walks up to me and compliments my dress.
I say thank you and go back to browsing.
He keeps talking to me, and introduces himself. His name is Augustus.
Now, usually I tend to get really edgy when strange men come up to me and talk to me without context, because they generally, eventually creep me out, or act as if they are entitled to get my number or SOMETHING.
Augustus starts asking, “Do you have a…”
And I’m like, great, here comes the “do you have a boyfriend?” question. NO, FOR GOD’S SAKE, NO. (And of course I am straight and of course my interest in talking to strange men has everything to do with my relationship status and argh).
But he asks, “do you have a son?”
I’m totally taken by surprise. I say, “Err, you mean like a child?”
“Yes, a son,” he says.
“No,” I say.
“Well, do you have a brother or a dad or someone like that? Any men in your life?” asks Augustus.
At this point, I’m a little gobsmacked, because I’m wondering if this is Augustus’ way of circumventing the boyfriend question.
“Well, yes, I do,” I say.
He points to his collar. He’s wearing a…well, a bowtie. But a bowtie made of Scrabble tiles.
“Do you think they would like this?” he asks.
“Um. Well, I know some men who might,” I reply.
His eyes light up. He reaches into his bag, and holds out something wrapped in a paper napkin. “Well, then I have one for you!” he says. He unwraps it, and it’s another Scrabble-tile bow tie. “Yours says ‘fireproofed,’” he says. “I think that suits you.”
And he gives me the bowtie.
Thanks, Augustus. I, er. Might be keeping it for myself?