Back door, Keene, NH

Those of you who know the way my mind works and who read my blogroll know there’s really only one thing I can write about today.

Yep, if you’ve read Kathleen’s recent posts over at unsettled, you know where this is headed. How could I possibly not blog about Joe-the-waiter’s wonder-working ass?

But first I need to provide a little, um, backstory.

This entire week while Chris has been in North Carolina fingering his lute (?), I’ve been behaving myself so well. This time last week I had glorious visions of the wild and crazy times I’d have while I was temporarily Single and Fabulous. I’d go out. I’d get together with friends. I’d go dancing and drinking and carousing. I’d have droves of men (and maybe a couple of women) fawning over me. In a word, when Chris got home, I’d remark, “You were gone? I didn’t even notice, I was so busy being Single and Fabulous!”

Instead, of course, I’ve spent the past week working on dissertation revisions.

In the week that Chris has been gone, I’ve consumed no more than 3 pints of beer. Last Wednesday, I consumed a Saint Patrick’s Day pint of Guinness in the company of a handful of teetotalers who solemnly watched me over their ginger ale, Shirley Temple, and a cup of tea. Last Thursday I consoled myself with a lunchtime pint of Sam Adams while poring over a stack of boring journal articles. And on Monday night I enjoyed a local microbrew with Kathleen.

The pint with Kathleen was by far the most fun since the two of us can’t seem to get together without busting a collective gut over some bit of insanity. Kathleen, you see, might not be Single, but she’s definitely Fabulous. She’s a self-admitted potty-mouth, but she also knows how to use the word “perfunctory” properly in a sentence. She also, I’ve discovered, is terribly generous, gifting one of her favorite bloggers with a particularly handy gift. (Hmmm. Seems to me that completing a PhD is a particularly gift-worthy occasion, and I’ll probably need a way to unwind after the defense. Heck, if I’d had the USB version, I wouldn’t have minded spending a lonely week with “Bill” and my laptop…)

Anyhow, it was only natural, I guess, that the thoughts of two beer-swilling women would eventually turn to their waiter’s ass. The sad thing is, though, I didn’t even notice our waiter’s ass.

Yes, it’s true. Not even a single look.

Now I’m normally a great noticer–some might even say connoisseur–of the male backside. In college in Ohio, for example, my girlfriends and I used to frequent an on-campus Mediterranean restaurant whose waiters were particularly blessed in this regard. These fellows were tall, dark, and handsome, and they wore great pants. Unlike too many of their American counterparts, these Middle Eastern waiters wore tailored slacks that were comfortably loose in the leg and oh-so-delightfully form-fitting across the backside. I can’t count the number of times that one of my girlfriends “accidentally” dropped a fork or knife just so “Ahmed” or “Yusef” would bend over to retrieve it…very, very nice. You’re getting an extra generous tip for that one, my man.

You would think that 12 years of marriage would have quelled my wandering eye, but not so. As my good Irish Catholic mother would say, “I’m married, but I ain’t blind.” Over the years Chris has had to tolerate my random “appreciative comments” about various and sundry celebrities, acquaintances, and male passers-by. “Hmm, nice pants” is my preferred euphemism, something (again) that I seem to have picked up from my otherwise-proper, married-for-49-years mother. (This is the woman, after all, who recently started watching televised golf tournaments because she likes to “see what Tiger is wearing.” Yep, we all know what she’s looking at.)

Tiger might be fine, but Nomar Garciaparra is my favorite piece of celebrity activewear. Yep, the Red Sox’ shortstop is a mighty fine looking man in my book, and damn does he fill out his pants very nicely. Every time we watch a Red Sox game together, Chris knows to point out whenever Nomar’s at bat: “Here’s your man!” And although it’s always exciting to watch #5 knock one outta the park, the true thrill is when he’s infielding. Damn, he’s trim, muscular, and flexible: the perfect ingredients for a pleasing rearside view. So whenever Nomar leaps, reaches, or (oh yeah) lunges to make a catch, I silently pray that they’ll show a slo-mo instant replay…from the outfield camera.

Anyhow, it’s thus terribly shocking that I didn’t take the slightest peek at Joe-the-waiter’s backside…and I even thought he was cute, for goodness sake. But alas, Joe was young enough to be one of my students. In a town the size of Keene, many of the young folks I encounter waiting tables or bagging groceries are my students, so I’m ever-mindful of how I act in public: it’s kind of embarrassing to have one or several of your students see you ogling your 20-something waiter. So the entire time that Joe was quickly, seemingly miraculously filling our drink orders, I was watching him with a single niggling question in mind: “Hasn’t he been in one of my classes?” I don’t think Joe-the-waiter was ever in one of my classes, but I can’t be entirely sure about that. He didn’t seem to recognize me, so I’ll let it pass. But in the meantime, though, I also let pass every sweet opportunity I had to get a quick glimpse of his ass. Having taught college for so long, you see, I find that either I’m getting older or my students are getting increasingly younger. So even when I do have a thought of how cute a particular college-aged guy might be, almost immediately thereafter is the sobering thought, “But you’ve flunked guys older than him!”

And so it looks like I, like the BigHominid, won’t be seducing any students anytime soon. It looks like I missed my chance to check out Joe’s ass, and I’ve pretty much squandered my week of Single Fabulousness: Chris, you see, is leaving his Cape Hatteras beach rental today, having dinner with his cousin in Winston-Salem tonight, then potentially visiting the guy who’s making his new love in New Jersey sometime tomorrow. So Friday night or Saturday morning, I’m off to Vermont to pick up the hubby, thereby ending my pathetic week-long attempt at being a Merry Lute Widow.

In the meantime, though, I still have tonight. Thursday is Ladies’ Night at our local Mexican cantina, so I’ve one last chance to gorge myself on enchiladas, down a couple margaritas, and check out some cute young waiters and bartenders. Can you say, “Bottoms up”?