The other day I was walking through Harvard Square. It was lovely. The sun was out, it was warm, Spring was here. The woman ahead of me was a Rubenesque beauty with dark, curly, hair, a short skirt and, inexplicably, cheap flip-flop sandals. I was thoroughly enjoying the view, but was distracted by how obviously uncomfortable she was in the flip-flops and how they contrasted sharply with the rest of an otherwise elegant ensemble. I began to overhear snippets of her conversation. I realized as she spoke that she was in the process of being dumped over the phone. She was on the verge of tears.
"I know I'm fat," she said, in a tone I suspect she meant to be confident, but came across as pleading and apologetic.
"Yes you are!" said a man who, like me, had happened to be nearby. "And you are fucking FABULOUS!" He spoke with a flamboyance that would have made Nathan Lane's character from "The Birdcage" suggest he tone it down. "And Honey," he said, leaning towards her conspiratorially, "You have the legs for heels, you should wear them." He then flounced off with an exaggerated swish that convinced me he was deliberately hamming it up.
The woman watched for a moment as the man left, still holding her phone. She then looked down and seemed momentarily surprised at what she was holding in her hand. She raised the phone to her mouth and said, in a firm, commanding tone devoid of all doubt, pretense or apology, "Fuck. You." She smiled, hung up the phone, straightened her shoulders and marched down the stairs to the "T". I stopped for a moment to watch her go. I wanted to tell her that the man had been right, but I couldn't think of a way to say so that didn't sound like I was hitting on her. The visible confidence in her stride however, informed me that she didn't need the oracle's words reaffirmed. She knew he was right.