Looking up from my VPN console which had for the third time that morning dumped me from two of five customer sites I was monitoring, I saw her come through the front door fresh (more or less) from her morning walk.  She dashed into the bathroom.  Well, sure.  Happens to me, too.

Shortly, a matter of a few minutes, I dunno, it’s difficult gauge time when you’re matching wits with communications software, which notoriously lacks any sense of humor, she poked her head into my office and offered out of the blue…

“If you were watching when I came in from my walk this morning, I looked like I’d been crying.”


I’d not been watching, certainly not that closely, so I had no idea where she was headed. Maybe the ugly woman two blocks over accosted her for messing with the minds of neighborhood husbands.  She had my attention, but I could not attest to her claim, as indeed, her makeup now looked ready-to-go-anywhere fresh to me.  She sensed my quandary.

“Yes, because it was so hot and humid that the sweat was just rolling down my forehead.”


“And it got into my eyes.  Messed-up my makeup.”

Most males would say something stupid, like, why on earth do you put on out-for-the-evening makeup just before you go outside to walk, and incidentally sweat, for an hour?  I am broken-in married.  Broken-in married men think differently than regular males.  Slower, as a precautionary measure, and differently.

Safely, according to my liability-potential sensors, I offered, “Yes.  That’s why a lot of people wear sweat bands.”

“Yeah. I suppose.”

“Or do-rags.”


“Or hats.”


“If you are really observant, and look closely…”


“You will see that a lot of walking people have taken to wearing koala bears on their heads.”

She didn’t dignify that with a comment. So I continued. 

“Yes.  I understand they are quite absorbent.”


“Yes.  And they smell nice, too.”

Once again, she wasn’t going to dignify my flippancy. I picked-up again.

“Yes, kind of a eucalyptus-y fragrance.  Quite nice, actually.”

Most of the time, we get on marvelously.  Suspected we’d either be eating out that evening, or I’d danged-well better have something ready for the grill.

© S P Wilcenski  2020

— “Conversations” August 18, 2020

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