Reveling in the attention

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 3, 2006

Many years ago I was a flighty flirt. I was one of the popular ones able to get any man I wanted. I worked on it. Luckily I had four brothers for any part of this operation I needed. This was in a way cheating but I didn’t care.

Today we will talk about a vastly different situation. I have a friend who takes me out to breakfast every Monday and this is where it happened. We went to a popular breakfast restaurant. We usually go on Mondays because what they serve is good. This past Monday, nothing looked different to me but I had a strange feeling that wouldn’t go away. As always Marie brought what we ordered to the table. I was seated on my walker which is made with a definite seat. It was comfortable but very easily able to take off as though it had a motor. Marie got the coffee and sat down. Ordinarily I don’t drink coffee as hot as this was. I picked it up and only a drop came out and landed on my hand. I threw my hands up and that movement started my walker to travel, taking me with it. It went a few yards and continued the rest of the trip without me. I slid off and landed – I hope gracefully – my hands up over my head as though someone with a gun said, &uot;Hands up.&uot;

Out of the blue came not one, but six men, all ages and made a circle around me. I looked at all of them, knowing none. Men are men and I had six. They were concerned as to whether or not I was hurt. They all questioned me.


Email newsletter signup

&uot;Are you all right?&uot; &uot;Are you hurt?&uot; &uot;Can we help?&uot; I heard &uot;honey,&uot; &uot;dear,&uot; &uot;sweetheart.&uot;

There I sat on my bottom listening to all this. My hands were still up over my head. No one shot me. But a hand, a very big hand, a very strong hand grabbed my right hand. This hand was black. With all the men around me I couldn’t see who owned the hand. I did see good-looking shoes and topcoat. The rest of him was lost. Suddenly I heard him saying a prayer. I tried hard to see him. I wanted to thank him for the prayer. Unfortunately he walked away. I never did see his face. I tried to say &uot;thank you&uot; for such a wonderful gesture.

I was fine. Marie settled me back on the walker and we finished our breakfast. When we prepared to leave all six men were at the ready to hold the door.

I felt so much like saying, &uot;Did you ever have six men at once calling you sweet names and concerned whether or not you were hurt?&uot; It would spoil the entire occasion to explain, &uot;I only fell on my behind.&uot; All the dignity would be lost. Besides, I didn’t want to share a magic moment. Six cavaliers panting to find out if I was hurt is a moment to cling to. Why should I waste such a magic moment? You know it would never happen again.

I will think about these six gallant men over and over. I hope they might read this. It contains my thanks for all their concern. They looked good in the circle.

My deepest thanks to the one who held my hand and prayed. I wish he’d stopped long enough to say &uot;hi.&uot;

Thus ends my adventure.

My breakfast was good as always. Let’s see if any excitement would be around for another visit. Guess when you have so much (imagine, six men!) you can’t improve on this. Many thanks to those who would call me &uot;honey,&uot; &uot;dear,&uot;

&uot;sweetheart.&uot; I will never forget them.

Florence Arena lives in a Smithfield retirement home and is an occasional contributor to the News-Herald editorial page.