Saturday, June 1, 2013

Old Lady Glasses

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For two years now, I've walked P. to and from childcare in almost every kind of weather except rain. Bundled or shaded, makes no difference. Fresh air and exercise are my obsessions.

Having had great strollers has helped. First the Quinny Buzz and then the Zapp, and now the Britax B-Ready set up as a double with the infant seat adapter. Having portable children makes it easier, too. Bo is generally content to sit in his seat and watch the world roll by, while P. either walks alongside me holding my hand or hops into the stroller's second seat for a relaxing .8 miles.

Now, you don't walk .8 miles round trip - sometimes twice a day - nearly every weekday for two years without seeing some of the same faces. The faces of walkers, sometimes. Or the faces of the nameless people who live in the houses you pass. The faces of everyone who works nearby or takes the train or goes for a pre-work jog. For instance, there's...

Mr. Jean Shorts. Along with his sidekick Wheelie Bag, he has a long way to go. He actually walks down our street every day before heading to the train stop, wearing his slightly-too-short-for-a-dude denim shorts (not cutoffs) and pulling a wheeled suitcase. I figure he must be coming from work. But what profession requires daily denim?

The Couple - aka Miniskirt and Bro - never smile or look at us or say hello. They're both tall and tan and lanky. Nearly magazine perfect but not quite. They're also young, which is probably why they're so wrapped up in each other that we don't even register.

Poodle Guy is an older gentleman who is sometimes walking this ginormous curly black poodle - and once even ran across the street with it because he heard P. say she wanted to meet that dog. Then sometimes he's jogging, which makes me think 'Go, Poodle Guy, go!' because he's not exactly fit and you can kind of tell he's not enjoying it.

And then there's Old Lady Glasses.

She has silver curls and wears, you guessed it, those huge wraparound sunglasses. Not Old Hollywood glam sunglasses. I think hers are meant to fit over a pair of regular prescription glasses. And I think the whole thing - lenses, frames, arms and all - is made of lens material. She is by far my favorite.

Mostly I see her on nice mornings when the sky is a really beautiful blue and the air smells fresh. When we get close, I say "Good morning," and then in her gorgeous gravely Bea Authur voice she replies "What a DAY!"

I love it. I smile every time - and end up smiling the whole rest of the way home, no matter what is waiting for me there in terms of work or chores. I swear, you have never heard a simple proclamation quite as uplifting as hers because she really means it. When she says it, you can't help but push aside whatever thing you're thinking about and look. I mean really look around at the day. The sky. You stop and feel the air on your skin and smell the snow or the grass waking up or the flowers bursting and you think yes, ma'am. What a day.


  1. haha..I love these descriptions. And Mr. Jean Shorts totally reminds me of Tobias from Arrested Development although on the show they are cut-offs. We drive to school and every day there's this amazing school crossing guard at the local elementary school and she waves to every car that passes. Every one! And on holidays she wears holiday hats.
    Mrs. (Miss or Ms?) Waving Holiday Hats.

    1. For real. I think of Tobias EVERY TIME I see him! :)

  2. I have a constant like Old Lady Glasses. Every morning the older gentleman next door goes for a morning walk using a walker and he is usually coming up the block as I am getting the kids in the car. he always waves hello and gives me a huge toothless smile (my guess is that he forgoes the dentures in the am)

  3. I love doing this with the regulars in my neighborhood, too.............and wonder what my name is in -their- heads ;)


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