How to Insult a Perfect Stranger in One Easy Step

The Purple Shoes.

The Purple Shoes.

An unusual set of circumstances lead to me sitting in a happening place on a Tuesday night, sampling beer. I can’t remember the last time I was someplace other than my living room at 8 p.m. on a Tuesday night. It probably could be measured in decades.

After an obligatory bathroom visit, I was walking back to my table in the corner when I saw a group of young, slightly inebriated men blocking the way. In a nanosecond, I realized three things:

  1. I was going to have to walk right through them.
  2. If I had been 15-20 years younger, this situation probably would have invited some unwelcome flirtatious commentary.
  3. I’m not 15-20 years younger, and as an overweight, 40-year-old mother of two, I was probably perfectly safe.

So I was surprised when one of the young men, who was showing off his new purple sneakers to his friends, asked me when I walked by: “What do you think of my new shoes?” in that coy, 20-something-male tone of voice that invites a particular sort of response.

“They’re fabulous,” I replied, matching the coy tone.

Then, for some reason I cannot fully explain, I added, “My five-year-old daughter would LOVE those.”

In another nanosecond, I watched his face register shock right before his friends busted up laughing. “Burn!” one of them said.

I walked away, laughing to myself for a completely different reason. Because honestly, my five-year-old daughter is a total fashionista. I meant it as a compliment.

I doubt these guys are familiar with the stylist nature of certain preschoolers. One day, maybe, they’ll have their own five-year-old daughters and remember that night a little differently.

But honestly, that’s exactly the reason I don’t get out much.

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