Wednesday, 25 July 2012


The outfit that drives 
street urchins mad with desire.

I can't decide if it's because I'm getting older or because I am a shameless flattery whore, but some greasy-looking dude who may or may not be homeless paid me a compliment this morning and it totally made my day.
Here in Toronto, we're in the clutches of a ferocious heat wave, so this fellow was strutting down the sidewalk shirtless, perspiring, unkempt ... and whistling. (His secret? He's happier than us working stiffs.) 
" 'Scuse me, miss," he said as I passed him. "You got a light?"
"No, I'm sorry, I don't," I said, doing my special patented shrug-smile-keep-walking move developed specifically for incidents such as this.
"OK, thanks anyway," he said pleasantly. "And you're pretty, by the way."

At another stage of my life, I might have been like, "Yawn. Another compliment. Whatever. Call me when you're Ryan Gosling."
On this day, however, I was feeling sweaty and dishevelled and unattractive. (We women like to do this to ourselves, because there aren't enough bad parents, mean bosses or shitty boyfriends out there who can be trusted with the job of bruising our self-esteem.)
Perhaps this is why his compliment had the unsettling effect of making me blush and titter and thank him, for God's sake.

Is it pathetic that a complete stranger I would otherwise have ignored brightened my day? WHO CARES? Some days, you take your compliments where you can get them. That's the lesson here. 
Well that, and the fact that the next time he or any other grubby-looking fellow asks me for a light . . . or a beer, or cash . . . he's getting it. 
"No, thank you, my good man! And you're cute, by the way."