"All The Mens Are Stupid"

Helen’s shop is right behind the school. It’s down one of those alleys that boasts a constituency of prostitutes and johns ducking in and out at inopportune times. I always tread carefully when turning the corners. I take things to Helen to be hemmed, sewn, and cleaned. Her prices are cheap so I didn’t bother complaining when my winter coat comes back smelling like cigarettes. I don’t complain about Helen’s service, be it slow, inefficient or badly scented because Helen herself is a prize. She is Greek. Her hair is a curtain of black dye. Her glasses frame her drooping black eyes and she calls me "Baby."

I stopped in Friday to check on our Commencement regalia. We've sent her upwards of sixty gowns and hoods to be pressed by next week so I thought just stopping in to see how it was going wouldn't be a bad idea. Especially since it took her half an hour once to find two pairs of pants I came to pick up. She was at the counter. She smiled weakly and as she talked her eyes wandered and her dentures slipped up and down revealing a dark gum line. I finally asked, "Helen, how are you these days?" She took a deep breath, "My husband, he pass away last week." I dropped my jaw and said the appropriate "no!" I knew he was sick, but wasn't aware he'd died. "Oh, Helen!" I reached for her hands and she took mine. I stood at her counter as she let it all well up to the surface, "Fifty-two years I am married. Now he gone. He used to open garage door for my car, open the lights in the house for me, everything. Now there is nobody." Her chin trembled. "That's a lot to lose." I stood transfixed. Fifty-two years, you'd hardly know where you stopped and someone else started. After a minute she had regained her composure and turned over my hand in hers looking for a ring, "You married, Baby?" "No," I answered. "Das ok. There not many good mens around these days." I smiled, "so I've noticed." "Besides, Baby, all the men's are stupid. You think you find a man with sense, but he stupid too." I smirked in disbelief as Helen continued, "People say, 'you husband he a good man,' and I say, 'yes, but only because he married to me.' All the men's are stupid, Baby. The women are the better, smarter, stronger, everything. That is why it was two womens who go to tomb to make Jesus ready and everything." She patted my hand affectionately and smiled through her teary eyes. She had a point.

This morning I brought her a bouquet of flowers. Something fresh and bright. Something non-funereal. On the note I wrote, "In appreciation for everything you do and everything you are. -Sarah"
She was pleased, she hugged me, patted my backside and then shooed me back out the door past the prostitutes.

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Blogger Worldgineer said...

(considers writing a joke that starts off: "How many women does it take to change a Jesus?", realizes it would take some biblical knowlege to pull it off)

2/5/05 14:58  
Blogger k_sra said...

heheh. Go ahead. I've got Biblical knowledge...

2/5/05 15:03  
Blogger k_sra said...

Oh right, you'd need some biblical knowledge. Nevermind. : )

2/5/05 15:04  
Blogger Worldgineer said...

Sounds like you have the qualifications to finish it for me.

2/5/05 15:14  
Blogger Worldgineer said...

I can start it for you though, using biblical knowlege I gained today:


2/5/05 15:14  
Blogger spizzer said...


Fifty-two years is a huge amount of time... I've not known my own Dad for a fraction of that amount.

3/5/05 08:45  
Blogger k_sra said...

Ok, here's the joke:
Q: how many women does it take to change a Jesus?
A: None. He's the same yesterday, today and forever. : )


Q: How many women does it take to change a Jesus?
A: None. Hed already bailed by the time they showed up.

Well, they're not really funny, but they make me smile! I guess I should have come up with something about how he left the seat up... whatever.

3/5/05 11:46  
Blogger El Fid said...

The point was that mens are stupid; as a woman, I feel obliged to remind everyone what we're talking about.

Ksra, I like your imitation-greek dialogue. You should write as extensive a transcript as you can stand and file it. That way you can recreate that voice some time in your upcoming novel.

3/5/05 14:01  
Blogger Joel said...

Yeah, I liked the Greek too! It's kinda like My Big Fat Greek Commencement.

And as for the uplifting story involving prostitutes, I'd say it has Richard Gere all over it, but he stupid too.

3/5/05 21:21  
Blogger Tara said...

Here I've wracked my brain trying to find out the mystery of mens, and it all becomes clear from the point of view of a Greek woman I've never met. It all becomes clear to me now! :)

3/5/05 21:56  

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