Yesterday a lot of people ventured out in spite of–or, more likely, because of–the weather.  The roads still suck, but people were sick of being home.  There were many people in church.  I pulled in late, because my housesitting gig ended Sunday.  I had to empty the dishwasher and strip the bed and so on before leaving.  The parking lot was jammed, and I parked far away.

Yesterday I wore a mod-style mini dress with the boots I actually hate.  I bought them one winter when I was visiting a boyfriend in a big city.  I’d packed badly and left my best winter shoes at home and then walked clean through the soles of my Chucks.   Duct tape patches didn’t hold up to slush and salt, so I dragged him to every damn shoe store in town looking for something that still alludes me: really cute, versatile boots that are comfortable for walking and have a decent sole.  After a whirlwind quest, I ended up spending twenty five bucks for a pair at Target that I didn’t love and that didn’t really match my clothes.  There are pictures form that trip where I look like a lady pirate.    I still have these boots because I am cheap and poor and they are not yet worn out.

Anyway. I wore these damn boots, but I waited to put them on until I pulled into the church parking lot.   As I was struggling with the challenges of knee-high boots and a steering wheel, Dapper Man tapped on my window.

I’ll walk you in.

That’s nice, but go ahead.  I’ve got to put my shoes on.

That’s okay.  I’ll wait.  The parking lot’s pretty icy.

Putting on boots isn’t glamorous.  Dapper Man is a little.  I don’t know about you, but there are people I’ve had vague, life-long crushes on.  Dapper Man is about twenty years older than I am and, you know, dapper.  He’s married to the daughter of a friend of the family.  To be clear I’ve never really gone through a phase of writing his name and mine on notebook paper.  I’ve never wanted to date him or someone like him.  I just think aimlessly think he’s attractive, sort of like, oh, Cary Grant is attractive.  The problem with people like Dapper Man–whose nickname, I realize suddenly, gives him the same initials as my cat–is they tend to make me feel oh so slightly teenaged.

I finally got my boots on and out of the car.  DM (not the cat) held out his elbow.  I put my gloved hand in its crook and we walked across the parking lot as dapperly as two people could, if one of them had a nose running down her lip because it was cold outside.  I almost fell once.  He almost fell once.  But neither of us did.

Once inside, he said Thanks for walking with me.  I don’t think people’d recognize me if I showed up without a tall and beautiful brunette on my arm.

This sounds like a creepy thing to say when I write it out.  But his wife is six feet tall and slim and, well, beautiful in a Breck Girl sort of way.  His daughter, who is a few years younger than me, is her slightly-fairer double.  They are all extremely and obviously fond of one another.   So it was a lovely, flattering thing to say.   And, you know, not a creepy one.

It kind of made my day.