Friday, September 26, 2008

My Day in Hell

Greetings from hell!

Okay, maybe that’s a bit strong. But I spent the day in at least Purgatory, or Dulles Airport, whichever is less pleasant. Okay, Purgatory.

Anyways, I’m in Italy right now on business. Trust me: this is less exciting than it sounds. Quite frankly, Italy is strange. Very strange.

First of all, the men carry purses. I’m sorry, there’s just no way to take a guy seriously who’s carrying a purse. Maybe that’s sexist of me, but that’s just how I feel. I also feel that women who wear too-tight T-Shirts and insist that they be appreciated for their brains are morons.

This is Plebian, and I approve that message.

So I spent part of the day in meetings going over some stuff with guys who carry purses. Not tough-looking camo purses, either; some of these were beaded. They were men carrying beaded purses!

And I’m not implying these guys are gay, either: every calendar featured a naked woman and the screensaver would have made Larry Flint pause for thought. If they were gay, the did the worst cover-up job in the world.

Worst of all, though, was the purse-wearing dude who thought so much of his underwear that he wore his pants around his ankles. And his collar flipped up. Instead of looking cool, he looked like my five-year-old getting dressed in the morning asking me for help.

Except my five-year-old doesn’t carry a sequined yellow purse to go with his outfit.

Then, in the afternoon, having been totally bemused by the Italian men, I got to experience the joy of working with Italian women. It was enough to make me long for the men.

One woman had decided that business casual included a tight white t-shirt that fit her about twelve years ago, when she was fourteen. Now, though, she’s grown some, plus hit puberty, so the shirt is very stretched. No problem: underneath this she wore her hypno-bra, a swirling black-and-white patterned thing that was virtually guaranteed to call attention to the fact that her T-Shirt was too small.

It was like she was trying to hypnotize people with her breasts. Personally, I always thought that only worked when the woman wore those tassled pasties and made them swirl in opposite directions.

The other woman forced me to reflect upon this business etiquette question:

You’re in a meeting with four colleagues, all of whom are more or less the same level as you. One of them is sitting across from you, and for reasons unknown to the cosmos doesn’t realize that her right breast has escaped its bra and the low-cut shirt and is now resting on the table, with the nipple staring at you like the worm in the bottom of a tequila bottle.

What do you do?

Say “Geez, it’s nippy in here. Would you please open a window?”

Or something else?

I’m open to suggestions, because I never did figure out how to manage that situation in a suave and elegant way.

I finally gave up, left the meeting, and went purse shopping so I could fit in.

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