So I'm sitting on the big swath of steps outside the Whole Foods in my neighborhood at noon today. A diverse group of people tends to go visit the various hot bars/cold bars/sandwich bars and whatnot at lunchtime and then spread out on these steps when the weather's nice.
I have my turkey chili and I'm hunkered down, legs akimbo. My shopping bag is on the step below me, between my legs, and I'm leaning way over, so I don't dribble chili on my grey silk scarf.
It's a great day. Blue sky, golden leaves, breezy and brisk, a little too cool to be sitting outside, but the sun is blazing down on us all and the mood reflects it.
This older woman walks in front of me, wearing a wool coat and carrying a pocketbook. You ladies know what I mean when I say pocketbook--carried over the arm in the crook of the elbow; metal clasp. She stops in front of me and glares.
She walks a few steps further, looks sternly back over her shoulder, and stops. She turns around and comes back, and stops again.
Huh? I'm getting puzzled now.
Finally, she leans over towards me and hisses: "I miss the good old days when women still went to CHARM SCHOOL."