I risked a visit to the mall today in the search of a pair of sandals. By some miracle I found a rough approximation of what I was looking for and made my exit as directly as I could.
“Hey, can I ask you something?” a young gentleman manning a booth in the central aisle called out to me.
Fully aware that he was preying on my proclivity for politeness, but unable to ignore said proclivity, I stopped and went over to him. He wanted to know if I always kept my nails so short. “Yes I do.” Before I knew what was happening he was polishing my thumb nail with a vigorous intensity all the while explaining in fake technicalities what surface of the buffer he was using and why. I now have 9 normal nails and one that shines with an unnatural brilliance. I could use it to redirect the sun and blind people or send signals to ships at sea. “That looks a little weird.” I mumbled. But he ignored me as he was mid-pitch showing me the box set that there was no way in hell I would purchase, proudly proclaiming that the sheen would last for weeks no matter what I did! He then paused:
“Are you married or happy?” he asked me.
“Beg your pardon? Am I married or happy?”
English was not his first language but he looked me in the eye and repeated the question. I looked back at him, bewildered. I was stumped. “Neither,” I laughed, knowing that the truth is of course more complicated. It is possible to be both and neither at the same time. At least for me.