AKA “Legs” – An old Boyfriend Connects
When I look at the history of readership (known as metrics) there are a few blogs that have far surpassed the other ones in terms of number of readers. These blogs are mostly all tied to my writing about former loves and boyfriends. Everyone seems interested in these stories, so much so, that some ended up on Pinterest, and there they get regular hits. Some are high on Google searches and they get hits from that. I know this is because everyone loves a good romance story. That’s why those cheesy romance series sell so well. If you want to read the two most popular, one on first love, and one on Fireworks! then they are linked here and definitely worth reading if you have not read them and like that sort of thing..
The above is written to make two points. First, I am capitalizing on people’s fascination with my dating history by writing still another one. Yet this one is different – very different, so hang in there with me. The second point is that due to my writing career, including national publications, professional journals, and with 15 years writing for the fourth largest daily newspaper from the fourth largest city in the US, I have quite a presence on the Internet. I am easily found from anyone from my childhood, neighborhood, past dating life, or loves, as I publish under my maiden name. There are no other Arlene Nissons out there except me, and there IS another Arlene Lassin out there. (Read this blog if you don’t believe me.)
Due to the above, many have found me, to my great delight. Old neighbors, classmates, and old loves or dates. Not everyone is on Facebook or even engaged in any social media. I have received emails from some not on social media,
Today’s topic is not just about a guy I previously dated finding me and contacting me; it is mostly about a feature that I am aware of, and milked for all they were worth in my heyday – via a brief modeling stint, and my work as a Phillies Girl. (blogged about here and several other times.) It is about my legs. Yet I have to convince you that this is NOT a vanity piece. It is a practical view that I knew I had an asset, I used that asset, and still today in the back of my mind, I still have pride in that asset and work to keep my legs looking as youthful as possible, and shapely too, through exercising in various forms. Seriously though, it is not a vanity statement because who cares about the legs on a grandmom, (bubbie) like myself? I am old, and though I can still wear skirts, dresses and shorts and look good in them, the utility of this asset is seldom thought about. I do post photos on Facebook and get a very good amount of compliments, which feels nice, especially at my advancing age. Yet, let’s face it, my heyday has come and gone, and now I am like Tina Turner: an old lady with great legs, though not as rich or famous as her.
Philosophically speaking, our best assets are mere genetic accidents. My green eyes, my legs, were both genetic gifts that I was glad to receive. My smile is now my best feature, yet it was genetically the opposite, and I worked hard and spent money (orthodontics, and maintenance) to get what I have; and I appreciate having that feature because I use it every single day. Pretty girls have many advantages in life, but my prettiness emerged very late with most of my school days already gone when it counts most. Besides, I would much rather be judged by my successes and accomplishments than by the way I look.
Okay, enough philosophy, here’s Tina Turner and those famous aged legs if you don’t remember:
So this philosophy piece came up recently because someone contacted me that I casually dated in college when I was dating several boys at the same time, and during a time that I preferred easy, fun, no-strings attached relationships. I have a small assortment of casual college dating relationships under my belt. As a student working my way through college, those meals out really meant a lot to me, and the guys were pretty nice to be with on the whole. Aside from the free meals, movies, concerts, etc, with those boys; getting back to the legs as an asset, working to pay my way through everything was facilitated by getting lucrative pay due to that asset!
This guy who contacted me wasn’t really my type as he was a bit of a stoner, but we enjoyed slapstick comedy movies like WC Fields and The Marx Brothers, and we enjoyed similar music. He crushed on me for a while, and I know this because he used to come with his friends while I played softball in college for a PE course spring semester, and stare at me. The other girls noticed this gang on the sidelines, but they had no idea who they were staring at. I wouldn’t have known either if he hadn’t finally approached me to ask me out. He was cute enough, and I thought his little crush on me was sweet, so of course I said yes. This guy told me later when we dated that he and his friends called me “Legs,” and I was the one they were staring at while playing softball. So it was in his time and era, I was truly AKA – also known as, “Legs.”)
It was a pleasant dating experience not lasting more than six months. Our most memorable date was when he invited me to his sister’s wedding. I was that nice girl that boys liked to invite to their family occasions, and had some great dancing dates at weddings, and even at one Bar Mitzvah. I had an absolute ball at his sister’s wedding, getting tipsy on cocktails, and dancing with him and all of his friends that came for the dancing-only portion of the event. That one date I vividly remember. His friends were all cute and were terrific dancers; and the evening was just delightful in every respect.
Back to this guy, he reached out to me via Linkedin. I have a photo of my face on Linkedin, and of course business info, but not much else. He saw an article I wrote on the Internet and when he then Googled me, he saw I was on Linkedin and he figured that was the easiest way to contact me as he is on that and not on Facebook. He sent me a private message. The contents of the message shocked me a bit.
He didn’t ask to catch up, ask how I was doing, ask anything about my family, or anything about our dating. His missive was brief, two sentences long. He wrote, and I quote, “I have one question for you. Do you still have those legs, or do you have old lady legs?”
I was appalled. Yes, I remembered that my nickname to him was Legs, but when he got insulting by calling me an old lady, I remembered my grandparent’s generation, and those “old lady legs” with thick support hose, and orthopedic shoes for anyone over 50. I felt like I had something to prove. My legs are still intact!
Note: Mosquito bites and Calamine lotion on last photo, smeared all over the legs!
This guy didn’t seem to care a whit about anything else, so I promptly sent him back these two above photos with absolutely no explanation, other than saying they were both recent photos.
After that a few weeks went by and I got a second note via Linkedin. This one was even more brief. His response? A simple one word sentence. “WOW.”
I got the feeling he would probably share it with his friends, if he is still in touch with them, who used to watch me play softball and also called me Legs. I just had to defend my honor by sending the photos and it is sad that is probably all he remembers about me and associates with my name. Which again, makes me sad that he was not interested at all in the real Me. I guess the only memorable part was my legs. Thought of as a piece of meat, it irks my feminist side, but let’s face it, I have used my looks to create advantages just as Gloria Steinum did. (A former Playboy bunny) And just last birthday, I publicly appreciated the greetings that spoke of my talent, my kindness, and yes, my beauty. It is hard to be a rapidly fading beauty, even when you have other things going for you, I can tell you that. Yet I know it is just luck, genetic luck, and that I wasn’t given much else and I had to work for everything else I have in life.
This ends our little session of reminiscing. I never heard from him again. His curiosity was settled, and it only involved one tiny part of the complex person I am, which set me on this philosophical musing today.
Let me hear from you.