“Sometimes I feel bad for the parents,” I told my masseuse as she worked out knots on my back, knots worthy of – oh, I don’t know – an accountant who also happened to harbor a lifetime of repression. Anyone who pulls the label off beer bottles. Those. “Because they’re old?” “No – well – they’re not all old. Some are young. There’s a hot dad. The moms even named him ‘Hot Dad.’ ”
She stopped to laugh and ask me where my daycare was, exactly. I told her nevermind the hot dads, we were talking about the ones worthy of sympathy. The one who wears jeggings, for example. “Is he a hipster? Are they purple crayon jeggings?” she asked. “No, no, his wife buys them for him. I caught the other parents trying to decide on an unfortunate nickname (something like Señor Jeggings), so I – ” “Wait, wait, I’m lost. This man wears clothing his wife buys him?” she seemed genuinely confused. “Well, yeah, married guys do that.” Single guys have sister-gifts and mom-gifts, but I wanted to keep it simple.
“But why would they wear what a woman buys them? Are you saying that once men get married – pouf! – they lose their minds and become these, like, automatic slaves?” I was glad to be face down. I didn’t have to display any sort of facial expression. “No, well, I mean, I think men like to find clothing. On their bed for example. No shopping trip necessary. Like a fairy left it.” (My explanation would have been better were I not horizontal, mid-rub.) “Oh, a fairy! Yes, you Americans believe in fairies until quite late in life, no?” I took a deep breath. “Well, the thing is, Skye, that, we . . . don’t believe in them that long. There are . . . limits – ” She cut me off with a new idea. “Or is just everyone you know an idiot?”
But really her hands are genius. The knots were gone when I left.