Posts Tagged ‘nonplussed’

Around noon this past Friday, I had the great pleasure of getting together with my dear friend, XUP.

For those who may not know her, she is the blogger par excellence of XUP (aka Ex-Urban Pedestrian). [1]

It was great seeing her again.  She chose the spot. A little joint not far from her office. Nothing fancy. Just a nice place to sit down for a while and chat and get caught up now that she and her daughter, XUP Jr, FINALLY moved down to Toronto.

She was gorgeous, as always. Radiant good looks. Engaging smile. Lovely outfit highlighting a delightful frilly sleeveless top. The whole bunch of bananas.

Looking back, I think at least some of what happened afterwards involved that frilly sleeveless top. Emphasis on the sleeveless.

As some of you may have noticed, much of North America has been groaning under an oppressive heat wave. Last week was, so far, the worst with record highs and a heat index well over 110 F. Judge my exultation, then, when I discovered that the air-conditioning in the above-mentioned little joint was operating at mid-season form! Expecting that my dear friend was not yet used to the sub-tropical climate of Toronto, I thought she would be grateful for my choice of a table at the cross winds of two powerful A/C units, liberated, no doubt, from some industrial meat-packing establishment.

It was not long after this vision of a woman slunk down into her seat, all languid and wan… wilting, I presumed, from the scorching day outside… that I noticed the tiniest of shivers in her delicate bronzed shoulders. I didn’t think that what I was saying at the time was particularly gripping, so I wrote it off as ‘one of those things’. Then a few moments later, another shiver… followed closely by a tremble, then another very distinct shiver.

“This place is <expletive deleted> FREEZING!”, she exclaimed.

I was nonplussed. I hadn’t expected to hear those words for at least another six months.

I stared at my dear friend as she hugged her arms together.

Understandably perplexed, I was about to offer her my suit jacket in a manner that would have made Sir Walter Raleigh proud when suddenly I realized I hadn’t worn one on the walk from my car. This was most likely due to the sweltering heat.

And yet, there she was… trembling like a leaf. Or rather, like the last leaf of autumn clinging to a wind-blasted branch in late November.

“May I get you a hot beverage?” I asked, watching her lips turn blue.

She shook her head, her teeth beginning to chatter.

We cut our reunion date short and walked outside where she seemed more comfortable. We sat in the charming little square in front of her monstrously huge and imposing office building. I was relieved to see some colour return to her cheeks and fingers.

I suppose our first post arrival get together could have done a bit better. We’re going to plan another one soon. I doubt we’ll be returning to the little joint. I’m sure XUP will pick another place with fewer climate control issues.

This time, I will remember to bring along a parka for her. Perhaps some stiletto mukluks. No sense throwing Form under the wheels of Function.


[1] Shameless plug alert! You HAVE to read this woman’s work. She is an inspiration to me and many others. It was, in fact, XUP who provoked me into starting to bl*g myself. If you hate my writing, don’t blame XUP. If you like my writing, she gets much of the credit.


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