(Taken on my phone minutes after the following incident.)
We all know that there are a few stereotypes about firemen floating around in the world.
Namely, that they can father my next two children.
Something about the whole danger-bravery-muscley-in-a-uniform thing. Let's just say that, next to software developers (kiss,kiss Brian!), firemen are where it's at. H-O-T.
The other thing about firemen is that just about every little boy, at one time in his life, wants to be one.
Joseph is no exception.
The other day during one of our exciting expeditions (Albertsons) I was thrilled to see a firetruck in the parking lot! I grabbed Joseph (and Isaac, but really this was mostly for Joseph's benefit) and ran over to the truck so that Joseph could see it up close.
And, low and behold, there was a real, live, hose-wielding fireman inside! Turns out that they can't leave their truck unattended (probably afraid that a housewife might try to stowaway) and one man is given the not-so-glamorous task of "staying with the truck."
So, out hopped the fireman with a smile and a child-sized firehat (for us to keep!) no doubt happy to break up the monotony and show Joseph around. The lucky kid even got to sit inside and turn the wheel!(two year old boy nirvana)
While Joseph fiddled around inside and/or stared at the fireman with a gaping mouth, the fireman and I (and Isaac. just assume that he is strapped onto my body for the rest of this story) were left standing outside.
Now, I have to say that, as far as firemen go, this man wasn't particularly attractive. Perhaps a 7 on the fireman scale of 10. (The fireman scale, of course, being different than the average man scale- on which he would have rated a 15.)
And as I stood there next to average-looking fireman, I started thinking "Gee, he probably thinks that i am a lonely housewife who is attracted to firemen. He is probably assuming that I am using Joseph as an excuse to strike up a conversation.”
At which time I -who finds silences to be painfully awkward and who is incapable of standing next to someone for more than 30 seconds without talking to them- strike up a conversation.
(the “…..” in my conversations are horribly awkward pauses during which time I am panicking and trying to think of things to say. the “haha”s are the most awkward, forced laughs that you can imagine.)
"So, I bet you are a hit wherever you go." I say…. "Because of your cool truck." … ”Except for, you know, at fires…haha..."
That was my opening sentence to Mr. Fireman, who made some sort of a non-committal grunt.
I tried to recover.
"There is just something about a fireman."…”…To little boys, I mean…haha…Yeah, they just think that you guys are so cool."
At which point the fireman decides that yes, I am hitting on him. With a baby strapped to my chest, no less.
He takes a step back, and fumbles around with the hose on the truck.
"You've certainly made our day" …"....because of my son. Not me…haha…. He just loves firemen so much!"
My face is burning, and I am having what I like to refer to as diarrhea of the mouth(I am a classy broad).
At this time, I kind of black out (my mind trying to save itself from going through any further embarrassment), but I do remember commenting on the size of the hose (!!!), and something about men in uniforms getting a lot of attention.
I decide that it is probably time to make my exit.
"Well, thank you Mr. fireman, have a nice day!" I drag Joseph towards the store and away from humiliation.
And my mouth decides to throw out a final "Be safe!" over my shoulder.
And then the crazy, hormonal, non-showered housewife went into the store. To die.
I now go to Albertsons every day, just in case….