Yesterday I realized that Lucia's willingness to smile and stare at anyone and everyone on the street has rubbed off on me--and that I should perhaps take this as a warning and return to my eyes-down, alone-in-a-crowd city ways. As we walked past some men at a construction site yesterday afternoon, Lucia gazed up at a man, and I, in turn, gave him a smile--a "Yes, I know my baby's cute, how charming that she's looking at you" smile. Instead of returning the smile with a similar subtext, he said loudly, "Can I get in the stroller, too?"
I gave a fake laugh, and then frowned when I was past him, but really I have no idea what this was supposed to mean. It just seemed a bit creepy, akin to the time when I was an executive assistant (and why is this old, old job once again popping into my head?), sitting in the office with the pampered Maltese (smuggled into the building in a Pottery Barn bag) on my lap, and the CEO's personal driver came up behind me and whispered insinuatingly, "I'm jealous of Shitake*." I shiver even now, remembering.
One other funny/strange remark recently: As Lucia and I walked down 79th St. between Columbus and Amsterdam earlier this week, past a youngish guy in a suit, talking on a cell phone by the curb, the guy, mid-conversation, pointed abruptly at Lucia and shouted "That's cute!" as though he were having some sort of argument and Lucia proved his point. (She was wearing a large, floppy-brimmed sunhat. She was, indeed, cute.)
*similar to, but not exactly, the dog's real name