Monday, May 24, 2010

Making the Best of It: Dapper David

It was a beautiful night in the park, the name of the benefit, Dancin' In the Rain, having ensured that it actually didn't rain as it had the two previous years for the Prospect Park Alliance's Party for Playgrounds.

Lots of dressed up people were milling about the Prospect Park Audubon Center at the Boathouse, a beautiful venue for a party, an auction to raise funds for the park's many great playgrounds. I could have stood there all night under the tent surrounded by colorful upside-down umbrellas, staring at the little lake and the bridge beyond, but that I needed a drink.

I neared the bar inside and was greeted by arguably one of the most charming sheepish grins I've ever seen from the bartender, who seemed to have arrived from central casting, clad in a bow tie and a paper hat that might have been silly on someone else but was, on him, somehow perfect.

"Wow," I said, awestruck. "If anyone can rock that hat, it's you..." I said.

His smile softened into a grateful look as he shook his head. "Really?" he said, wanting to believe but skeptical. "Thank you so much! I hate this dumb hat..."

I laughed. "But you wear it so well," I said. "Maybe on somebody else it's stupid, but you manage to make it look cool."

Clearly I had struck a chord. He shook his head again, as if I was an apparition, one he had tried to conjure but couldn't quite believe had actually appeared. "You're sweet..." he said.

He gave me a glass of white wine and I gave him a gold star, and made him pose until I'd captured the look he'd first given me, the "I-know-they-made-me-wear-this-stupid-hat-but-I'm-incredibly-awesome-anyway" look.

Sometimes, oftentimes, we are forced to do things against our will. Sometimes, oftentimes, we have to do things we don't want to do. But then we have to work with what we have when what we have (or have on) isn't what we'd choose. If we can smile in those moments, still feel our awesome selves, like David? Then, we're golden, no one can touch us.

And that's why I gave David a gold star.

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