Wednesday, December 19, 2007

There But For the Grace of God

Walking down the street with Flip, who had an errand at Guitar Center, I spotted a woman who was built like a tugboat coming toward us in the ugliest coat I had ever seen.

I murmured, "The coat. Look at the coat."

The Coat was a full length horizontally worked multicolored mangy-looking fur in an oversized houndstooth tweed pattern. Suffice to say that I have never seen anything like it. It looked as if it were made out of several mismatched old dogs.

I think this is what happens when furriers go bad.

The woman was old, by which I always mean Older-Than-I, with determinedly blond hair and did I mention, portly?

As we passed her, Flip said, "That's a beautiful coat."

I almost swallowed my tongue.

She simpered, "Thank you!" while her male companion, like me, turned his head the other way.

"What were you thinking?" I demanded. Flip is not mean. Ever. It is not in his nature at all, yet he also has taste.

Obviously, I was missing something.

"I couldn't help myself," said Flip. "I really did it for the guy because he probably thinks it's ugly and he didn't get his money's worth."

"Fifteen dollars at the thrift store," I replied. "and it is ugly."

"She just needed to be told she looked good," he said. "I bet she doesn't hear that very often."

Flip is such a nice man for a liar.


thailandchani said...

Well, it really was nice for him to say that! Even if he didn't mean it. He probably made her day! :)

meno said...

How did you not snort? You need to carry your camera with you everywhere i think.

That was nice of Flip. Everyone likes to be told they look nice.

Well, maybe except for when i KNOW i don't.

Mariposa said...

Such a nice man...we need more of him around to make our day! ;)

the walking man said...

Hearts, It may have been the ugliest coat in the world but the warmest thing the old lady could find for the money. I hate to say this because i know you're not but you sound in this post like an elitist snob.



furiousBall said...

you know, who knows what the deal is with the coat. like the walking man said, it might be all she could afford. it might be her late granny's coat and she's a bit heavy hearted at this time of year.

you're both going to hell now.

just kidding. probably.

Franki said...

Awww, I like Flip. I need him to come here and tell me something nice about my latest haircut.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I retract what I said yesterday about wanting to be a fireman when I grow up. I want to be Flip.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I think so. Her face lit up when he complimented her.


Remember what Mother always said,"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

Unless he's blind, drunk or wacky.


Now I'll be suspicious when he tells me I look good.


You're right that my crack about the thrift store sounded elitist, and you're also right that I'm not one.

I was just stunned by the wattage of her coat. And it wasn't actually cheap looking, just incredibly noticeable.


Now I'm going to cry. Both for the lady's granny and because I'm going to hell.


Did you do that again? Forget haircuts. They're such a crap shoot.


No rush. I haven't yet decided what I want to be when I grow up, but I think about it all the time.

RED MOJO said...

That was very kind of Flip, but she'll probably wear that hideous thing more now that she thinks other people like it!
The whole story makes me nervous because of what I picked out for you over at my blog.

WNG said...

Flip, from all that you have posted about him, is someone I would love to hang out with. You guys crack me up.
BTW, Meno's right (as usual) you really do need to start carrying a camera around with you!

Molly said...

One of the best reasons for lying-when to tell the truth would have crushed her. With a little white lie Flip made her day. Could be her male companion averted his face so she wouldn't hear him snickering....derisively, no less. Good for flip---spreading a little harmless Christmas cheer, in what is, for some, a very stressful time of year!

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Flip is very nice.

I'd have had to turn and walk somewhere else because I am LOUSY at a decent poker face. Just doesn't happen, and I wouldn't have been able to hide what I was thinking...

And it would have been right along the same lines that you were thinking.

love the laughs, thanks!

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

CS said...

Awww! That was very sweet of him. Although if I'd been the one to say it, it would have been instantly identifiable as sarcasm. But then again, I can't find it in me to be kind about ANY fur coat.

Ian Lidster said...

He is a nice man for a liar. You are blessed.

Rachel said...

We could all learn a little something from Mr. Flip. I would have bit my tongue and not said anything, but sometimes it pays to be generous with compliments, never know who needs to hear one.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Nervous? No way. It was great! And just the fact that you thought of me was wonderful.

Thank you so much for the virtual Christmas present.


I usually do have a camera with me, just not when I need it most. :(


Keeping a straight face was quite stressful for me without any warning.

Derisive snickering, mmm hmmm. Check. (Flip is much nicer than I am.)


You and me both. My mother used to scold me for being so transparent and now my daughter reminds me often that I'm not as good at remaining impassive as I think.

We've come full circle, but I still don't have a good poker face.


I don't believe in wearing animals either. They have their skins, we have ours. There should not be any overlap.


I am very much so.


It's possible he made a huge difference in her life with a second's attention. That can't be wrong.

Liz said...

I can totally picture all the hideousness of that coat. I wonder how could she be so blind as to not realize it's actually genuinely ugly. But I suppose we all need a kind word now and then.

Dave said...

Good for flip! LOL

Josie said...

The Coat was a full length horizontally worked multicolored mangy-looking fur in an oversized houndstooth tweed pattern.

Now I want one.

Open Grove Claudia said...

I'm sorry you don't like my coat. That's why I didn't bother to say hello to you. Flip knew it was me and D. ;)

there but for the grace of god...

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Yes, we all do. And how wrong of me to inflict my own taste standards on anyone else.

But Gawd, it was oooogly.


Yeah, he's good that way. :)


Of course you do. But there couldn't possibly be two of them. You'll have to mug her for it.


No way that was you, babe. Unless you are conjoined twins or even triplets, all sharing one glorious coat of many colors.

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Flip is a true gentleman. There's not many of us left.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


That's true, and I am sure that you are one of that rare breed.

Odat said...

He's a better person than I, that Flip....

Ang said...

That last line is the best ever!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


He's much nicer than I, too, or else he was never told that if you can't say something nice, say nothing at all.


You're very kind.

Thank you for your visit. I tried to follow your link but it was a dead end. Do you have a blog?

Kate S said...

Awww... can he send me an email and tell me my hair looks great? :)

heartinsanfrancisco said...


You've got it! He says he's never seen such beautiful hair in his life- except in that coat.

Crankster said...

Wow. I am in awe of Flip.

On the bright side, you have to admit that the horrifying coat DID catch your attention!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Oh, yeah. It was VERY bright.

jameil1922 said...

i will have you know "That's a beautiful coat." just induced a 35 second coughing jag!!! the absurd hilarity!!!!!!!!!!!!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Well just imagine if you had been there.