Bossy women get a bad rap in modern society. Take Kelly. She has always been a take-charge kind of gal, but she’s often misunderstood. For example, just because she’s bossy doesn’t mean she can’t be shy.
Kelly was extremely shy around Kurt. They worked at the same hardware store. She manned the cash register, he did everything else.
Her chance encounters with Kurt were the highlights of her days. Even though she usually ended up mumbling unintelligible syllables whenever she saw him.
“I just knew he was special,” she says. “I liked the way he treated people. He was just so nice, just a good guy.”
He always spoke to customers in the store as though they were the only people that mattered. He bent over backward to help those who needed assistance deciding on the right galvanized hex bolts. And, going by what Kelly says, he was also a strong candidate for the next pope installation.
“I wanted him to notice me,” she says. “But I never got much more than ‘Hi,’ out of him.”
So she let it go. Because in modern society, girls don’t ask boys out. We’ve put a man on the moon, developed breakthrough cures, and we’ve split the atom. But if a girl asks a boy on a date, she is considered bossy.
And according to Kelly, “You don’t want a guy to think you’re bossy.”
This is especially true if you happen to actually be bossy. Which Kelly is. Big time. She knows this. And she’s okay with it.
Kelly has always been naturally bossy. Even in grade school. She has always had a talent for calling the shots. And if she didn’t love her current job so much, she firmly believes that a girl like her could easily get a good gig in the mafia.
In her little church choir, for example, even though Kelly doesn’t know the first thing about music, and even though she admits she has the singing voice of a dying goat, they made her choir director.
They also let her teach children’s Sunday school, and head up women’s Bible Study. In fact, Kelly does just about everything at her church except preach. Though she’s not ruling anything out.
But when she was around Kurt, she was shy. And every evening after work she would leave her job hating herself for not having the courage to say more than a few words to him.
All her coworkers said she should approach him. All her girlfriends said the same thing. Even Kelly’s mother said she ought to ask Kurt on a date. But she simply couldn’t because when she was near Kurt she became so anxious that she couldn’t breathe and her right armpit started sweating.
“My right armpit sweats,” she explains. “WAY worse than my left one, no matter what I do, it starts to stink when I get nervous. I’m pretty self conscious about it.”
And I, for one, am very glad Kelly told me this because what would any romance story be without a little serious armpit action?
So the sweaty armpit thing was an obstacle. It was no wonder she couldn’t talk to Kurt. She didn’t want to be in the middle of a sentence and see his nostrils flare and hear him say, “Is someone chopping onions?”
You have to be careful about these things. You can’t just have a guy thinking your right armpit smells. Your left armpit, maybe. But not the right.
Anyway, I’ll cut to the chase. One December day, Kelly’s son came home from school and told her that his teacher, who was directing the Christmas pageant, had landed in the hospital with the flu bug from hell.
Kelly called the teacher to offer her sympathies. And, because Kelly is a natural leader, before she hung up the phone she was the new director.
That year, she organized everything, planned the scenes, pointed, shouted, decorated, directed, led music, ordered snacks for the kids, and threatened to horsewhip any child who got out of line.
The play was a success. And it was during the final scene when the children were forming a live nativity that she noticed Kurt was in the audience. He was surrounded by employees from the hardware store. Her friends had brought him to the play.
Her heart started beating.
“It was armpit city,” says Kelly.
After the performance, Kelly’s friends decided to go out for pizza, they invited Kurt. But it was only a trick. When Kurt and Kelly got to the pizza joint, none of her friends showed up.
“I coulda killed them,” says Kelly.
But it worked out. That night, Kelly and Kurt sat in a booth and ate pizza until the place shut down. And at the end of the night, when saying goodbye, he hugged her tightly and said, “You know, I’ve always liked you, but I was too scared to say anything.”
Then his nostrils flared and he said, “Do you smell something?”
But before he could say another word, Kelly did what any bossy woman would do, and she kissed him until she almost suffocated him.
By now you’re probably wondering why I’m telling you about this woman. A few reasons:
Firstly, because it is my sincerest wish that any bashful women out there who might read this knows that it’s perfectly okay to ask a guy out if she is so inclined.
And secondly, because Kelly and Kurt have been together for twenty-nine years today.
And thirdly, because chronic armpit odor is no laughing matter.