Wait… What?

I absolutely love a good non sequitur, partially because I enjoy employing Latin, but mostly because they seem to always garner the same reaction from a large number of people. Throw a good non sequitur at someone and they’ll usually miss it for second (and even start to respond), then pause and look at you quizzically, and finally respond with a universal, “Wait . . . what?” It’s fun throwing people off, unless, of course, you happen to be the one smacked in the face with a wonderful non sequitur.

There are probably many that happened to me before, but the first one that really stands out for me happened in  eighth grade. I was at a birthday party and the obligatory “Seven Minutes in Heaven” was being played (kids, do not try this at home, you will only feel shame and embarrassment later). I was never chosen, which was honestly fine with me at the time. I had Discovered Girls, but getting in a closet with a random one was just unseemly.

After the Game, people began milling about and interacting. I was complaining to the birthday girl about an ex (if you could call them that in middle school), whom I will call Cindy (’cause that’s her name).

“I don’t understand why Cindy doesn’t like like me anymore.” The Semantics of Relationship get you every time. I continued, “I mean, she seemed so in to me, she never even joined S.A.L.! I thought we had something. We hung out at Opryland and everything! I just don’t know what happened.”

Her response? “Want to get in the closet with me?”

“Wait . . . what?”

I was confused because I wasn’t actually selected during the game, but she was asking to get in the closet with me right then. I didn’t really want to, but figured I couldn’t face anyone at school if I didn’t, so I entered the closet with her. She reached up and pulled the string to turn off the lights and we . . . just awkwardly kind of held each other (you couldn’t even call it a hug). After a while of the awkwardness, her mom open the door and turns on the light.

“How dare you put your filthy paws all over my daughter!”

Even though my hands were quite clean and had never strayed from her shoulders, I couldn’t help but feel chagrined. I was totally unprepared for her mother’s next comment.

“Oh, I didn’t realize it was you, Leighton. Carry on,” and with that, she shut the door and walked away. I stood there for a moment, hands still on just shoulders, and said, “Wait… what?” Double non sequitur!

Many, many years later, I would receive another memorable one. I had been married to Chrisie for almost a year and was still working in closets for a living. I was in Springfield, TN working on a refurbish job. The home owner (a woman), had pretty much left me alone until I got to her daughter’s room.

“Did you know this was my daughter’s closet?”

I looked around at the probably painted on clothing and knee-high boots and said, “Um, I hope so.”

“Do you want to see a picture of her?”

“Why?”

“‘Cause I’m just so proud.”

“Uh, it’s not really necessary.”

“But I really want to show you!”

The customer is always right, so I relented. She showed me a picture of her daughter. It wasn’t obscene exactly, but I was confused that her mother was showing it.

“Do you think she’s pretty?” I had no idea what the right answer was. So I settled for, “Um, she’s nice.”

“I sure wish she could find a nice man. Someone kind of like you.”

“Uh, yeah, not interested.”

“But you seem so nice and kind. I’m sure you’d hit it off.”

I held up my hand. My left hand. The one with a wedding ring. I didn’t want to offend, so I said (while pointing to my ring), “I”m married.” I thought that covered everything, but she followed with,

“Perfect! My daughter really needs a stable man!”

“Wait . . . what?”

Years after that, while on a business trip, I found myself being hit on by a woman (which, I might add, is the kind of thing that never happened when I was single). Since it was a business trip and she had clearly been taking advantage of the open bar, I tried to be gentle.

“I’m flattered, but you’re not really my type.”

“I could be your type.”

“No, no you could not.”

“Try me, what’s your type?”

I held up my left hand. The one with my wedding ring, and said, “My wife is my type. My wife who is home with our four month old daughter.”

“No problem. I’m married, too!”

“Wait . . . what?”

I quickly moved away.

True story (all that preceded and what follows).  I told my wife about that incident, thinking she might like that other women found her husband attractive (no, she did not), and that she might chuckle at how uncomfortable the whole thing made me. After all, I had no desire to act on any come ons, and I thought it was a story of me being faithful.

My wife said, “I can’t believe you let another woman hit on you!”

“But I wasn’t interested! It’s a story about me loving you and wanting only you!”

“But you let another woman hit on you!”

“Wait . . . what?”

© Leighton Brown and Stories Now Told, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from Leighton Brown is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Leighton Brown and Stories Now Told with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. For more information, please see the Copyright page.
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About leighton

I could be considered a true Renaissance Man after having a long and storied (seriously, people actually tell stories about it) college experience and varied careers. I am also a shameless self-promoter (who did you think was writing this anyway?) who is prone to flights of fancy, an abundance of passion on any given subject, ,obsessive behavior, spontaneous storytelling (whether anyone listens or not), and making parenthetical references. I would also be thrilled if I heard someone use the word "raconteur" to describe me.
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One Response to Wait… What?

  1. Pingback: Coming Out of Closets | Stories Now Told

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