Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Downside of Elite: Lunch With Marvelle

In my last post I mentioned lunch with Marvelle. (She corrected my spelling.) She is the wife of Hugo the vice president in charge of foreign programs and my sometimes coauthor of several ghost articles. Our families mingle from time to time.

Due to some poor planning by my wife Caroline, the lunch, which was supposed to be for the four of us, ended up being for just two -- Marvelle and your humble author.

Being alone with a women is when being a law professor from an elite university actually is a problem. I do not want to get into locker room talk here but women cannot leave privileged law professors alone. And they seem to be able to spot us from miles away. What accounts for it? It is very hard to say. We -- my fellow law professors who are similarly "afflicted" and I -- have discussed it but are unable to agree on a satisfactory answer. It is some combination of pure animal magnatism and palpable intellect.

And back to Marvelle. It was clear she was stricken. She hardly ate half of her salad (lemon juice dressing on the side, hold the croutons, no onions, are those organic carrots?, no outer leaves of the lettuce and could I have a real salad fork, please). She did have four glasses of wine. I tried to put her at ease and explain that this happens all the time but she just stared at me as though she could not even begin to process what I was saying.

Well, I ended the lunch somewhat abruptly, helped her into her coat, bid farewell to the waitress who was looking at me slack-jawed and seemingly entranced, and saw her off.

I will try not to be alone with Marvelle again so she will not have to endure what must be very upsetting.

1 comment:

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