By Jerry Zezima
The Stamford Advocate
I’m the very model of the modern man. And I proved it recently when I made my debut as a model at a women’s jewelry show.
This sparkling event was hosted by my sister Susan, an independent representative for Silpada Designs Jewelry. She wanted to celebrate the opening of her business with a party where she could showcase her merchandise and where the invited guests – ladies only – could chat, laugh, gossip, try on jewelry, place orders, nibble on snacks, sip coffee and otherwise behave in a sophisticated and civilized manner that did not involve beer and belching, thus distinguishing it from a gathering of guys.
My wife, Sue, couldn’t make it because she was working, so I decided to crash the party, which was held at my parents’ house, and look for something to buy for her.
In exchange for being the only man except my father, who lives there and couldn’t very well be kicked out even though his jewelry consists of cufflinks and tie clasps, I agreed to be the model.
Amy, a Silpada representative who was sponsoring Susan, who was hosting the party even though the hostess was actually my mother (there is never this kind of confusion when guys get together to watch a game), predicted that I would be the life of the party.
That sentiment was echoed by the guests, who included my sister Elizabeth and Susan’s daughter, Whitney, who is 11. The other guests were Linda, Sally, Joanne, Patty and Kathy.
"You will be good for business," Amy told me.
"I’ve been giving Susan the business since we were kids," I replied, "so I’m happy to help."
The first of the many compliments I received was from Amy, who said that my baby-blue-and-white, vertically striped shirt was "very slimming." She didn’t say anything about my jeans and sneakers, but I could tell she was impressed by my sense of style.
Then I tried on my first piece of jewelry, a beautiful garnet lariat. I swept out of the bathroom and sashayed across the rug in the finished basement, turning gracefully so the ladies could get the full effect. When they applauded, I knew my modeling debut was going to be a smash.
"Garnet is my birth stone," I announced, prompting cheers. "It’s better than a kidney stone," I added, prompting groans.
Next Amy gave me a matching garnet bracelet, but it was too small, so she added an extender. She winked and said something about putting me in handcuffs. I blushed. The women giggled. And I thought guys were bad.
To complete the set, Amy gave me a pair of earrings. I don’t have pierced ears, although I do have a hole in my head, so she had to clip them to my earlobes. One earring stayed on but the other kept falling off. "They must be from the van Gogh collection," I said to Amy, who attached the earrings to my collar.
"You look fabulous," Joanne commented.
"Sometimes a boy just likes to feel pretty," I replied.
After taking off the ensemble, I donned a gorgeous turquoise necklace. "It’s you," Linda said. "But you need something to go with it."
"How about a silver chain?" Kathy suggested.
Sally spotted an item that definitely was not part of the collection – a leash my parents keep for my dog, Lizzie, and Elizabeth’s dog, Lucie, both of whom also attended the party. The leash had a silver chain.
"That’s for later," Amy said, nodding toward me and eliciting hoots from the guests.
"Ladies, please!" I protested. "What would my wife think?"
Actually, she thinks I’m wonderful because I bought her the turquoise necklace. My mother got the garnet lariat. The other women looked through the catalog (more info at mysilpada.com/susan.cassell) and made plenty of purchases.
"Thanks to you," Susan told me afterward, "the show was a huge success. You should be a model again."
It looks like I’ll get the chance because my wife has agreed to host a jewelry party. Being a sex symbol is a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.
Copyright 2008 by Jerry Zezima