By Jerry Zezima
Hearst Connecticut Media
As a thoroughly modern man with a partially feminine side, which I always sit on when I eat lunch, I am not embarrassed to say that if it weren’t for Victoria’s Secret, I would go hungry every day.
That’s because my wife, Sue, a thoroughly modern woman with no masculine side, and a longtime customer of the clothing and beauty chain, packs my lunch in a Victoria’s Secret bag.
My second meal of the day is the hit of the office, where colleagues routinely ask what I have for lunch, to which I reply, “I can’t tell you. It’s a Secret.”
When my pink striped bag recently started to sag under the weight of the incredible edibles packed within, it was time to go to Victoria’s Secret to buy Sue a little something. Then I could get a new bag and avoid not only starving each weekday but depriving my office mates the pleasure of asking if my ham sandwich was wrapped in something frilly.
“May I help you?” sales associate Elana Litsakis asked as Sue and I perused the merchandise.
“I’m looking for a lunch bag,” I replied.
Elana, 29, who said she has “heard it all” from shoppers of the male persuasion, added that this was the first time a guy was more interested in lunch than lingerie.
“I appreciate intimate apparel,” I explained. “After all, sometimes a boy just likes to feel pretty. But the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. And I need something to carry my lunch in.”
“Does that mean you’re looking for something to wear?” Elana asked Sue, who nodded and replied, “I’d like to see some leggings.”
“How about armings?” I wondered.
“They haven’t come in yet,” said Elana, who showed Sue the selection and directed her to the fitting room while I stood next to the thongs, which Elana was marking, pricing and, somehow, folding.
“I don’t suppose you have anything in my size,” I said.
“Of course we do,” Elana responded with a smile. “What color would you like?”
“Pink,” I said. “It’ll match my new bag.”
“My grandpa likes our bags,” Elana told me. “For his 80th birthday, we got him a camera that we put in one of them. He said, ‘Is there a girl in there, too?’ ”
“You don’t seem to have anything for guys,” I said.
“We have cologne,” Elana countered. “There’s Very Sexy for Him and Very Sexy for Him Platinum.”
“What’s the difference?” I asked.
“One is Platinum,” Elana said. “The other isn’t.”
“I think I’ll stick with Eau de Budweiser,” I told her.
When Sue emerged from the fitting room, she said she didn’t want the leggings but would buy two sweatshirts instead.
“You get a free panty,” Elana said.
“Wow,” said Sue.
We thanked Elana for her help and, in my case, her unlimited patience and headed to the checkout, where I told Alexis, the cashier, about my lunchtime cravings.
“You must be very popular in the office,” she said as she rang up Sue’s purchase. “It comes to $70,” Alexis added. “If you want a bag, it will be an extra 5 cents.”
“I’ll buy you two bags,” Sue said sweetly, signing a bill for $70.10.
“You spare no expense for me,” I said gratefully. “By the way, what’s for lunch tomorrow?”
“After this,” Sue said, “you can make it yourself.”
Copyright 2018 by Jerry Zezima