Tuesday, February 05, 2008

He Wants Me Like Joe Franklin

Years ago I was at a function in New York with my cousin, something she won tickets to. A lot of people were in attendance, all seated at round tables of ten, which were facing a fancy podium at the front of the room. Something was going on, though I don't remember what it was.

What I do remember, is an older guy seated across the room, who kept looking at me. Every time I looked up, he was looking at me. Every time I gazed across the room, he was gazing back. He clearly wanted me. All through dinner, all through the speeches, every time I moved, he was looking.

Come to find out this guy, this old guy, the one looking at me all night, was
Joe Franklin; famous radio and TV personality, commonly known as "The King of Nostalgia". As it turned out he wasn't looking at me at all, he was just looking in my direction. Because I couldn't see his eyes, it appeared as if he were checking me out. Staring. I thought he wanted me. And even though I didn't want him, I was crushed. Rejected. A young girl's dream? Shattered.

I told that story so many times and got so many laughs from the description of how I thought he was looking at me the whole night, how he couldn't take his eyes off me, that my friends and I began to describe someone's interest in us as, "He wants me like Joe Franklin." Even my brother started using it, saying to his friends "She wants you like Joe Franklin wanted my sister." It became so integrated into his language, that even his friends started using it. It started a mini-trend.

To this day, some twenty years later, I'll still say "He wants me like Joe Franklin wanted me" when I catch someone checking me out. Even if the person I say it to doesn't get it, I secretly chuckle to myself as the memory is conjured up in my mind. Sometimes they'll want to know what I'm talking about and if I'm in the mood, I'll let them in on it. Other times I'll just say, "Oh, nothing" and leave 'em hanging.

In fact, just today someone was looking at me with interest in his eyes, and judging by how he watched me saunter across the convenience store to pay for my Diet Coke, I knew it. I could just tell.

He wanted me just like Joe Franklin did so many years ago.

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