tales of a girl in the city

janvier 10, 2004



I am at work and there is a woman breastfeeding her baby in my office. She just finished getting a tour of the apartments in the building and, as the sales agent I work with was finishing up her presentation, this woman just picks up her baby, lifts up her shirt, whips out her boob and lets the baby go to town.

In my office. Which is a place of business, by the way. Not a hippie commune.

The sales agent, who is a far better person than I, understands that a baby's gotta eat when it's gotta eat. "We have an empty office in the back if you'd be more comfortable there," she offers kindly.

"Oh, we're fine," giggles the woman while the baby starts making gross baby-monster sucking noises as it chugs milk from her boob. Yeah, we're all just fine right here. Me, my computer, my post-it notes, her exposed left breast, and her monster-sucking baby.

In my office.

Now they are sitting on the couch behind my desk, and her broker (a man) is trying to talk about mortgages and real estate taxes without looking at his client's exposed teat. Awkward DOES NOT EVEN BEGIN to describe this situation. And now the nursing woman--who apparently has no shame--is interrupting the conversation about mortgages to tell everyone--giggle, giggle--that the baby would "nurse at [her] breast until he was thirty" if she'd let him. And then she informs us that, Oh my, he's biting her nipple. Isn't that cute? Isn't motherhood wonderful? Giggle.

Unbelievably, the nursing woman seems to be waiting for one of us to offer a response to her little moony speech about breastfeeding. So her real estate agent--who is hoping to make $35,000 or so in the process of selling her a new apartment--looks around awkwardly, sends up a silent prayer to heaven that
God be merciful enough to reach down and smite him, and ventures:

"Um. Aww. I mean. It's he bit your..uh..your ni--nipple."

Oh my God.

The real estate broker stares sadly at his hands, feeling a great and humbling shame.

The nursing woman--who also, apparently, is oblivious to awkward silences--sits and glows and thinks about (I don't know) her cat and her baby and her cottage by the sea. She is happy about her baby, and happy to have nipples, and even happier that those very nipples are now a hot, hot topic. Giggle.

Her husband, who until now has been calculating mortagage rates and pondering monthly common charges, looks up, suddenly aware that another man has just commented on his wife's nipples. Nipples which, he now realizes, this other man can actually see.

Mistaking me for an actual, trained Guest Relations Associate who would know the exact right thing to do right now, the husband looks to me for permission to punch his broker in the throat.

Happily, since I am just pretending to be a Guest Relations Associate for a little while until I win my Tony, I can do exactly what I do.

Which is burst out laughing. I mean. Come on.