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An Operatic Evening

Updated on September 18, 2012


You either love them, or simply adore them because there is no hating the little darlings no matter what they look like. Have you noticed that there are no ugly women? From the prettiest to the less pretty, from the biggest to the smallest, once they pour themselves into a little something, be it a dress, or even a truck suit for that matter, they have this captivating grace and fluidity of movement that only the female of the species has and no man can truly imitate, no matter how strongly he may be that way inclined or how hard he may try. It’s that swivel of the hips that gets me I think and after years of studying this particular fauna, I am convinced that it is quite natural and they actually do it without really giving it a thought.

Women like to say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and they might be right, but the way to a woman’s heart is definitely through her ears. Words are woman’s Achilles’ heel and words, even written ones can melt the most granite of female hearts. The problem is that once you know their little habits, eccentricities and their signals, then the hunting of this species begins to loose its primary excitement which is the actual chase, not the actual shooting of the beast, if you will excuse the analogy.

The coy smile, the lowering of the eyes with the turning of the head and the twirling of the hair, the touching while talking to you or just passing by you at a party, the look from the corner of the eye while they pretend to look elsewhere… Once you learn the signals, it’s like shooting fish in the barrel, the poor dears.

Some years ago my brother-in-law was in intensive care at a hospital and a priest was called to give him the last rights as the doctors did not fancy his chances to make it through the night. I was standing with other De Greek family members in the corridor outside thinking of my poor sister becoming a widow so young and of his children having to be raised without a father and the tears were streaming down my face uncontrollably. Through my tears I saw this gorgeous woman in a white jacket pass by us without looking at us but the lion hunter in Africa knows when the beast is looking at him even if it is facing in a different direction. I could see the interest in the corner of her eye as she passed by, even though she looked straight ahead. She turned the corner and headed on through the door of the maternity unit further down.

I wiped my tears and followed her to just outside the maternity ward door, where there was a room for prospective fathers to wait for glad tidings. I had the place to myself so I lit a cigar to fumigate the place against any lethal and little known viruses (yes, I used to do things like that, I am sorry OK?) and a few minutes after I finished it she came out again. I stepped out of the room and she stopped, waiting for me to speak, so I asked her to tell me whom I had to bribe in that place to introduce us. Now until I actually opened my mouth to speak I had no idea what to say to her, but her laughter in response seemed to me to have hit the spot. She was a doctor at the maternity unit and she gave me her telephone number.

Alright! I know that this is boasting, but I am also making a point here. And the point is that once a man knows the signs, women become dust beneath his iron heel.

I saw in one of the forums here advice on pick-up lines and I should be failing in my brotherly duty if I did not point out that you will do well to avoid such sad fora full of unoriginal and pre-packaged material. Men, if you cannot think of something original to say that is spontaneous and suits the moment, don’t say anything. The girls may be susceptible but they are not stupid and they have that uncanny instinct that no BS can get past unless they want it to. And remember, an opening line is just that. If you cannot back it up with substance, you are dead meat.

I was telling my friend Cris here the other day of an instance in Manila which was quite successful whereby the five star hotel at which I usually stayed had a new singer in the lobby bar. Veeeeeeeeery pretty and she sang old smooth songs accompanied by a pianist. On the tables the hotel had cards on which the guests could write their song requests and a waiter would take it over, the girl would talk with the pianist, they would find the appropriate song sheet and she would sing the client’s choice. Really five star service.

I thought of the most unlikely song for her to know so I wrote on the card “Any Mongolian love song, or your telephone number”. Seeing her reaction and hearing her laugh was well worth the effort I made and a few days later she made it even more meaningful.

My friend Nellieanna and I sometimes spend hours on IM chewing the fat, reminiscing about past lives, past adventures, misadventures and incidents and I was telling her a story I remembered, about which she said it might make a good hub, so here it is:

I was taking a flight to Athens and I was the last to check in. In front of me there was just one more passenger, obviously also late and she was really a Goddess-in-human-shape. I was particularly impressed by her strong chest, which was decorated with two wonderful looking breasts cheekily peeking through her somewhat daring cleavage. All other passengers had gone on ahead and we were the last to walk to the airplane directly from the terminal, without the use of a bus. I walked a bit faster and when I was next to her, the De Greek muse took over again as usual and I said the first witty thing that came to mind. It must have been witty because she laughed out loud and gave me a curious look while I continued to show off with my further nonsense, but galloping dementia has caused the actual line to be lost to posterity·

On the airplane she was sitting in a seat in front of me and since we both had aisle seats, she would occasionally turn around to look at me and smile. On the bus to the Athens passport control I stood next to her and asked her to have dinner with me. Her answer was “I am staying at the Hilton”, so I got her name and in the evening took her to a restaurant at my own five star hotel. At the time the Caravel Hotel had an international restaurant in the basement which was very popular with the locals and I knew that she would like it. In fact, it was a place where even JPMorgan Chase Bank would have had to hock its underwear if it wanted to properly let its hair down for a good night out.

There was a wonderful atmosphere, great service and a very affluent looking clientele in the packed restaurant. We ordered our food and drank champagne while waiting for the relief expedition to arrive with further supplies and we got to know each other by telling our stories. It turned out that she was an opera singer, or so she said, working at the famous La Scala Opera House in Milan, Italy. Admittedly I made allowances for a bit of fibbing there, because I know how difficult it is for an opera singer to get a job there, but I was not chump enough to question this in any way and to spoil the evening.

As the evening progressed a couple of musicians showed up, one with a guitar and the other with a bouzouki and they played mainly Greek music going from table to table. Being an old hand at this, I always carry in an outside jacket pocket separate five dollar and ten dollar notes for quiet tips, without having to overtly bring out the wallet so when the musicians came to our own table, I surreptitiously slipped one of the men a note . Being a Greek he knew what to do and what to expect from me, so he stayed at our table instead of moving on to other tables.

The girl told them that they played really well and I said that they should be really pleased since she was a singer and knew about music. The thing seemed to backfire. The musicians stopped playing and started to interrogate her. When she said that she was an opera singer, they insisted that she must sing something for us. To my surprise she agreed and the longest five minutes of my life ensued. They agreed on a song by Verdi and she told them the key she wanted them to play it at. They would try but she would not be satisfied and asked them to try finding it again. The restaurant clients were all looking at us by now and I was fidgeting with embarrassment expecting her to say to the musicians that they could not provide the key she wanted and to forget it. I felt that this was either the Northern most evidence of musical eccentricity, or she was a fraud who was caught out.

Suddenly she told them that they found the key she wanted and they started to play the introduction to the Verdi aria. They looked to her when her turn came, she opened her mouth and the reason for the powerful chest became clear as the most angelic sound came out of her. Loud, crystal clear beautiful music the quality of which I for one never heard before filled the restaurant and everyone stopped and listened. Half way through the song a baritone from across the restaurant joined in and the most amazing stereophonic sound ensued.

When she finally stopped singing, the place erupted into a pandemonium of cheers and clapping. The clients, the waiters and even the cooks who came out of the kitchen, were clapping and cheering wildly and demanded more.

She was gracious in victory and she sang more and the baritone dining with his wife across the room again joined in and I do not know how best to clothe this incident in words but it was a night made in heaven.

It is the distinguishing mark of a great man to adapt his actions to circumstances he finds himself in, so I got engaged to be married again that evening, a feat that I admit would have been impossible purely on lemonade and Bach. The fact that in the excitement inseparable from falling in love with a Goddess-in-human-shape with a voice like an angel I unfortunately forgot to tell my wife is, I feel, an understandable omission. In consequence, the attitude of obduracy and defiance exhibited by my wife of the time just for that one period of self indulgence I consider to be unsporting

Dimitris Mita

De Greek


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