It was a typical afternoon at Le Forge du Montrose’s main store: Dozer was manning the sales floor; I was in the stockroom taking hankerchief inventory (we have 153 dark red ones, if anybody’s running low); and Rok was at his worktable, altering a pair of chaps for a client who wanted to wear them as shorts but still have cushioning for his knees during Southern Decadence. The usual.
I’m not sure exactly how or when we got on the subject, but we’re gay, so it was inevitable that we’d start discussing award-winning actresses. “I recently heard someone call Bea Arthur a handsome woman,” said Rok. “And now, whenever I hear the word ‘handsome,’ I immediately think of her.”
“Well, shit,” I replied. “I text Danny ‘Hello, handsome,’ every morning. Associating him with Bea Arthur is going to put a damper on the romance.”
“Could you try associating him with a different handsome woman?” Rok asked. “How about Jodie Foster?”
“Jodie Foster is definitely handsome,” I agreed. “And I like how she quietly freaks out in her movies. It’s like, you’re waiting for her to snap, and then you realize she already has.”
Rok nodded sagely. “On the scale of handsome women, Jodie Foster is the midpoint between Bea Arthur and Geena Davis.”
“Does Geena Davis really fall into the handsome category?” I asked.
“Yes. She’s got a non-traditional yet undeniable beauty, and she’s like seven feet tall.”
“Good point,” I conceded. “Geena Davis is very handsome.”
“Plus she’s got those broad shoulders. If they ever remake To Wong Foo, she could play Vida Boheme.”
“Oooh, which makes me think of Stockard Channing. Also a handsome woman. I loved her in Practical Magic. I cry buckets at the end when the witches jump off the roof and float to the ground. I used to watch it all the time, and my ex would run into the room to laugh at me as soon as he heard Stevie Nicks start singing.”
“Interesting. Do you have the same reaction to the ending of Thelma and Louise? Starring another handsome woman, by the way.”
Rok was just about to launch into an explanation of the cultural importance of Susan Sarandon when Dozer jumped into the conversation.
“Doesn’t the word ‘handsome’ come from horse husbandry?” he asked. Rok and I looked at each other blankly.
“I think it has to do with measuring the height of horses by hands,” Dozer continued. “Like, ‘this horse is x many hands tall’ or whatever.”
We took a moment to digest that. And then Rok said, “Well now that we’re talking about actual hands, all I can think about is fisting Geena Davis.”
Personally, I was too busy wondering if we’d been unintentionally comparing famous women to horses and thereby participating in passive misogyny to worry about fisting Geena Davis, but to each their own, I guess. I mean, I’m a little surprised that that’s where his mind went, but then again, we do have 153 dark red hankies in stock.
If anyone happens to know someone who knows Geena Davis, could you get a message to her and strongly suggest she not include Houston in future travel plans? Or, if she’s more affable than anticipated, maybe just let her know that she’ll want to shower before she gets here.