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What Would Paula Do?

You’ve seen the billboards, bumper stickers, and jockey shorts. What would Jesus do? This question helps millions of Americans decide what is right. However, I’m Jewish and besides, I don’t know the guy.

Instead, I ask: What would Paula do?

Paula is a girlfriend. Paula is my age (although ten years younger), not skinny, and she is a BUP – Big Unedited Personality. Like my mother, only without the constant shoving of lox down my throat. Paula is independently wealthy, mainly because she had the vision to hire a savvy divorce lawyer when her husband started seeing a tweeny-bopper.

Paula is successful at dating. By this I mean: she dates. Yep, she goes out. Paula dates all the time.   She meets men everywhere: in elevators, at lectures, on pony rides, at sporting events and on the sidewalk.  When another girlfriend said that New York City is a difficult place to meet men, Paula had this to say: “New York is a man candy store to me!”

New York is a stale jelly bean store to me. I am not Paula. For example, just this past week, I blew two chances to meet actual guys.

During the first Blow-It, I was at the doctor’s office, looking for a seat. An adorable man smiled at me, removed his coat and patted the seat next to him. What did I do? Thanks to being potty-trained too early, I was not able to smile; and instead of speaking or God forbid sitting, I ignored him and took a seat four chairs away. Then I snuck glances at him, leaning out so far I fell off my chair.

What would Paula do?

“I would’ve sat down next to him and said, ‘Well don’t I have the best seat in the house!’”

Oh my God! Is this genius? Paula would put the guy at ease, flatter him, and flirt all at the same time, with one terrific Paula-line.  And she’d meet him! She’d meet him, and she’d date him!

The second Blow-It happened the next day. I was waiting for the Q train to Brooklyn. And there, on the platform, was the love of my life. He was tall and good-looking. Silvery hair stuck out from under his melon (that’s a color) baseball cap. He was reading Best Short Stories 2011—a book I actually own!

He allowed me the single available seat. He stood directly in front of me, one arm wrapped around a pole, the other holding his tome. I admired his hand and his posture. I liked his legs and his stylish black sneaks. I wondered if his lips, thin in repose, would plump for a kiss or a good laugh. He kept opening and closing his hand, as if working through a touch of arthritis! I have arthritis, too!

And as if God were handing me a Do-It note, the seat next to mine became available, and TUSH (Tall Silver Hair, with U thrown in) sat down. As the train rumbled into Brooklyn, I found a business card in my purse and wrote, stealthily, “You are attractive. Call me.”

Suddenly, he stood up, turned and said, to me, “Oops, gotta go!” And he left.  Got off the train. Don’t you hate it when that happens???

I called Paula.

“Hell yes, I would’ve talked to him!”

“Before he talked to you?”

“Men can be shy, too! He’d appreciate it if you’d said hello! And always keep a ready supply of cards handy.”

I started to tell her that I did have a card but didn’t use it, when she added, “I keep them in my bra.”

In her bra! If only I had the bosoms! But listen: I don’t have to do everything Paula would do. Only enough to meet a man, one man, that one man on the subway who, because I am not yet Paula, is forever gone.

Diana Amsterdam is a published and produced playwright, screenwriter, scribe and branding guru; and former ghost writer for the Emily Post Institute. She is the mother of two brilliant sons and five exceptional grandchildren.
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  • Sanych says:

    @Diana Amsterdam

    Sandwich? Going subliminal? You, me and Paula?

    Thanks, I’ll pass.

  • Laurie says:

    Sounds like she’s own of those women who go out with anyone just for the sake of going out, she’s not very particular and comes across like a needy, shallow opportunist, just “ratching” up the #’s…Any man worth his salt would see through her games and nonsense.. Yes, people can meet anywhere, but in a natural, real way, MUTUALLY!..If one needs “guidance” at this at our age, there’s a problem…

  • @Paula–Please ignore Sandwich (er, I’m sorry, that’s Sanitch) who feels it is necessary to criticize and insult, probably because he or she has very little of what we call life. Yes, your opinion not only counts, it is what we rely upon for guidance.

  • Paula says:

    Brilliant. Does my opinion count if it’s me – Paula?

  • Sanych says:

    “Paula is successful at dating. By this I mean: she dates.”

    I thought that dating is not a goal, but rather the means of getting to the goal – to find a match and STOP dating. Thus the success of dating is measured by how quickly you don’t have to do it.

    There are plenty of words to describe Paula and the activity she is engaged in, but it is not “dating”.

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