Corsage: (n) a small bouquet worn at the waist, on the shoulder, or the wrist of a woman

I, for one, am thoroughly convinced that the only purpose we have as individual human beings is to discover ways to avoid the humiliation that often befalls us as a collective.

I don’t know why life, Mother Nature, creation—well, take your pick—has put together systems supposedly natural, which are so unnatural when put into practice.

I don’t want to get graphic, but just the means by which we dispel our waste through bowel movements, and then trying to uncover a dainty process for not appearing absolutely gross while doing it and finishing up is a good example. Remember the lesson? “Take this flimsy piece of tissue paper in your right hand and reach around into your butt crack and clean yourself but make sure you don’t use too much of it or it will clog the toilet, but just enough that your hands can be used again for interaction with other souls.”

Sometimes I think God used the Earth and human beings more or less as an experiment, or maybe even a practical joke—and that somewhere in the Universe there is a new and improved human race which doesn’t have to deal with—shall we say?—natural humiliations.

This came to mind when I saw the word “corsage.” When I was in high school, I went to a prom and purchased such a flower at our local florist, who provided two long pins along with the arrangement, so that the man (in this case, me) could pin the corsage onto the young girl’s dress when arriving to pick her up for the date.

Is there anything that I just described that seems natural or sensible to you? It especially became horrifying when I walked in the door and realized that my date was bare-shouldered, and the place to pin said corsage was up near her precious bosom, which certainly did not need probing in front of her parents, especially with two sharp objects in my hand.

But it was all part of the fantasy.

The parents were standing by with their cameras, gasping, looking for a Kodak moment. The young lady I was taking to the prom had no more experience on this issue than me, so she stood by praying, lamb-like, pre-slaughter.

Somehow or another, I was able to get the pin stuck through the dress and into a little corner of the stem of the flower, where it somewhat dangled from her dress like low-hanging fruit.

I stepped away, greatly relieved that it was attached and that I was detaching.

Fortunately, as years passed, someone came along, admitting the horror and the potential blood-letting of the moment in adolescence, and invented a corsage with Velcro, which hooks onto the wrist—did you hear me?—the wrist of the girl—and doesn’t require prickly points.

Now isn’t that smart?

Couldn’t we perhaps have skipped a step and gone to something like that to begin with instead of tempting the fates, the gods or the fumbling hands of a teenage boy?

Even though the corsage question seems to be handled, I still break out in a cold sweat every time I see one, frightened that some old person in the crowd will shout, “Hey! Just for old time’s sake, why don’t you pin it on her?”

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