staircase wit as a means of evaluation.

i have slow reflexes.

impossibly late come-backs.

as a child i would practice long, drawn-out speeches in front of the mirror. my own what-i-should've-said lecture series. responses well-formulated weeks, months, years after the date of expiration.

i can be witty.
and let me be clear that i'm using this "sometimes" liberally. because more often than not, i am not.
witty, that is.
jokes, when thought of at the appropriate time, are mostly abandoned half-way through.
and come-backs come twenty minutes too late, leaving me wishing for the offender to do just that, come back.
come back. please.

there is a term for this.
a condition that i suffer from, if you will.
l'esprit de l'escalier. (it's french, which means i'm practically french, don't you know?)
now bear with me, most of the following info comes from wikipedia:
the term, coined by french philosopher diderot, roughly translates to staircase wit. what? you ask. fear not, i'll let diderot explain: a sensitive man like me, overwhelmed by the argument leveled against him, becomes confused and can only think clearly again [when he gets to] the bottom of the stairs.
staircase wit?
get it?!
isn't it brilliant, isn't it just absolutely perfect?

so i met this guy. and on that first night l'esprit de l'escalier fled my "sensitive soul" and my remarks were witty and quick and cute (might i add cute?).
at least, this is how i remember it. do me a favor, don't ask him, he might see it all a wee bit differently and i don't want to burst the bubble just yet, okay?

and this is how i knew.
that i might just like him.
diminished esprit.
or the flee of l'esprit, if you will. (credit to kate for this).

a very good sign.