Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Hot stuff

I have never really thought of myself as a particularly attractive person. Perhaps this is some self-esteem thing. Or perhaps it's from years of being teased for being short and dorky-looking. I don't recall ever thinking that I was ugly, just not pretty. For a long time I thought I was overweight, but I wasn't. Then, for a few years, I was indeed a bit larger than I should have been because my metabolism had been pharmaceutically hijacked. My wife and I disagree as to whether I was "huge" (my opinion) or "curvy" (hers); but at least we agree that I was larger and sleepier than usual.

So now, for the first time in my life, I am... skinny? thin? slender? svelte? (Can short people be svelte?) And sometimes I catch myself thinking, hey, I am kinda cute.

But then some testosteriffic dude in a beat-up red pickup truck wolf-whistles at me and it ruins my moment.

These men do not seem to grasp the concept of keeping their eyes on the road. They actually hang their heads out the window and rubberneck (in my conservative pants and shirt) as they drive, very very slowly, past me. This is so not cool. I am surprised it's not caused an accident yet.

I wish people would pay this much attention to me when I'm trying to cross the street. Crosswalks make me completely invisible.

My wife's theory is that guys notice me because of my hair, which is almost to my tailbone and in severe need of a trim. I think this might cover about 50% of these incidents: People coming toward me can't see my hair until they've passed me, and I get hooted at from all directions.

Why does it bother me, all this hooting? you might ask. If I feel pretty, oh so pretty, then why don't I care for cross-gender interrater reliability? I will admit that, on account of some early experiences, I can get really scared by men who think with their men-parts. I will admit that I actually kinda liked it when I got a "heeeey..." from two women in a Subaru. But I see a big difference between a genuine "you look nice today" and a catcall. Especially when the offending party is operating a car or other dangerous machinery.

But what frightens me the most is that I am routinely mistaken for jailbait, and these dudes all look at least 25 or 30. When I put aside my feminist indignations, I am just plain grossed out. These guys probably think they're ogling a 16-year-old.

So, gentlemen. Keep your eyes on the road. That means off my ass.

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