“A woman could look like Godzilla, but if she’s got blonde hair and a miniskirt, men start walking into walls.” — Judy Tenuta
When I was in college, my girlfriends and I would know that it was officially Spring when we’d get whistles, shouts and horn honks when we walked down the main street to campus. The majority of the attention would mostly come from the town construction crews in their big orange trucks.
Back then we were young and beautiful, and attention like that could make us feel uneasy or embarrassed. Several years ago, when I worked in the downtown area of a local city, we had one young attractive college intern who was, shall we say, well-endowed. And she used to dread any time she had to make a delivery and walk to another building down main street… because even dressed conservatively, she could be sure she would be approached, get offers and blatant stares from any of the odd male critters that hung out on the city streets.
What has always astonished me is the ego, pride, or maybe just plain stupid bravery that the guys who act this way must have. It NEVER is an attractive, normal, well-put together man who makes the comment. It is the sketchy, freakish scruffy ones. Do they honestly think they will have success? Do they truly believe that a well-dressed, educated, clean Real Woman will stop in her tracks and say “hey, guy, you haven’t bathed in a week, probably live in your parent’s basement, and are missing teeth – I’m SO in!” ??
As we Real Women get older, and reach middle age, our attitudes towards this kind of behavior change…it becomes far more amusing to us. Obviously, the regularity of getting any kind of comments or horn honks diminishes when we are no longer 20-something hotties. And let’s be honest, ladies, if you DO get some sort of whistle or attention, it is a little bit of an ego boost. There is a great old episode of King of Queens when Carrie gets whistled at by some construction workers. She comes home in a good mood, having had the encouragement that she’s “still got it.” Her husband Doug then goes and bribes the crew to keep up with the cat-calls and whistles at his wife every day so he can benefit from her improved moods. (This all goes well, of course, until she finds out he’s paying them off.) So yes, some passing-by quick attention from a male stranger can give us a little extra bounce in our step. However, where the humor factor sets in is when we realize it is no longer coming from some buff young construction worker…. more likely his father or grandfather.
The other day, I was turning the corner at an intersection, and received a “hey hot stuff!” call from a man in another car that was stopped at the light. I glanced over and sure enough….all I noticed was white hair, scruffy beard, and my guess is he was at least 15 – 20 years my senior. That 2-second boost of “I’ve still got it” shifted quickly to a “oh, great, now I appeal to the seniors in the world.” I drove back to the office, laughing and shaking my head thinking about how the cat-callers don’t go away. They just age, as do their targets… but their bravado never fails.