11 June 2006

Hot or not?

I went to church today. We have a young woman, Lindsay, who leads the singing. She is about 20 and is just stunning. Drop-dead gorgeous. Tall, curvy, with long wavy red hair and a perfect face.

I was sitting with my buds in row 4, just like usual (isn't it funny that, even when there isn't assigned seating, there is?). In row 2, which is about 8 feet from the "altar" or stage or whatever you want to call it, the area at the front that is raised up about 8 inches, was a new guy and his wife.

The new guy was really tall and maybe late 40's or early 50's. I noticed him because when Lindsay got up to sing, he was riveted. He was staring at her so hard that I couldn't NOT notice. His wife saw what was going on and tried to interest him in the songbook, but his eyes were tractor beams that were impossible to disengage. It was the same kind of intense focus you see on nature shows when the slavering wolf is crouched in the snow, regarding the limping reindeer.

I could just feel the waves of helpless lust energy coming off him. It felt icky and wildly inappropriate, but on the other hand I felt kind of sorry for him. If he was such a slave to his hormones in church (of all places) what was he like out on the street?

And then I thought about Lindsay. She saw what was going on - she was facing the guy, just a few feet from him. She is an entertainer and sings in all kinds of venues, so she must have had the same thing happen before, but it still can't be that comfortable, can it? Maybe if you're Madonna and you need to drink attention in like vampire blood to survive, but most people aren't Madonna.

I don't think I could handle it and I know many other women who feel the same way. I have talked to very attractive women who carry a few - or a few dozen - extra pounds, dress down or otherwise go out of their way to keep from being noticed.

Add a rape, assault or stalking to that mix and there are plenty of women who would rather zip on a suit of fat, the modern woman's emotional equivalent to armor, than to take their chances on attracting attention from men.

"Why can't you lose the weight?" people ask. "It's as simple as calories and exercise." Maybe not, especially if the wolf has been at your door.

What do you think? Have you ever tried to make yourself less attractive to avoid unwanted attention?


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20 comments:

Izzy said...

Ewww. I see what you mean. That degree of attention would make me squirm.

mamalujo1 said...

There's a very fine line between admiring and ogling, and in my humble opinion I find it best to err way over on the side of discretion. Slack-jawed staring really doesn't get you more eye time than you need for a good, healthy, charge of testosterone, but it does get you in trouble with the wife and with the nice women two rows behind you. Deservedly so. I appreciate a beautiful woman, an intelligent woman, a funny woman, as much as any guy, but hopefully never to the point where they feel uncomfortable. I'm sad to hear you say that many women even minimize their "hottie" potential just to avoid this kind of unwanted attention. I hope you believe that most of the men at church looked, discreetly, and allowed themselves a brief moment of admiration, and that the oglers are a minority.

gandhi rules said...

His attention was selfish and rude to Lindsay and his wife. You're right, he's trapped in his dissatisfaction with what he has, what he is. He's trapped.

I am uncomfortable with this kind of attention. I used to get very angry. Now I usually ignore. I extinguish the energy and leave it with him. If I'm really uncomfortable I do something 'unladylike'. I pick my nose, burp or spread out. Example: on the subway, man staring wanting a response whether it be fear, mutual attraction, whatever. I spread out like men do when they're establishing their territory. Open my arms, rest them on the back of the seats, spread my legs and slouch down. Sound strange? It works for me.

super des said...

In church? Control yourself, guy!

I used to avoid wearing certain things, especially when I worked in a retail environment where a lot of our customers were (dirty) old men. I care a little less now, but sometimes I still can be uncomfortable knowing I'm drawing attention. (And I always draw attention for noe thing or another - but when it's not-so-pure attention that's not what I like.) A good thing to do is, I've found, just to keep walking or doing your thing, blatantly ignoring it. I see other women do this as well. If they still talk to you or whistle or whatever, shoot them a dirty look and some "appropriate" language.

Lisa said...

What is it with guys this age range? My neighbor's sister just moved into a new house. Why? Her hubby who is 45 left her recently for a 25-year-old. He doesn't even have contact with the kids because he's worried the kids will "scare the new girlfriend off".

I thought by that age, men knew better and stopped thinking with their penises....

SUEB0B said...

I don't think this was a case of a guy being just an idiot, like construction site guys that yell at you or guys who dump their wives for younger women.

It almost seemed like he was out of control with the looking - that was what was interesting to me. Like an out of control alcoholic or something. A lookaholic.

Elizabeth said...

I'm not going to say that once a man gets married they should stop looking at attractive women, but for heaven's sakes, not in CHURCH with your WIFE sitting right there! I've seen my husband do the head-swivel while we're walking in the Mall, but he's never stared openly at someone like that. It must have been so uncomfortable for Lindsay.

And without writing a whole blog post here, I believe that because of events in my past, I have deliberately sabotaged my own weight-loss efforts in an attempt not to look more attractive. If I felt like men were looking at me, it would cause me major anxiety.

Elizabeth said...

I'm not going to say that once a man gets married they should stop looking at attractive women, but for heaven's sakes, not in CHURCH with your WIFE sitting right there! I've seen my husband do the head-swivel while we're walking in the Mall, but he's never stared openly at someone like that. It must have been so uncomfortable for Lindsay.

And without writing a whole blog post here, I believe that because of events in my past, I have deliberately sabotaged my own weight-loss efforts in an attempt not to look more attractive. If I felt like men were looking at me, it would cause me major anxiety.

chelle said...

That would be totally weird in church!

Mommy off the Record said...

To be honest, I wouldn't mind a little MORE oogling. But then I'm not tall with long hair and a perfect face.

But seriously, I do think that beautiful women probably get tired of getting gawked at. And doing that in church is totally wrong. Especially because he was married. What a dick.

mommy on the verge said...

I hate the leering look..gross. The wife should have hit him with the song book.
I like to wear XL pajamas to bed, I never understood the sexy nighty thing because all I want to do is sleep and be left alone.

Kentucky Girl said...

That's wicked creepy. I'd brain my husband for doing something like that.

No, I've never had to make myself any more unattractive. lol

TB said...

Whenever I don't want to be noticed, I wear my glasses. It works like a charm.

Mama Duck said...

Yes, I think I'd dress differently to avoid that kind of attention. That's creepy, I wouldn't like some guy staring at me like that either. If I was his wife, he'd be in TROUBLE.....

wordgirl said...

Hmmm. I never had to TRY to make myself less attractive to men. But I've seen other women have to fend off the mindless idiots who mistake their hormones for a blank check to ogle at will.

cameo said...

i don't think i dress down to NOT attract attention. i just don't think about it most of the time. but i am one of those women with the few dozen extra pounds. don't know what that's all about yet - i'm really happy - just a little fat.
anyway, i never want to attract attention for the sake of attracting attention. what i do want is for people (men or women)who are attracted to me to be so because of something they see in my spirit. that may sound hokey - but i'm not an easily approachable person, unless i think we're equals. people who sense that about me and forge ahead - those are the people i'm glad are attracted to me.
there have been the occasional dense horny guy who is pushy because he's too stupid to 'get it'. but for the most part, my method works.

Chantal said...

I'm dealing with an uncomfortable situation sort of like this right now. The man in question knows I'm married, but since I've met him he has been all kinds of innapropriate. So, when I know I am going to see him, I dress down to avoid him. It's that kind of intense leering you KNOW isn't right, KWIM?

bubandpie said...

I've always been fairly oblivious to any (hypothetical) male attention that might have been taking place. One exception: while I was weaning my daughter - suddenly and very painfully - every time a man glanced my way I thought, "He's staring at my breasts!" They were bigger than usual, but I think it was just that I was so aware of them that I assumed everyone else must be to.

What a riveting story...

Suzanne said...

When I was 16 and utterly (and stupidly) devastated when my boyfriend dumped me, I gained a lot of weight. My shrink suggested that I did it on purpose so that other guys would not be interested in me, but I really gained a lot of weight because I was fucking depressed and ate a lot of crap to comfort myself. It only made me more depressed to be fat since no one was subsequently interested in me. Idiot shrink, thanks for reminding me that guys thought I was gross...

airyn said...

arrrrgh! fricking blogger...i wrote this once, but mistyped the anti-bot letters and it ate my post. arrgh.

nutshell: i think downplaying my appearance is why i've habitually dressed the way i have. that, plus my upbringing of "it's not proper to show off your breasts." the extra weight came with insecurities about people only wanting me for my looks, altho my keeping it on is from abject laziness.

i feel sorry for the church guy's wife - how sad and helpless she must feel. :-(

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