I’ve got a lot of theories. Some are based on observation of others, some are based on experiences. Others are based on equal parts intuition, bullshit and ego. This theory is based on the last one on the list.
I spend a lot of time walking, I love to walk. I walk to keep fit, when I am sad, angry, and even bored. I find it can reverse a downward spiral better than a double dip of mint chip. I walk to restaurants and bars especially in the evenings when I want to imbibe. So this puts me out and about San Diego 5, 6, 7 days a week walking some where. During my travels I generally get hellos from other travelers anything from verbal greetings, head nods to smiles of acknowledgement I am out there hoofing it too. What I also get on these walks on a regular basis, is a shout out from the male homeless community.
These gentlemen say things like…
“I love that red hair”
“Girl, you got some strong legs on you”
“Hello my lovely”
These gentleman are never rude or nasty in their comments, it is quite the opposite. They are always respectful in their tone and demeanor. There is always a good natured open appreciation of the female form and garish hair color. There have even been times I have even been with my Ex and it has happened. He would just shake his head and laugh. It doesn’t seem to matter if I am accompanied or not, they just go ahead and give me the shout out. When I was younger and living in Manhattan things like this happened with construction workers, business me anything with a third leg, but those comments were overtly sexual, nasty and had a bad juju attached to them. This has none of that. This happens almost on a weekly basis and it made me start to think about my appeal to men. Being recently single, 48, and a 6 1” redhead, knowing my marketability helps me sleep at night. That and knowing that buying those push up bras were really an investment. But did my shout outs mean I only held appeal to the fringe?
I started to watch and notice more eye contact with what looked to be clean, employed, and sober gentleman. Sometimes there was a head nod or a smile in the produce aisle, even some small talk. All the contact with these guys was subtle in fact I was unaware of it till I started to look for it. I was seeing trending, this was good. But what did it mean? I needed more data, I had a hunch but more extensive samples needed to be gathered. I needed to expand the scope of my study plain and simple. Having the tall bald guy chat me up in yoga by asking me “if I was wearing heels” at the water fountain was not going to be statistically significant.
My scope expanded on the trolley to La Mesa, public transportation can do that for you. I once took the bus downtown one Saturday to give it a try and it garnered me a blog, well mostly because there was an incident. If you can call a physical altercation with a mentally and physically handicapped octogenarian an incident, so be it. Ok, back to the trolley, Le Mesa was having an Oktoberfest and taking the trolley was a responsible way to enjoy adult beverages and brats along with being green while not having to drive under the influence of German Cuisine. I did my research like all good OCD girls as to where to find nearest station, fare, etc, and took off for uncharted territories.
I found the station, got my ticket with not too many gyrations and hopped aboard when the trolley when it pulled in. Across from me sat down a nattily dressed young man who smiled and began chatting immediately. He revealed some gang guys tried to talk to him on the way to the train but he ignored them. I nodded and smiled. He then paused, took a long look at me and said.
“Are you rich?”
“No, I’m unemployed”
“You look very nice”
“I use a lot of soap and water”
I knew what had happened as this unfolded. I had expanded my scope in an unexpected way.
“Do you have a boyfriend?” he continued.
“Yes” I lied.
One of the lies I tell on a consistent basis because it seems kinder than the alternative.
“Can I be your boyfriend too?” He asked expectantly.
“No, I only have one at a time, but thanks”.
The conversation dwindled after that as it should. I knew where he was coming from, and sadly it was a group home. When he started to speak about the gang bangers I had an idea about this young man, but the boyfriend offer was much unexpected. Ok I had now added mentally challenged to men who I appeal to along with the men of the streets, the great unwashed. My theory was starting to come together. It wasn’t pretty, but it had strong legs too it seemed. Oh yea my appeal on the fringe was heating up!
The Oktoberfest was uneventful which is fine. I walked around, looked at the harvest art, leather crafts, cheap jewelry, kitchen gadgets all the while avoiding the offers for aluminum siding, real wood kitchen cabinets and water delivery from the hawkers. I had my brat, my German beer; a chocolate covered strawberry and hopped back on the trolley forSan Diego. Riding back I thought about what the morning’s proposal had given me, I was thinking these groups might be the tip of the iceberg. They had things in common that were obvious.
As I got closer to my stop the train got emptier and emptier. At the edge of town two guys in their 30’s bounded aboard all smiles. They saw me and smiled bigger.
“Hello there, how are you today?” one of the guys asked.
“So far, so good” I respond unfolding from my seat as it is close to my stop.
The one guy stopped agape looking up at me, swaying slightly.
“Wow, you’re tall” he beams and slurs just a tad.
“Yes” I say.
His friend chimes in “tall and beautiful!”
I smile, nod and disembark
Ah yes a third demographic has been heard from; drunk men have joined the ranks of my admirers. What they have given me is my proof to the first part of my theory. All these groups of men, my admirers, have no social filters, no editors in their heads; they blurt exactly what they are thinking. Bless their hearts. So whether it is homeless, mentally challenged, or drunk, these guys see me and react. And frankly that reaction is they love me. My theory is these non-filter guys are the tip of the iceberg, my appeal is wider. They are the uncontrolled group, so to speak. I have a friend who just got asked out by a 22 year old blind guy, she is twice his age. He was impetuous at their meeting in a gallery even after she told him she how old she was, and he still called her a few days later to ask her out. She is running her own parallel study it seems. So the last part of my theory where it comes down to bullshit and ego is these uncontrolled groups are just the canary in the coal mine. I believe I am attracting more than the fringe but they are the only ones being so obvious I am picking up on it. Unfortunately I am fairly oblivious to most things happening outside my tiny little skull. So unless a guy is shouting his adoration, asking me out, or telling me I’m a doll, they are off my radar. So to all those poor sods out there being subtle forget it, until you crash your cart into me in the supermarket and tell me I have beautiful eyes or ask me out for coffee none of us is getting any. As to those push up bras, well there will be no return on investment is all I can say, damn.