I know a woman, a sort of friend- who once asked me, “is it true men think of sex all of the time?”
“Well, maybe not every second, but yeah, I would say a lot of the time.”
She scowled, it wasn’t the answer she wanted to hear, at least not from me, but I was trying to be honest. Like Opie and Andy when they told the girl it wasn’t the dress that made her look fat in the TV commercial. I love that commercial, it’s honest.
At work; I’m a doorman on the Upper West Side for those who don’t know, one of the perks of my job is to stand in front of the building, holding it up; as a lot of the tenants are fond of saying- and watching people walk by. You see some interesting people, but of course, the women I see walking by are the most interesting.
This summer I’d like to think of as the summer of hanging chads. Not the political kind from the election of 2000, but the skin and muscle kind you see hanging from the shortest shorts imaginable that a lot of girls were wearing this summer.
As a result of engaging in this activity for more years than I care to remember, I’ve made a few observations.
A lot of women don’t like being stared at, (some do) and they show their displeasure by scowling as the walk past, and tugging at their very short skirts (or shorts) in an effort to minimize what can be seen. But why wear that stuff in the first place if you don’t want the men to stare?
A lot of them want to make sure you did look, and they do this by inadvertently turning their heads sideways to look at their reflection in the windows on the side of the building. At the same time they cast a peripheral glance backwards to see if you are indeed looking.
The glance at the reflection is reflex; a woman cannot help but to look to see if she looks all right.
A man staring at said woman is also a reflex action; we cannot help this, it was what we are hard wired to do; to notice, stalk, and pounce, just like cats.
Of course thousands of years of evolution have trained us to do the stalking and pouncing selectively, in a civilized manner, as in asking for phone numbers and dates rather than jumping on a possible mate.
I came to this conclusion by watching and playing with my wife’s cat, Kiwi.
The lovely Danusia insists Kiwi is our cat, but I’m afraid I will always think of Kiwi as her cat. I had a turtle and it died, and I always thought of Tia the turtle as my turtle.
If I dangle a string, or better yet a shiny chain in front of Kiwi she immediately pays attention, her eyes fix on the end of whatever it is I am swinging, and follows the movement with rapt attention, totally focused.
Her body tenses up, she goes into the stalking crouch, ready to pounce at any second. I watch as the muscles in her back twitch with anticipation, ready to strike.
Of course, it’s only a string, or chain, and with me at the end of it there is almost no chance at all that Kiwi will get it, I’ve demonstrated this to Kiwi time and time again in the past 30 or so months, but each time I dangle the string, I get the exact same reaction from Kiwi.
And so it is with men and the women who walk past them.
Now some guys can be extreme- whistling or shouting “hey baby!” I know this can be annoying to women and I don’t blame them a bit for scowling or even giving the finger or shouting, “fuck you” to the miscreant. I get a lot of construction guys in the building, and most of them react this way.
Once one of them said, “wow, did you see the ass on that girl?”
I mean, we saw her together, I had no idea why he needed the conformation or acknowledgement, so I simply said, “haven’t you ever seen a woman before?”
So ladies, don’t fret or feel humiliated, we are not out to humiliate you, we just can’t help it, and it’s a visceral reaction. Some of us are better than others at controlling our reactions, but I think we are the exception to the norm.
I appreciate getting a man’s point of view. You’ve softened my attitude.