Hey Mommy

May. 23rd, 2017 08:40 am
pen_grunt: (Shirley Temple--whoa)
[personal profile] pen_grunt
Yesterday I was feeling pretty fine. Face, makeup, hair, outfit--everything was working together and I felt really cute all day. I even posted a selfie on Facebook. 

[See LJ post for inserted pic, because I haven't figured out how to do that on dreamwidth yet.]

After work, I took N to the park--it's a three block walk, and she asks to go nearly every day. 
On the way back, while pushing her in the stroller (she CAN walk, but our walk is a quarter of the time in the stroller), a guy drove by slowly and leaned out his truck window. 

"Hey, mommy!"
"HEY, Mommy!"
"Looking good, mommy!"
"Come on mommy, say hello."

And if one hadn't experienced this sort of thing, one might think--well, you were feeling super cute and this just confirms it, right?
It felt disgusting. It made me feel like: How dare I look put together and think I can go out in public without this kind of thing happening. I felt like hiding.

And one might think--if this was an attractive guy, you'd be flattered instead of disgusted, right?
From what I could tell (I was trying not to give him the attention he was demanding) he *was* quite physically attractive. 

Maybe one might think--well, I know that sometimes the "mommy" role makes one feel unsexy, and this just confirms that moms can still be attractive. How great, right?
It felt revolting. And I HATE that it happened in front of my child. She didn't realize what it was--she thought it was just a neighbor saying "hi" like so many of them do--so she waved with a confused, furrowed brow. 
I hate that even though she doesn't know what this was right now, it's a thing that has been normalized--just a tiny bit--in the back of her mind. 

Maybe one might think--okay, so that happened and it was a harmless flirtation that you didn't want. What's the big deal, right? I mean, I wish *I* got that sort of attention when I was feeling good about myself, right?
Then one doesn't know the thought process that had to go through my head in that moment:
1. I'm with my child--how can I protect her by minimizing engagement (which meant not calling this dude out on his behavior and actively taking the route designed not to make him mad). 
2. I'm a block from home, but no one else is home. 
2a. I have to watch to make sure he moves on and doesn't come back around or start to follow me.
2b. Should I go to the neighbor's house just in case?
2c. Should I change course and go away from my house so he doesn't know that I live right around here and risk not being nearby a known shelter/people I know?

I got to worry myself for the remaining two blocks, mentally charting courses and becoming fairly sure that he wasn't coming back. Fairly. 

And you might think--Gosh, that seems awfully paranoid. It's unlikely that this was anything more than a harmless catcall, right?
And you'd *probably* be right, it's true. But only probably. Most dudes aren't going to follow up on a catcall by stalking you or following you home. But some might. I'm reminded of the time I let someone go in front of me while merging in traffic and he quite literally did follow me home--pulling off to the side when we got onto residential streets and then following me, shouting out his window.

And he seemed like such a nice, normal guy. *significant look* 
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