Friday, July 26, 2013

Naïveté

My husband tells me I'm naive about men. 
I don't really see it. I mean, I didn't marry him straight out of high school. I was 27 when we married. I dated men through college and grad school and trips abroad. He'll point out the time I asked the tea room maitre d' in Paris what hours they were open. The matire d' responded, "For you, we are always open." I turned to my friend Michelle and said, "They're always open, that's convenient." 
Okay, maybe I miss some signals from men cause I certainly am not looking for signals or flirtations. 
And, yes, when I had stopped wearing my wedding ring because of a rash, the librarian at the downtown library did memorize my name and card number.
I don't expect men to be attracted to a woman my age. 
Some of the college boys in my class are a little flirty, but I know they're only trying to improve their grades. This semester I had older guys in separate classes. The one man, Lawrence, was outwardly flirtatious, but he acted that way with all the women in class, so I didn't take it too seriously. One day we discussed an essay about "Being a Man" and it touched on the idea of men's foot fetishes. After we finished, the class was shifting around to do some group work when I walked past Lawrence. 
Of course things get caught
 in this mass of hair
"You've got something in your hair," he said and he reached forward to touch my hair at my shoulder. Wearing my hair curly, there's no telling what might get caught in those Brillo pad curls on a humid day.
When he removed his hand, I flicked my hair and said, "Did you get it?"
He said, "Oh, you didn't have anything in your hair, I just have a hair fetish instead of a foot fetish."
"Lawrence!" I said, giving him a look of warning with my hands on my hips. 
I didn't think much about, obviously.
A month or so later, in my other class, we had wrapped up and students were turning in work before they left. A few students remained when Danny, a guy a few  years older than me, stopped at my desk to talk. I was sitting down and he said, "Can I get that out of your hair?"
I didn't even think about Lawrence's earlier subterfuge. I simply looked down at the desk and held still so he could remove whatever was in my hair. Instead, he kissed me on the head. 
"Danny! That was not okay," I said.
And that's when I remember that Lawrence had used the same excuse and realized that I needed to be more on my guard with men.
Maybe there's some sort of guidebook that gives men tips on ruses that get them close to women. So watch out for: "There's something in your hair." I will not fall for that one again.
I was rather brusque with both Lawrence and Danny throughout the rest of the semester, but when I told my husband he reacted rather strongly. 
I promise my radar is up now. I am definitely on the defensive against that subset of men who think flirting with a 50-year-old is exciting. 

6 comments:

Jeanie said...

Well, as long as you have your boundaries, it's kind of sweet that they think that! I'd be flattered, because I'm sure NOBODY would try to pick something out of my brillo hair except something that fell from a tree!

Paulita said...

Jeannie, You never know. That's why I'm so oblivious, I think.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

I love the fact that men can be attracted to a woman my age ,, but as Jeanie said there are boundries ,, a bit of flattery and flirting does no one any harm,, I love the bit about the opening hours,, "for you we are open always open ,, I bet he said it with a smile :-) :-) ..

If a man tried to touch my feet , I would run a mile ,,

Delana@dujour said...

Oh hell, Paulita, enjoy it! Nothing wrong with a husband being a wee bit jealous. Keeps him aware of what he's got! At least that's the way it seems to work in France. :)

Linda said...

I'm always clueless too. I don't know how to flirt either.

aguja said...

Great that you can respond pleasantly to men with hair fetishes! Fantastic that you have such beautiful hair ... and as Delana says, it keeps your loved one on his toes.

Continue to be yourself, smiling as you gently chastise.

Also; great to be young and attractive.

Dreaming of France -- Paris Can Wait movie review

Thank you for joining this weekly meme. Grab a copy of the photo above and link back to An Accidental Blog. Share with the rest of us yo...