The power of attraction

Before I hit 30, I used to think men were only attracted to girls who take care of themselves. I’d work out, wax my eyebrows, go tanning. I’d buy flattering clothes from J. Crew and Banana Republic, not to mention Ann Taylor, and I’d wear nothing lower than three inch heels. You wouldn’t catch me wearing flats to work.

My closet is still packed with those clothes and shoes, of course. I have more Ann Taylor suits than I have fingers. I still remember dropping $700 at Banana Republic one weekend. That was before marriage and motherhood ate away at my pocketbook and slapped saddlebags on my hips.

Not that I’d trade them away. I’m just saying.

Anyway, we were talking men.

I write at Starbucks at least once a week. Sometimes it’s more. It’s so frequent that my husband got me a reloading card. I used that so frequently that I’m now a special Starbucks Gold cardholder. (This means nothing. The card is gold.)

When I’m at Starbucks, it’s usually after I’ve made dinner for my family and had a rousing time setting up train sets on the floor with my son. I don’t really give a crap what I look like — it’s Glen Burnie, for god’s sake — and I dress for comfort. When I get here, I drop into one of the cushie armchairs, open my MacBook, and plug in my headphones.

For some reason, an overweight soccer mom wearing threadbare clothes, a ponytail, and headphones must translate to “TALK TO ME” in guy code.

Last week, we had the creeper. This guy sat next to me and interrupted me at least six or seven times. He asked if I was from around here. He explained that he was trying to find a place to stay. He assured me that he was an “okay guy.” Then he outright asked me if he could stay with me for a few months.

Yes, a few months.

I said no. (In case you’re wondering.)

Then he interrupted me again to ask if I was sure. Because he was an okay guy and all. And he could totally pay. He wasn’t looking for a freebie or anything.

His last ditch effort was to ask if I knew of some place to grab a cheap beer.

Tonight, I sit down with my red passion tea. There’s a thirty-ish gentleman sitting in the chair next to me, reading a book. His shoes are off. As I sit down and begin to plug in my headphones, he looks at me a little too intently and says, “And what is that you’re drinking?”

I barely look at him. “Passion tea.”

He keeps staring at me. “Hmm. Very pretty.”

I mean, wtf?

Maybe I’m a little jaded, maybe the glitter and shine of my twenties have worn off, but I don’t think men really care if we take care of ourselves.

I’m starting to think the only requisite is a pulse. And for some guys, even that is negotiable.

Okay, I have to move. Now the shoeless guy is playing footsie with himself.

I wish I were kidding.

5 thoughts on “The power of attraction

  1. LOL omg. I’m laughing SO hard right now.

    But let’s be honest, you’re gorgeous, so it’s not all that surprising that even in “threadbare” clothing, you’re still attracting creepers! <3

  2. You’re so sweet. πŸ™‚

    But seriously, I look pretty dumpy. I even took a picture of myself with the laptop camera just to prove how dumpy I look, but it was too horrific to post. That’s how not attractive I look this evening. πŸ™‚

  3. Holy cow! A few months? Footsie? Wow, if that’s not writing material, I don’t know what is. Ha! I’m sorry that it happened to you–very, very, very sincerely–but… wow.

    Maybe I need to spend more time at the coffee house in the evenings. Ha!

    And to second sjmaas, attracting the creepiest of the creepy is quite a high compliment! I’m sure you look less dumpy than you say.

  4. Yes, FOOTSIE. He was stroking his feet all over each other. THEN, a few minutes later, he reached over, put his hand on my knee, and asked if I would mind watching his things while he got a coffee. I mean, seriously. You can’t make this stuff up.

  5. I lived in SoWeBo for three years, a deeply impoverished community in Baltimore where hollerin at girls was deeply imbedded in the local culture. I never got hollered at while wearing skirts and heels, but always when stumbling down the block to Rite-Aid in pajama bottoms and flip-flops on an emergency run for Tampons or whatever. After a few years I decided that deshabille = vulnerable, or in need of attention, to a certain kind of man. Heels = armor.

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