I am not the sort of person you see on the street and think, “Wow, now SHE looks approachable and friendly. I am totally going up to HER.”
I am also not what is thought of as a “traditionally hot woman,” which is to say I wear grown-up sizes, have spent a lot of time in the sun, and long ago lost the battle of the curls with my hair. In case I’m NOT painting enough of a picture here, I am almost 40, barely 5’4″, pushing 150 pounds, and have hair that doubles in size with every tropical depression.
Don’t misunderstand; I am totally OK with how I look; I actually think I usually look pretty good, albeit I’m a tad on the “healthy” side. But I am NOT the sort of person men – or anyone, really – will approach on the street. Not only am I *not* Christie Brinkley (or whoever the kids think is hot these days), I’m not exactly – what’s the word? Oh, yes – pleasant. I am not pleasant to strangers, unless you have a puppy or are an old person. And since I live in Florida, that means real old, not “gee-60-is-the-new-40” old you guys from Wisconsin count as old. I spend enough time interviewing people for work that I enjoy being alone with the voices in my head. They don’t expect much and rarely want me to talk back, so things work out well between us. Which means that when people take more of “live and let live” attitude with me, which they often do (must be something in my aura, I suppose,) it suits me fine.
Unless, apparently, you pedal a pedicab on Clearwater Beach.
Pedicab Man: (pedals up to me while I’m waiting for the trolley) Hey, you can smile. Smile!
(Those of you who know me in real life, please explain to those of you playing the home game why this never works with me.)
Pedicab Man: Where are you going?
*See, this is where I look up and realize that since I’m waiting for the bus, maybe he’s trying to see me a pedicab ride. In what I swear is my nicest voice, I respond.
Me: Indian Rocks Beach. I’m meeting a friend.
(I say this in as nicely a tone as I can muster, but he doesn’t leave. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t want to pedal my ass almost seven miles to my imaginary lunch date, so I’m not certain why he doesn’t just pedal along)
Pedicab Man: (tries again) Well, don’t worry, it’s not going to rain.
Me: Oh, I don’t mind if it rains! (realizing I sounded a bit harsher than I meant to sound, I try again) Excuse me, I’m just… my mind is in another place right now (this said as nicely as I possibly can.)
Pedicab Man: Hey! Hey! Where I’m from, people are nice! (He could not have been angrier at this point. I’d like to point out that this transformation happened in seconds.)
Pedicab Man exits stage right.
So, there you have it. I was just sitting there, minding my own business, waiting for the bus, when I either get hit on or targeted for some sort of minor psychopathic episode. I swear, the shit just follows me home like a puppy with herpes.
And I spend my days interviewing people. Swell.