Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Leching as an Olympic sport?

How I love luxuriating over morning coffee on the patio of my favourite cafe as I scribble in my journal. But one day last week I was distracted by a man barking into his cell phone in Italian. He was older than me, well groomed, and dressed high-casual.


Me being pensive and writerly, smoking a Pretz snack in a dark speakeasy
last year at the Vancouver blogger meetup. I was drinking a Dorothy Parker cocktail. 
As he was talking (shouting) he suddenly craned his neck to gaze intently at a young woman strolling by. He was clearly agitated. I thought, oh, that must be a friend. But when the next woman went by, and the next, and next, and his eyes kept bugging alarmingly out of his head on a neck swivelling like a cartoon character, I caught on.



He was a lecher! Vile creature. His contortions were so extreme and comical I thought if synchronized diving can be an Olympic sport so can leching: points for bug eyes, points for neck stretching and neck swivel, points for drool volume. In fact, I thought of retrieving the doggy water refreshment bowl as a courtesy to catch his slobber but, no, that would be cruel to the dogs. I just hoped his phone was waterproof.



Sigh.




In my fifties, I am now in the privileged position of being able to watch this circus from the sidelines, although when I was young I was rarely the subject of such ogling, even near construction sites. I was the girl with the blue cat's eye glasses, braces, flat chest, and fine hair, so instead of wolf whistles I got dog barks. Always. For years and years I'd walk for blocks out of my way to avoid such trauma from those particular apish men in hard hats and steel toes.

I always relished the thought of reversing the tables. "Yo, show me those wieners and beans, big boys! Ooo-ee, that some hairy hunk of man meat. Swing it! Batter up! Throw some stink my way, you manly rutting goat." Or simply throwing a bark or two their way. But you see, the thought of doing any of that makes me throw up in my mouth just a little bit. And in fact, I have changed, and maybe so have the people I once loathed.



While I don't detour around construction sites anymore (almost impossible in this city anyway) I still stiffen slightly when I near one. Now it is not unusual for the men there to stop talking and maybe lower their heads slightly as I walk by. A few might nod and mumble a compliment. They make me feel, dare I say, regal. Maybe this is the respect you get for graduating into the don't-diss-grandma category. I really don't know.

In these photos I'm wearing my vintage jumpsuit, cool vintage leather belt, and my Steve Madden platform sandals. This jumpsuit is super comfortable. 



I suspect we've all been negatively affected at some point in our lives with unwanted attention, although interestingly most of the women I saw that day didn't seem to mind this lecher's gawking - many who saw him smiled or smirked back. A few ignored him altogether. I get the attraction of young beautiful people, but really, drooling? Gawking? Get the guy a bib!

I liked the movie Absolutely Fabulous and its treatment of this issue. Is there anything you'd like to share on this wildly vast topic?

I'm linking up to Catherine at Not Dressed as Lamb for #iwillwearwhatilike. Patti's Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style is off this week while she moves.

And this past week I was so lucky to have another blogger meetup. Bwahahaha. Suzanne Carillo and Sue of A Colourful Canvas. I'll be posting on this a bit later. Stay tuned.

Where has the summer gone, by the way?

50 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Hahaha!! Yes. You are right. You can bet the uniform decisions for the female teams were made by a bunch of leches. I'd say put the men in codpieces, but I don't think that would up the viewership.

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  2. Ah the letch.... I remember them well.....Fortunately most of them don't see me anymore....except the REALLY OLD ones, usually with no teeth and smelling of wee.
    Is that better?
    Hmmmmm....not really!
    I prefered the pie-munching, fag-smoking, irn-bru drinking letches of my youth.....hanging out of vans asking for a flash of various bits.
    Summer is here today Melanie.
    I stole it!
    (22 degrees is roasting toasting for Scotland)
    XXX
    Samantha
    <a href="http://www.fakfabulous.com”>Samantha @FakeFabulous.com</a>

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No teeth, smelling of wee. Heh, not better. I never got asked to flash bits - I suppose that's what saved/hurt me in the leering department from strangers. So glad you got your summer at last!

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  3. I call this phase of life as being "unphuquable". I am very happy with that. I don't get leered at, barked at, insulted, chatted up, none of it. I get treated like a person. When I am out and about at night I am often in full Constance regalia, and I get a positive energy from people, but not in a leery way. I have been chatted up once in that state and I was so angry at the young idiot. Didn't he realise I am unphuquable???!!! Because really, now being free of the constant underlying oppression of being phuquable, I can look back and see how much I hated it. I hope you get how great this is because my young friends are always shoqued about it and can't seem to see this is a positive. But it is!

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    1. This is weird but I was only unphuquable (excellent word!) among strangers in the construction industry or among young men driving souped up cars. ??? I would be awed by you in your Constance regalia. I do think it's great to turn the unphuquable factor into a positive. Absolutely! But I suspect you get more attention in that line than you are even aware of. I think now I'm seen as more of a la-tee-dah ice queen. Hahaha!!

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  4. This stuff just makes me so very sad. Folks seem more likely to take pron/soaps/that there interweb as their model for everyday living - so one morality/DRAMA/sexuality/bodytype/mode of being.

    As for men (who are committing suicide in ever greater numbers) - it seems that they too are being now being objectified and body shamed. It is crap - and men are just expected to ‘man-up’, rejoin the baboon pack and recommence slavering.

    Love the levitation in the last image

    Too sad to Bracknell-y

    Elaine Monkeypaints

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    Replies
    1. You are right. Instead of letting up on women, it has now spread to men. This is a true sadness. And I agree that social media has a lot to do with it. I think the norm core movement is one part of this baboonization men, this return to the caveman mentality.
      Haha, I like the levitation shot too, thanks. But I won't be doing that anymore in these shoes. I had a safe landing, but why risk it - it's only a photo.

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  5. I'm sure we would have been friends as young'uns - I needed braces, had black cat's eye glasses and a flat chest and considered reading to be an Olympic sport. "Flatsy" was one of the names the boys in school called me (there was a series of "Flatsy" dolls out at the time).

    Now that I am in my 50's, I can watch the "leching" from the sidelines as well, and marvel at the behaviour of some men. As I'm not yet dead, I too will notice attractive members of the opposite sex, but I refrain from the full on cartoon eye-popping, chops-licking stare. My style gets me a fair bit of positive attention from women of all ages, which I'm happy to accept.

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    1. I don't recall the "Flatsy" dolls, which is weird because we are so close in age/time/place. Just as well. I was extremely lucky to avoid any of that stuff at school. I was popular in an odd way, but I know for sure we would have been friends.

      I get attention now but not the drooling. I like to appreciate other people too, but this guy, you would have laughed and laughed. It was like a comic book. Another man about my age was sitting near me too, watching this guy with an amazed expression. Catching these moments is why I enjoy my morning coffee outings so much.

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  6. Oh dear Melanie - I used to get dog barks all the time esp in my teens. Once I was pointed out in a crowd at a concert, where I was told that I looked like a Mack truck hit me. Then later in my punk rock 20s I was yelled at to "go back to your own country", which I delighted in.
    xoxox

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WTF with the Mack truck comment? I've probably had that hurled at me at one time during that phase. Thankfully, I blocked it out. Go back to your own country? Hahaha. That's a good one! A guy in China once grabbed my crotch as he strolled by. I was so flummoxed and angry I turned around too late and yelled in English, "Well... well, why don't you just go back to your own country!!" to the delight of the people with me. Absolutely no meaning whatsoever.

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  7. You know, Melanie, I've made peace with this issue AT LAST. It was the documentary IRIS that helped me get over the many frustrations about men who ogle (including my husband). She said, (or something like it) "A man isn't old until he stops looking." And as long as it's just looking . . .don't hate me, but it's okay.

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    1. I know plenty of men who ogle and flirt like film stars, but this guy...hahaha. You would have been impressed. You could look at him and think, wow, I'm sooo glad my guy is not that bad. That's a good line, about the looking. Looking is not a bad thing. Although I once saw a man my age looking at at a girl about 12 or 13 riding by on her bicycle and he said to his male friend, "If their mothers knew what we were thinking about them, they'd never let them out of the house." Creepy. As long as I don't see into their brains.

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  8. L likes to look - his rule (which we pass along to any men, whatever age) is "Don't be creepy". Look, don't ogle, don't drool, don't comment, don't whistle, DON'T BE CREEPY.

    I will join the dog pack as one who was/is barked at (I still occasionally get that). I have never been phuquable, apparently (thank you, Maryanne up there for this wonderful term). I rarely get any comments at all on my appearance, except from the drunks and the street people, who are NOT shy about raving about my hair or other item I'm wearing.

    Love your jumpsuit, shoes, hair, everything, and again, am SO jealous about another blogger meet-up! Why do these bloggers never come to the island??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. EXCELLENT rule. It's natural to look. We look, right? Not with the same frequency probably, but we look.

      Dog Pack unite! Although I know for a fact that you get tons of positive comments on your appearance from people at work. And I've seen many admiring glances at you from men and women as we've walked down the sidewalk in Vancouver. I've just found that strangers are more vocal with put-downs because they can be cowards and run away after.

      Oh, I love the island. You know how I've been wanting to get there...! Wish you were here. Me there... We'll work it out some day. At least I am lucky to see you on your anniversaries. Heh.

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  9. When I was younger I accepted gawkers, even revelled in them a bit, it made me feel powerful, like I had a secret magic power.

    Once, a guy riding a bike turned around so long to look at me while riding that he crashed his bike into a poll. It was very comical.

    Now that I'm older I find I get a bit creeped out by it and nervous. In the old days I felt it was harmless I suppose. Now though, with the increased violence against women I find I feel vulnerable. If someone is going to be polite about it, like that guy that commented he liked my dress when we were walking, I quite like it though. There is something for someone that is polite and not creepy.

    BTW...LOVE the outfit! It is very hard to believe you were ever barked at. I bet you'd like to say to each of them, "Look at me now SUCKERS!"

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. Suzanne I don't think there is any increase of violence against women, if anything it may be on the wane, but there's a lot more airtime given to it. At university, I did a poll of a group of my friends and only one of them out of about ten, had not experienced any significant sexual abuse. In my own case, I seriously doubt that if I was born into now and not into then, the perpetrator would have ended up doubled at the waist and out of luck. But we even had tv ads telling us that what men want is more important than what we want, so what did I know.

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    2. I only get gawkers now when I'm older and have had people run into objects as they look at me for better or worse. But not when I was younger. I grew out of the awkward phase but couldn't handle attention thrown my way unless I was on a stage in a part or leading something. Weird, right? But I can see how you would always turn heads, especially in your classic convertible! Hahaha. I love the image. And you still do turn heads.

      Polite, not creepy, seems to be the operative phrase among people commenting here. Serious drug addicts with big dogs often seem to like what I'm wearing - I get what Sheila is saying. That's the only thing that makes me timid.

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  10. I really don't like leching. Or indeed any comment or look that makes me aware of my body in any way (I know that is put wrongly but you know what I mean- I hope!) I feel hideously uncomfortable with such things. Luckily it doesn't happen out in the streets too often but I remember going clubbing as a teen or early 20's and HATING it.
    Love your description of the Olympic sport- gross but an intriguing idea.
    This jumpsuit is unbelievably beautiful- you really do look utterly stunning in it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Kezzie. I suppose that having this blog has a lot to do with finally, at long last, feeling comfortable with who I am and how I present myself. Appearance-based comments have such an impact, especially when they come from strangers and there are few ways to respond. I'm glad you've found your comfort zone.

      You would have laughed with me if you had seen this guy, Kezzie. Truly a unique individual. During my coffee outings I regularly see old men lusting after teenagers while scratching their balls with one hand and holding their phone with the other, ugh! I'm only relieved that women don't do the same.

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  11. Ah.. great subject. I wasn't the attractive one either in my young years. I got bullied at school (being skinny, flat chested, that kind of work). Never any attention from builders apart from one guy who cheerfully said: "Hi Ugly!" Took me two months to get over that one. Why? Because it resonated my own feeling. I thought I was ugly and he just gave me affirmation.
    Then I became 16.. The bullies went to another school and I learned how to flirt. My goodness, did I catch up!!
    Apparently I have a rubber soul and bounched right back. No hang-ups from the past.
    Once I reversed the awkward looking, by oogling a guy in the street as he walked by. I followed him all the way as he walked up, passed and walked on. Then I whistled haha. He tripped over his own feet, not knowing how to handle the situation.
    Greetje

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    1. Totally forgot to say you have made up for your young years. You are now clearly gorgeous. A model. And that jumpsuit looks terrific on you. Like everything does.

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    2. Yeah, those comments go deep. The barking did it for me. Curiously, I never really felt really ugly - more like a bad-hair-day over my whole self but reparable. I think it's because I had so much acceptance at the places I spent most of my time at.

      I'm am so happy you have a rubber soul!!! It sounds like the name of a band. That poor man. Probably never knew what hit him. "It's GREETJE!" Did you give him your number? Hahaha!! xoxo

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    3. No, but when I was drunk I shouted at a guy whether he wanted my number...he didn't... Surprise.

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  12. And now you are a model! Your cafe companion (ugh, I mean, guy taking up space near you) certainly has no social grace. I have been known to swing a side-eye glance at the male Olympic divers, but no one notices (right???). That's a yummy jumpsuit. xox

    -Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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    1. Don't we all cast our own side glances from time to time. The point is not to drool about it. Thanks, Patti.

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  13. I remember that night of smoking pretzels sticks! ahhh. And leching? I don't even want to go there, leching is retching. Meanwhile, you look absolutely fabulous jumpsuiting about with platforms, no less. I do hope you landed well. No twisted ankles or any such thing? Olympic form I see and going for the Gold. Well done.

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    1. Oh yes, I remember that night well too! So much fun even with the pain of the bar tab. Hahaha. I got some great shots of you and your loved one as well. Yes, I think that's the last of the leaping in those shoes. At the time I wondered if I should. These platforms landed safely, but I don't need to leap to show you how much I like a sunny jumpsuit. Thanks, Pao! xo

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  14. Wow Melanie, stunning pictures. You look so fantastic in this jumpsuit. Oh yes you jump well in your jumpsuit. :))
    Xxxxx

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  15. When I was about 18, my friends and I did a reverse situation on a hot young man, all hanging out the car leering and jeering, whistling and the such, he blushed and smiled. I would say it has been going on since Adam was a Cowboy as my dear old dad used to say. I am grateful for being older and not giving a dam if the lads look or not now. You should have offered him a serviette to wipe his moosh!! LOVE your jumpsuit, and I bet you weren't even half as bad as you thought you were, and if you still think you were then you really were a SWAN!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's easy to do the reverse when we're with our friends. Yes. I think the man would have been confused if I offered him a serviette - he was clearly oblivious to what he was doing. Pffft. I love just going about my business too and feeling and looking good for myself these days. And I love sharing that here. Thanks, Sue!! Mwah.

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  16. Melanie, you are a swan, although I can hardly believe you were ever an ugly duckling. And blue cats-eye glasses are cool! I was lucky enough to be a flat-chested 13-year-old when the "Flatsie" dolls came out - cue jingle, "They're flat and that's that" which was sung to me at camp. I was awkward, but somehow got through by being clueless also. Actually, I grew up to be a lecher myself. I try to be subtle, though, especially when Mr. S is with me. Wouldn't want to upset him and start a hissy fit.

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    Replies
    1. Why don't I know that Flatsy doll? Who make that? What a jerk for not knowing the ramifications. Pig-dog. Oh yes, being clueless is tremendously useful for getting through things. I often rely on that even today. Hahaha. Yes, it's easy for you to be a lecher when you visit graveyards and churches and ruined castles and picturesque countryside in your idyllic life these days. But if Mr. S ever throws a hissy fit, make sure you record that. Hahaha!! Thanks, Val. xoxo

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  17. How rude of me not to comment on your jumpsuit, which is glorious! But I hope I already mentioned that on IG. This and your Morticia Skittles dress are fabulous on you with your blue eyes and red lippy. It's like all the colour inside you is bursting out into a prism of style!

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it's awkward because I tend to post the same things here and on IG. I just don't take enough photos for unique feeds. But I am so glad to stay in touch both ways. Thanks, Val. Prism of style, sounds like a blog.

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  18. Ah yes. A subject near and dear to my heart which lies underneath my "big titties" or so I've been told. You might get a kick out of this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8uOErVShiE

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    1. HAHAHA, the video!! I really don't get that whole thing. I don't think with my vagina is the problem I suppose. Heh. Thanks for the tip, Connie. Heh.

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  19. Lmfao. Weiners and beans. That's good stuff right there. Hahaha. Oh man. Yeah. At times like that, I used to either hate men or hate myself. A weird dichotomy. Nowadays, I'm either too tired to react or itching to try out my brand new shiny canister of blinding spray. I feel like it's going to waste at this point. I really want to spray this burny, foul smelling stuffamabob in someone's face. I mean, that's what it's for! Wasted potential. Any day now... *fly hands*

    - Anna

    www.melodicthriftychic.com

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    1. I hope you don't have to spray your foul-smelling spray. Hahaha!! What's interesting about the rude behaviour is I would feel wretched, absolutely wretched, after a barking, but only for a few blocks. I know there was an accumulation of residue but the environment where I spent most of my time was not like this. WHEW!! Thanks, Anna.

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  20. And can we please not bark into our phones! Or put calls on speaker in cafés and public places. I hate the thought that my private call to someone is audible to the rest of the world.
    I saw Ab Fab last weekend - what a great send up! Your jumpsuit would have been perfect in Cannes! Fabulous, Melanie. xx

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    1. I think these phone barkers want others to hear how important they are. I thought of opening a company you subscribe to which would send you fake calls talking about your huge, awesome, important investments and love life so the subscriber's public barking into the phone would sound more authentic. Heh.
      I know, wasn't Ab Fab excellent?! Hahaha. I would have liked to dance with the Ladies at the hotel. Yes, my jumpsuit wants to go to Cannes with me in it.
      Thanks, Eliabeth!

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    2. Gaaa, sorry, that's ELIZABETH.

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  21. Super cool look, Mel, with all the colours and florals!

    Being bullied had a big impact on my life. Plastic surgery, therapy and seeing my bully in a different light helped a lot in overcoming that trauma.

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    1. Oh yes, the trauma of bullying is serious and I'm glad you found your way through that. Very glad.
      Colours and florals, they make me feel alive.
      Thanks for this comment, Anja.

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  22. Way too many lechers in the world, but your humor makes it much easier to think about. And your colorful jumpsuit with belt and platforms have me focused on beauty. That's what you do!!!

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    1. Usually lechers just make me sigh but this guy, oh, he was priceless. His focus was not necessarily on beauty... Hahaha. Thanks for your comment, Judith.

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  23. You look really gorgeous and gleeful in the 60's inspired jumpsuit Melanie. That print is classic 60's. Did you get it in a vintage shop??
    Sounds like the lecherous dude was at least entertaining in a strange, OMG sort of way. Kind of like reality TV!?
    Clearly his coffee shop visits have a whole different dimension for him...

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    1. Yes, this cotton beauty is vintage from a thrift shop. Inexpensive because there were no other takers - hard to believe, right? But great for me.
      And you are right, he was utterly entertaining in an oddities-of-nature comedy way. No harm done to anyone, I'm happy to report.
      Glad you could visit, Marilee.

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