Friday, August 05, 2005

Strange Encounters

The 'Blinded by the Light' post is coming, but right now I have to go with the flow.

I just got back from yet another shopping trip to Walmart. Seems like I go almost every other day. I took my oldest who needed some school supplies and wanted to pick them out himself. We were looking in the aisle with organizers and stuff and I was trying to decide whether or not I'd actually use one if I got it. My son said that he didn't think I would and that it would just be a waste of money. (He's 9 and a half going on 30!) Just as I was putting it back on the shelf this old dude comes up and starts talking to me. This has been happening a lot lately, random people just coming up and starting to talk. Very strange business to me because I'm not an especially noticable person. I don't dress or act in a way to call attention to myself and all that.

So when this happens I like to be nice and let them talk. If I'm in a hurry I might tell them that I have to go, but usually I just let them get to a finishing point and say something like, "well, you take care now." I couldn't understand everything that this old man was saying partly because he sort of mumbled and partly because I think I'm going deaf. I did catch that he was 71. And he kept saying something about babies. Then he said, "Well, me 'n' Woman, we just celebrated 48 years together." And I shit you not, he raises up his sleeve and flexes his right biceps muscle! And grins real big! I felt my eyebrows involutarily raise. I wondered if this was some kind of old dude pick-up move to prove his virility or something. Wow. It was weird! So he finally stopped mumbling about babies and whatnot and wandered off. I asked my son, "Why do you think that old guy started talking to me?" He said he didn't know.

That made me remember something that happened when we went to NC last weekend. On Sunday morning we were eating breakfast at the Waffle House and my oldest had to go to the restroom. As he came out a young guy, about 22-23 at the oldest, went in. Then that guy came out and started talking about how he had left his wallet in the restroom and was so glad that it was still there. My son said he saw it but didn't touch it. This guy was just talking about all kinds of stuff and then whips out a tattoo shop's card and he said, "Oh, you'll like this." He showed it to me and it was a flaming skull. Yeah, it was cool, but why would he think I'd like it. It's not like I look like I like flaming skulls. Then he starts showing me all of his tattoos on his arms. I said 'me' because he had singled me out and wasn't paying attention to anyone else. I clearly got that feeling that he was flirting, but WTF? I'm a plump, plain middle-aged woman with a generous bit of gray hair. I rarely wear makeup, and I don't dress real spiffy. I'm kind of frumpy! And I was sitting there with my 3 young kids and husband. Weird.

I think maybe I get attention because I look pregnant. I have a belly, but the rest of me isn't all that big. The belly comes from having three c-sections and a hysterectomy, or at least that's my excuse. But hey, anyone who's had their gut cut open 4 times should be given a little slack. (pun not intended) Even if I lost a bunch of weight I'd still have a pregnant looking belly. That's just the way it is. So that's another part of this puzzle. Do men find pregnant looking women attractive? Even if they aren't really pregnant? What prompts a man to stop and talk to a woman like that? Flexing his biceps and showing off tattoos? Flaunting his plumage whatever his age?

Now I've got perplexia.


Chris said...

There are a few possible answers to your question:

1. You're more attractive than you think you are.

2. You have a quality that draws people to you.

3. Some combination of 1 and 2.

That's my two cents, anyway. :)

madman said...

That's a trick question I refuse to ever answer!

DHammett said...

I think Chris is right, but he left an option out. Guys are incredibly insecure. They constantly seek out the approval of men and women alike. With women, it usually takes the form of flirting. That's probably part of the reason as well.

DHammett said...

Tell me how good my last post was...PLEASE!!!!!!! *he said from his knees desperately seeking validation*

DHammett said...

I've heard that a little clitoria mariana L, moist and taken with one's spouse, will clear perplexia right up. ;-)

mr_g said...

What prompts a man to stop and talk to a woman like that?************I have a simple answer for that one...her pulse! Basically, if it's a woman we haven't slept with and we're out looking for some...well, do the math from here!

I hope that didn't come off the wrong's late and I'm impaired!

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Rae Ann said...

chris, you're sweet! I just thought it was really funny for a 71 year old dude to flex his muscle like that.

madman, you are a wise man!

dammit hammett, where have you been? I was wondering if you'd disappeared. And are you making fun of me? I'm a validation junkie, but don't rub it in. lol And yeah, we worked on that perplexia treatment last night and this morning. (I liked your use of the word 'moist'.)

mr g, I don't think the 71 year old was looking to get laid. I think he was just displaying his plumage and looking for a little validation as dhammett suggested. And he did kind of look stoned. Who knows?

anonymous, I don't have no stinkin' iPod.

Assorted Babble by Suzie said...

RaeAnn- I do not think it had to do with looks, clothes, size, makeup, etc. This may sound strange to some, but I believe people are PUT in our paths at times for different purposes and it is 'Filed under Unknown Reasons'!

It amazing how often I get an urge to talk w/a stranger & pass a smile or an example the other day in the waiting at the doctor. A woman came over to another woman, and told her...I was sent to you to express this thought...etc. on the conversation. The other woman later said to us remaining after that woman was called, I can relate to what just happened and we all agreed. (smiling) Unexplainable at times is my theory!

Rae Ann said...

suzie, I wondered that same thing. We don't know what effect our kind words or even friendly smiles or listening to strangers talk has on someone. That's why I try to be patient and nice when it happens. My husband kind of got aggravated about that young guy, and I haven't told him about the old one yet.

mr_g said...

I don't know. There's this nursery we go to, and a neighbor of ours often goes along with my wife. THere's an old guy there, gotta be in his late 70's if he's a day. He makes a total fuss over our friend. We joke that maybe he has a brown sugar fetish or something because she's Black and he doesn't seem to behave this way toward the white women there...I guess they've been watching him or something. Anyhow, it's kind of an ongoing joke with us, but you may be right about the validation thing. Perhaps that IS what he's looking for.

I still think the muscle flexing thing is pretty funny!

Q_B said...

You probaly have the kind of sweet personality that draws people to you where they feel comfortable enough to talk to you about anything.

SierraBella said...

You must give off good vibes.

I talk to strangers more now that I'm older and it's partly because they don't think I'm flirting. In return, guys know they're safe (well they think they're safe) talking to me too.

The flexing-guy is pretty funny, though!

Rae Ann said...

mr g, you just reminded me that my dad at 68 is still a huge flirt. I guess some things you never outgrow. But as far as I know he doesn't go flexing his muscles for random women. You know, that really was funny!

quiet beauty, thanks! You're sweet. To hear my husband tell it I go around with a scowl on my face, so I don't know.

sierrabella, You're not old! I talk to people more now too. Maybe it is that we seem unthreatening.

Mrs.X said...

1) For some strange reason, there are loads of men out there who are completely turned on by pregnant women. I guess they somehow equate you being pregnant with the possibility of them getting to have sex with you. My brother put it like this "She's obviously done it once, she might do it again if I'm lucky."

2) That happens to me all the time, but even more so when I'm at Wal-Mart. Of course, they usually aren't stopping so much to talk to me as to coo at my baby.
But I know my grandpa talks to strangers all the time now. Simple answer? He's lonely.
His wife of 68 years is gone. We spend as much time as possible with him, but we all have our own things to deal with too.

Rae Ann said...

mrs x, thanks for stopping by! And your points are great! I really do think we all should be more friendly, though you do have to be careful too. Walmart really is some kind of sociological experience with all the different kinds of people in one place.