Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Getting Old

I got cat called on my walk home from the gym the other day. (Yes, I'm so masochistic at this point I walk to and from the gym. It's about a half mile each way. The way home is obviously way less fun than the walk there. Not that going to the gym is fun period but being fat is less fun. The link in our society between traditional "pretty" and what that gets you is...could fill lots of books. Ugh. It's depressing. But not why I'm doing it! Health and self esteem and all that other good stuff. Side effect: traditionally pretty. Anyway, I, obviously, digress...)

Down the street from my house is a middle school and on the walk home from the gym, to avoid the hills of this city, I cut through the park that is adjacent to the school and then walk next to the school building before getting to my block.

I had my headphones on and my gym bag slung across me. As I walked by the school, prepubescent teenage boys stuck their head out of a third story window and shouted "Nice ass!" I glanced up, more annoyed than anything, but kept walking. I was exhausted from the gym. And also sweaty and disgusting.

They giggled in the way idiot prepubescent boys do, probably shocked that they hadn't been caught or scolded and proceeded to yell it out the window again, "Nice ass!" before slamming the window closed.

My first reaction was "God! They could at least be realistic. I don't actually have a nice ass. And I look like crap." Insecurity is an amazing thing. I realized, intellectually, that of course they were just mimicking something that saw on TV/heard at home. They could have yelled anything. It didn't really matter. My ass was irrelevant.

My second thought was this, "I should march in there, figure out who these little bastards are and teach them a lesson on the objectification of women because this is seriously uncalled for! I mean, I'm an educated human being and these shits are yelling comments at me based solely on a physical feature? The hell? What is WRONG with our world?!" (Righteous indignation for a thousand please, Alex.)

I don't know if there's clearer proof of adulthood than that. I wanted to lecture these young boys on why this was inappropriate? What has happened to me?

I didn't for a couple of reasons:
1) I was, as mentioned, on my way home from the gym. Stopping off in a rage at the local middle school after an hour of cardio was not something I had the energy for. Under different circumstances? Maybe. I dunno. I might have been more likely to chalk it up to youthful idiocy if I hadn't just spent an hour sweating my ass off (sorry) at the gym in an attempt to fit more into society's view of traditional beauty.

2) It's not my job to parent or teach these little public school miscreants. Takes a village blah blah blah, sure. And I actually don't doubt that a stern talking to by a stranger can have an impact, but... I dunno. At some point someone else who is far more qualified will teach them this stuff, right? (That's actually stupid logic, as even I see it now. If they're doing it at 12, like they're gonna stop at 15? Like someone in our education system is gonna give them a lesson on gender inequality and why you shouldn't do that to women? I'd love to have that much faith. But I went to private school and those guys were misogynistic assholes. Can you imagine if you DON'T have guidance? Guhhh.)

I just will never get used to having these little moments where I have these "adult" reactions to things. It's very bizarre as most of the time I still feel 15. I have thoughts on many other things lately: wealth, waste, interpersonal relationships, ignorance, trust/inability to, honesty and ethics...all these grown up thoughts. And yet, still not a fully formed human being. Sigh.

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