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Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Of Legs and Ladies

This is Steven Petrick posting.

I have at various times and on various forums admitted my gross ignorance in understanding the gender opposite my own. One of the things I have noted in the last decade or so is that my current weight seems to have some kind of impact. When I was able to swim regularly and my weight got down into the 220s I started noting (for want of a better term) "approaches" by young ladies: essentially invitations to enter into conversations, which I found odd particularly from the standpoint that I was much older than the young ladies.

I admit to still having no idea what that was about.

My weight has fluctuated over time, from an all time high (that I am aware of) of 255 pounds (weighed). I have no idea if it was ever more than that, down to its current level.

Of late, now being a decade and more older, I have gotten my weight down to a fluctuating scale of between 196 and 206. (Which seems to me to indicate that there is some kind of correlation between age and weight, as apparently I have to lose more weight as I get older to create the connections in the female mind that engenders "notice.") That my weight is down this low has encouraged me to try to get back down into the 180s, simply because I think it would be a better weight for me given my approximate five-foot-nine height.

The odd part is that of late I have been accosted by a young lady I'll call "Patsy" on my rounds and engaged in conversation (Patsy is 20). The two young ladies who were my neighbors until this past Sunday when they moved out also suddenly seemed to be taking an interest that I cannot explain (they were both college students). These are not constant contacts and I do not (and did not in the latter case) have much sustained contact, e.g., the last time I spoke with Patsy I broke off the conversation, politely, because her apparent boyfriend was beginning to look a little put out that she was talking to the old guy.

The incident that most recently caught me off guard and flat footed (so to speak) is the one that I do have a more or less sustained contact with.

A young lady I'll call "Jane" works at a BBQ restaurant, and SVC likes to eat there when he can, at least weekly although that schedule is not always maintained. I have eaten there with SVC many times and joked with Jane in good nature. On more than one occasion I have worn sandals and knee-length shorts. This past Friday (27 Sept) since I was taking some time off having finished with Module C6 I asked SVC if he wanted me to show up for the designer's dinner (what he calls the once weekly meal out). Since I had not been in the office, and was not going anywhere after the meal, I opted to wear a long-sleeved pullover, sandals, and athletic shorts.

Now, okay, the shorts being what they are cover a little more than a standard square cut swimsuit, so they reveal my thighs and knees in addition to my calves (and the pullover does not do anything to conceal my gut which still extends before chest) and I honestly do not think much of this as Army PT uniform shorts got me quite comfortable being in a public arena with that much exposure (although obviously not in formal areas), and growing up with easy access to the beach also helped desensitize me to such.

So suddenly Jane comments on how "toned" my legs are, and then goes on to compare my legs to her own.

Can you say "flustered?"

I have seen mayhem breaking out around me, held on tight as a crash was going on and swung immediately into appropriate action in its aftermath, charged into danger without thought of my own safety to help others. But any nice comment (I guess it was a nice comment) about me and I am flabbergasted and have no concept of how to respond. I mean, in the aftermath and later review I guess I should have simply said "thank you."

But, honestly, I have no idea what that was about and am even at this juncture utterly baffled and confused.