This Is What We’ve Come To?

I’m 43. I’m taller than the average woman. I’m not thin. I’m fun and I’m happy and I make an excellent girlfriend. Because of these things or despite these things, I have dropped off the “objects that men desire” list. That is not entirely true. I was propositioned by a man, aged 62. Maybe 62-year-old men feel like I do, like their only hope is a woman grossly outside their age range who has seemingly run out of other options.

A month or so ago I was driving my long commute to work and I noticed a pickup truck to my right that was keeping up with me. We were side by side for a few miles and no matter how much I sped up or slowed down, the driver kept pace with me. I glanced over and saw a man, a man dressed in our United States military camouflage, a nice looking man around my age who was smiling at me. He grinned and ducked his head and then waved.

My cheeks flushed pink and I waved back. We drove alongside each other until he veered off onto his exit ramp and gave one final wave to the other, smiling like idiots. It has been so long since anyone has flirted with me that I didn’t really know what to do with it other than tell my friends and laugh, embarrassed and flattered all at once. I thought about that occasionally and thought, “Jimmie, you are okay. You aren’t dead yet.”

Today I was late for work. I usually arrive at the office no later than 6:45 a.m. because traffic in Nashville is no joke. I can leave my house at 6:00 a.m. and arrive at work at 6:45, or I can leave my house at 6:15 and arrive at work at 7:30 a.m. I choose to drive in the dark every morning so that I actually get to spend a few hours in the home I pay for instead of spending all my free time on the interstate. Today was the arrive-at-7:30-am version and I was in a bad headspace because of it.

Halfway to my destination, I noticed a pickup truck to my right that was keeping pace with me. I glanced over and saw my military man grinning at me and waving. I was delighted and waved back, happy to have run into him again. Flirtations are so sweet!

The thing about flirtations – what are you going to do with them? There’s only so much you can communicate with a wave and a smile as you barrel down the interstate. I backed off to let him pass, smiling goofily that again, I am not dead and at the realization that my being late for work wasn’t so bad after all.

Wouldn’t it be fantastic if my story ended here? Just a fun interaction with a stranger on the interstate? It doesn’t end there, though. My military man stuck his arm out the window and waved me forward, asking me to catch back up with him. I gunned my granny blue Hyundai Sonata and pulled alongside his door. I held my hand up in question and with a head nod he mouthed at me, “Lemme see.”

For a second I wrinkled my brow and looked at him with a head tilt. “Let me see? See what?” And then it dawned on me. Let him see what was under my dress.

I’m going to pause here for dramatic effect. Please pause with me.

So again. I’m 43. I’m taller than the average woman. I’m not thin. I’m fun and I’m happy and I make an excellent girlfriend. And in a split second I can be reduced down to someone who will thrill that a stranger wants to see under my dress and grasp at the chance to do that because I wonder who the hell else will want me for any of the marvelous things I have to offer. Or, in a split second I can rise above that vulgarity and realize my value and wave off the stranger with a flick of my hand while I gun my granny blue Hyundai Sonata past him and make my way merrily on to work.

A true dilemma. I’ll let you guess which option I chose.

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