Very, very close to the top of my pet-peeves list is being whistled at, winked at, hooted at, hollered at, honked at, ogled or otherwise put on the spot by disrespectful guys. Someday I just want to chase one of them down and demand a peek into their thought process.
"Do you honestly believe that [whistling, winking, hooting, hollering, honking, ogling] is, by ANY stretch of the imagination, attractive? Has ANY decent woman ever responded positively to that tactic?" I'd like to ask.
"What would you think of someone who treated your daughter that way? And on a scale of 1 to 10, how clever and original do you think you are?"
I don't routinely flip people the bird but I sure did the summer I lived in Kentucky. For three months my peaceful, stress-relieving runs invariably were interrupted by nasty, toothless cat-calling dudes flying by in pickup trucks.
Just to be clear, I was not/am not that girl prancing through the streets in a sports bra, tiny shorts, tennis bracelet and fake bake. I'm not a cute runner. A guy I ran track with in high school wrote in my freshman yearbook, "Jennifer, you look like a monkey. You run like one too. P.S. Just kidding! You run like a cheetah."
Just for fun, here's evidence of red-faced, sweat-covered, crazy-haired, all-around-gross post-run me from after last year's Turkey Trot:
So I wasn't "asking for it," and I wasn't even being innocently pretty. But apparently this is no deterrent on the roads of rural Eastern Kentucky. Thus, the bird flew.
When I mentioned this habit to Matt he made me promise to stop -- he was worried that one day one of them would turn around and come after me. So no more birds. (Also, he bought me a pepper-spray keychain to start running with.)
These days this is not as much of an issue because a) I run alone less often, b) when I do run alone it's in a non-sketchy neighborhood and c) Pinehurst is a much classier town than Ashland is. Plus, my thighs are more jiggly than they were six years ago.
But occasionally I still fall victim, usually when running past a construction site (not one of ours!) or waiting to cross the street at our office. And once, last week, when stuck at a traffic light beside a packed fire truck. THAT was disheartening.
I try to portray my disgust with a withering glare, but it's not nearly as satisfying as the flip of my middle finger.