It’s pretty well established that men look at different things than women in most situations. For example, when driving, neither my wife nor I look at the road immediately ahead of us. She tends to notice everything that is happening in a 270 degree radius from the road shoulder on her right, around behind her, all the way to the oncoming traffic on her left. “Oh, that restaurant went out of business. Why is that jerk flashing his lights? He might as well be in my trunk. Did you see the color of that car? Would you call that mauve?”
I would typically reply, “Maybe you should be looking in front of you. Maybe you should worry about what’s in front of you. What the fuck is mauve?” I, on the other hand, tend to look farther into the future. I am usually trying to predict the light sequence and traffic patterns at least a half mile ahead of me, like an automobile-wielding Bobby Fischer. I noticed this when my son started noodging her from the back seat. “Go left, there’s a bus stop three blocks ahead. No, never get behind the tractor trailer. They take forever to accelerate.” One of the darkest days in a parent’s life is when you hear your kid mouthing off like a jerk and you recognize it as yourself. Still, he is a dude.
Another area where our world view tends to differ is when looking at other people. This is not true of all aspects of the people. Since we began watching Project Runway together, we have developed a similar way of looking at people’s clothes. Here are series of comments that you might hear from either of us.
“Just because it comes in your size, doesn’t mean you should wear it.”
“Checks and stripes, when did that become okay?”
“That’s a Glamour don’t.”
“Does that guy realize how stupid he looks with his pants below his ass?”
“It’s sad that no one loves that person enough to keep them from going out in public wearing that.”
On the other hand, when it comes to looking at other women, my wife tends to focus on the fingers, while I tend to zero in on the breasts. I have always been amazed at how quickly my wife determines the marital status of people that we meet. While I have my own trouble maintaining eye contact, she does a thorough examination of the fingers. This is more than just spotting wedding or engagement rings. She’ll notice tan lines or even evidence of playing with the spot where a ring has been recently removed.
We were in a thrift store one day and were about to check out. The cashier was a young woman, probably in her early twenties. I was doing my duty, ensuring our safety by making sure that the girl was not a terrorist wearing a bomb vest. She was not, but since I was already looking at her chest, I noticed her jewelry. The woman was somewhat petite with a small bust and was wearing a low-cut, but not distasteful top. What I found odd, was that she was wearing a double necklace with two charms. The first charm was a few inches below her neck, but the second was directly in the center of where her cleavage would be if she had larger breasts.
I wanted to ask my wife what she thought, but certainly could not do so while still in the store. I knew that this might expose me for being a leering creeper, but this was an actual legitimate fashion question. If my wife was wearing this, the lower charm would either be bouncing four inches in front of her, or jammed between her breasts, most likely drawing blood.
I waited until we were walking to the car and asked my wife if she had noticed the woman’s necklace, to which she responded, “No.” I tried to explain the necklace without using technical terms like cleavage or boobs. My wife exhaled demonstratively while shaking her head and said, “You probably didn’t even notice that she was missing a finger.”
Now it was my turn to shake my head. My first instinct was to say, “She had fingers?” After a moment, I said, “You’re making that up.” She replied, “No, she was clearly missing the ring finger on her right hand. If you weren’t ogling her breasts, you might have noticed.” At this point the hole was far too deep for escape. I didn’t ask why she was looking at the woman’s fingers and I’m sure she’d deny it anyway. I did go back to the store myself sometime later. The woman was working and I did look at her fingers. My wife was correct. The woman only had nine. If you guys are wondering if I changed my evil ways, don’t worry. Her shirt was buttoned all the way up to the top that day.
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