Friday, February 7, 2014

Short Shorts, Wolf Whistles and Phone Numbers -
(Click on the image above for the youtube clip for this article)

I have a pair of yellow shorts.


They are short shorts, yes, but when the temperature hits 40 degrees for a week in Australia, they are a godsend of comfort, coolness and weather appropriate decency.


I like to go bike riding too - when the sun is setting, even on 40 degree days. I have a darling little cruiser push bike that is so pleasant to scoot down country lanes and along shaded riverside roads on. I feel alive when I get back from a ride - like I have simply been existing all day until bike ride time, and it is then that I escape all the 'must do's' at home, and find an hour long window of uninhibited day dreaming, picturesque country prettiness and peaceful quiet alone time. Sounds of birdlife; feeling of cool air as it comes drifting over the river to me on the riverside road; smells of clover and lucerne and irrigated pastures. Bliss.


And so it was that one day I was on my merry, lost in my own world, innocent way when out of no where I hear a wolf whistle. Doubting it was meant for me, I happily peddled on. And there it was again. I looked off to my left, straight at some youngish (think late 20's???) dude with his mates, smiling in a friendly way, directing the wolf whistle at me.
What the???


Was it the cruiser bike?


Was it the yellow shorts?


It had been a long time since a wolf whistle had been directed my way - whatever the reason - so I smiled and kept riding, albeit a little embarrassed and confused.


And what do I think of wolf whistles? Arnt they by many considered sexist and inappropriate for our politically correct times?




Honestly, if a fellow wants to send me a compliment by way of a lighthearted whistle instead of a leer, lewd comment or uncomfortable proposition, I fully welcome the gesture. Women can wolf whistle as good as guys, so why shouldn't we be able to indulge in good natured appreciation now and again too? I freely tell men and women of attributes or features that I admire - be it the clothing they are wearing, their hair or whatever strikes me as attractive. Why should I keep good thoughts like that to myself? Is appreciation in such excess that we can afford to put the ka-bosh on it? Pffft! Good natured appreciation, in whatever manifestation, is a welcome, and flattering change....


Let me tell you about an incident that was not quite so welcome.......


Once again, I was wearing the cute yellow shorts (there really is something about them methinks) and casually strolling through a two dollar shop hunting down a frame for Mr Eight-year-old's recent artistic masterpiece. Suddenly, right in the home cleaning isle, I was confronted by, again, a young dude from some equatorial country in his 20's wearing an "I like my attitude" t-shirt who wanted to know if he could ask me a question.


"Sure" I said, thinking he wanted directions.


"How old are you?" Came the unexpected ultimatum.....




Flustered, I gave the age (I know, I'm just too darned nice.....)


"What?!! I thought you were in your twenties" He replied gaping, (Dude! When did you last get your eyes checked???) followed by a swift look me up and down. Eeew. Maybe he was trying to be complimentary - but I don't like being mentally undressed by complete strangers, let alone someone that much younger than me.


"Well, it doesn't matter. Would you like to go out sometime?" He continued. (Was this kid on a dare or something??)


I replied that I had three little children and didn't go out much.


"Do you live in Swan Hill?" (Town I was visiting that day) 


Again, I tried to shut him down by saying I lived three towns away.


"So, are you staying in town tonight? Would you like to spend tonight with me?"


I laughed to try and lighted the intensity of the moment - it was rapidly becoming more embarrassing, and I looked around the shop to see if other people were as freaked out as I......


"No" I said "I'm not interested and way too old for you"


You would think that would have been enough, but no.


"Well, can I have your number then???"


Yes. Right on. Harass me in the two dollar shop and then fully expect I will be dying to give you my phone number so you can continue to be a pest for goodness knows how long after. Yes my friend, I am totally that stupid.


Those yellow shorts have a hell of a lot to answer for.


End of story, I again told him no and left the shop, not caring about finding a picture frame for 'Starry Starry Night'.


Thankfully, I was visiting said town with a friend who had remained outside the shop for a sneaky cigarette. Time for a total debrief to stop myself shaking. My fine friend offered to go back and "deal with him", but of course that wasn't necessary, nice though it was of my gallant companion to offer.


Interestingly, that interaction I find far more demeaning than a fun filled wolf whistle. There was no joy, playfulness or wholesome cheekiness in what was said. It was just downright, weird. And dripping with desperate lust really. Dare I say, just because it was hot and I was wearing shorts, is that an excuse for someone to proposition me?


I mean, he could have meant well by what he said - he was paying me a compliment by the conversation I guess -  and you cant blame a guy for trying, but just the same, it wasn't exactly pleasant. And it certainly made me take a good look at what is a flattering interaction and what is more than a little bit inappropriate.


Do good people really proposition complete strangers for sex in two dollar shops in outback country towns? Its certainly not very Jane Austin is it now.
I am keen to hear any stories of flattering or not so flattering interactions from my readers though.....what is ok or not really ok for you? In  our laid back Aussie society, are wolf whistles appreciated by women (and men!)? Are short shorts indecent? Are sexual propositions with no attempt at wit or conversation, in the middle of the day, middle of a shop, middle of an outback town, appropriate?


So, usually in my posts I like to share how my experiences give me insight to life, or offer some sort of uplifting thought.
But not today.
Today I share these stories for the sheer amusement of it, and not a little because I am completely dumbfounded at the power of my cute yellow shorts......


Check out more of my thoughts on the topic of appreciation at my Youtube channel here......

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