Sunday, July 29, 2007

Back from...

...my daily four-mile walk. I start earlier every day, but am still a sodden wreck by the time I'm done. Temperature and humidity in the low 80s will do that to you. Me, anyway.

I feel optimistic when I walk. The endorphins kick in , and I can actually think about what I would do with the $2.9 million house overlooking the ocean as I pass it (lose the poofy fountain in the courtyard, replace the cheesy fencing, expand the garage) without feeling stupid, and not let the $899,000 price for a cottage across the street from it nauseate me.

I watch the runners. They must take classes to learn the grunts, groans, grimaces and gestures they make. Head shakes like those of a boxer who has just taken a hard right hand to the jaw, flailing arms, slopping bottled water over their heads as they run...each one looks like their next step will be the last. Not wanting to look like that gives me a good excuse for not running.

Most of the walkers are friendly enough. I recognize some who clearly make this a daily routine as I now do. Many, like me, are casual about it, dressing in random shorts and t-shirts. A few opt for spandex and "message" shirts (the shirt with a VW logo on it I wore today sent no message; shirts from fitness centers and marathons -- which they clearly did not compete in -- are message shirts), along with headbands and iPods.

Some mommies are pushing high-tech strollers designed so they can be controlled with one hand while mommy keep the golden retriever's leash in the other hand. California, you know.

But among the varied people who are out there working up a sweat (everything from a guy with full dreadlocks to guys from the local fire station to ancients who make better progress than their appearance would suggest), there is one group that remains resolutely aloof from and does not waste its collective energy by greeting (or even smiling at) their fellow exercise-o-nauts:

Women. Specifically, women in the 20-to-40 age group, and more specifically, those who are, at least by my standards, reasonably attractive. To a woman, they adopt a hard stay-the-hell-away-from-me look, often accented by dark sunglasses, and walk with a posture that looks -- if I may snitch a line from the late Kurt Vonnegut -- as if they have a pickle up their ass.

What's up with that?

Oh, they chatter away to each other, but any males in the vicinity might as well not waste the energy it takes to be minimally sociable.

No "safety" issue is involved here. These are not dark alleys; rather, they are wide sidewalks beside a busy street. No one seems to be more than 50 feet away from other walkers/joggers/runners. There are ample police patrols. It's broad-freekin'-daylight. I can't remember ever seeing any flashers, mutterers-of-foul-words or other deviates in the area.

And it's not just me. I mean, I shower and put on clean clothes before I walk and, until you look closely, am not all that much less attractive than any of the other men out getting their exercise. I don't sweat much more than anyone else, either. And I can't help but notice other guys getting the same non-responses.

This fits with my theory that many women want to be hit on, want guys to get weak in the knees over them, but then turn around and loudly proclaim us sexist creep jerks for doing so.

That kills the endorphin rush dead, Jim.

What the hell. Maybe it is me.

11 comments:

sugarcane said...

It's not you. Us women are freakin' weird-ass creatures who change the rules everyday.

susananne said...

Pushing a baby and holding a dogs lead??Gosh how do they do that?...It sounds a very colourful walk anyway.

MrScribbler said...

susananne -- practice, I guess....

Birdie said...

it may also be that they have had some rather bad experience! I know I would be suspect of ANY unknown guy approaching me no matter where. I do the same thing here.

It IS still safer for a guy to be friendly (can't blame him for trying). A woman being friendly to a guy could seem like an open invitation.

Well, that's just my opinion....

lowandslow said...

I think you just explained why God invented cool cars for guys to drive around and look good in. :)

Sunny said...

I had to giggle at your paragraph about the runners. That's exactly like it is,lol. You described their actions perfectly!

John said...

You guys set all the trends. Much of midtown attempts trendy.
I figure if my nod is returned by a wince I'm doing good.
It's a supply and demand thing. Or something. Not like a shortage of guys who want to say hello to women. In their defence I can understand some of the free floating apprehension.
A good test is to fall down with a twisted ankle. Separates those with compassion from those without.
Bring lunch. You may being laying around acting hurt for awhile before anyone bites.
It's a confused world.

joan said...

I try to look friendly, say good morning etc, but a nice normal guy like you can't imagine the kind of personal comments men make to women who are just trying to go for a walk. It's not being hit on in a "we might be two nice people who connect in a friendly way" but endless sleazy lines that wear women out and sadly make us put our guard up. It is very unfortunate.

Has anyone ever commented on what kind of underwear you might be wearing? Pointed out that your nipples show through your shirt? etc. etc. etc....

Don't give up on us but I can tell you it isn't that every woman is cold and unfeeling. I promise.

MrScribbler said...

Joan -- no one has commented about my underwear, or about whether my man-boobs are enhanced by my soaking-wet t-shirt....

Conversely, I never venture past a "good morning" to anyone, regardless of gender.

If you were walking along Paseo Del Mar today, Joan, I would have wished you a "good morning."

That I might have wished that you followed me home is irrelevant. I'd have left that up to you.

To be honest, I wish someone showed an interest in my undies....

joan said...

That's good because I regularly make faces at everyone who does not respond to my "goodmorning" greeting as soon as they pass. Then of course I realize that that person's family is lagging behind them and sees me making faces at them. :))

If people come to Charleston because it is famous for good manners I feel they should nod or speak or go back home. I may make little cards to that effect to hand out. Be friendly or leave. Heh.

Meanwhile, I've been wondering. What kind of underwear do you walk in? ;)

MrScribbler said...

Joan -- I'll be delighted to show you what kind of underwear is underneath my walking kit!

I have always been a proponent of the "you show me yours, I'll show you mine" philosophy!

Well, as it pertains to beautiful women, anyway....