I wrote this in response to a story in the New York times today.
There is a fine line between hitting on someone and simply being social. Beautiful women of any age get hit on so regularly that I feel like my safest choice is to ignore them. Later, if and or when we become friends socially, they’ve told me they thought I was shy, or awkward.
My wife used to complain about all the men hitting on her. She has always been very fit and curvy. One of our climbing friends used to talk to her, but he would rarely look in her eyes, preferring the view of her chest. Guy was a jerk, but we put up with it because he and his wife were reliable climbing partners.
And yet…one of her proudest moments is when she was in her twenties with a new pair of rollerblades. She was skating on a bike path next to a road in Seattle wearing her favorite pink running shorts. A car slowed down to enjoy the view. She turned to see who the creeper was, and watched as another car slammed into his rear end, causing a bad accident.
Now that she is in her sixties, when someone hits on her it makes her day. “I was getting my coffee and this old dude started talking to me. He was totally hitting on me! But he was really nice,” she’ll tell me later, with a big smile. Beautiful people of either sex are lovely to look at, like a rare sunset, or a rainbow. But as my wife frequently reminds me, “It’s ok to look, just don’t stare.”