I can’t think of the last time I noticed anyone looking at me. You know: looking at me. Checking me out.

If it’s been a long time since I noticed anyone noticing me, it’s been, like, YEARS since anyone’s actually made a pass at me, or whatever the kids are calling it these days. Hit on me? Flirted, that’s a better term. No one ever flirts with me anymore, and I can’t believe I’m whining about this, but hey guess what I AM.

Maybe it’s because I give off a strong Married-with-Kids vibe, maybe it’s because I feel about as sexy most days as a nudibranch (which despite the titillating “nudie” in their name and the surprising fact that they are hermaphroditic, are still sea slugs, and therefore unsexy by definition), maybe it’s because I’m no longer young and/or reckless, but it kind of bothers me. I don’t really know how to say it without sounding shallow as hell — or worse, like I’m fishing for compliments — but the more time goes by without even, say, a quick sidelong glance of appreciation, the more invisible and frumpy I feel.

My husband, who is both sweet and as lecherous as they come, constantly compliments me in an exotic mix of gentlemanly and mildly offensive ways, and I love, love, LOVE that and obviously I love HIM and I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m TROLLING for something, it’s just that . . . oh, this is just getting more and more embarrassing. It’s just that even though he thinks I look good, and despite my raging insecurities there are often times when I think I look good, I miss other people thinking I look good. I miss innocent, yet esteem-boosting eyeballings. I miss feeling like a desirable woman.

This is dumb, right? Weird AND dumb. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a happily married woman complain about the issue of Not Being Ogled By Strangers before, which either means all of you are getting ogled on a regular basis or only a total douchebag would notice or care about something so ridiculous. WAIT DON’T TELL ME.

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Peggy
13 years ago

WOW! Looks like you knocked this one out of the park judging by all these comments! Struck a nerve! Good for you!
ps- I looked at your pics on your site and you’re totally cute (bitch!)! :p

Kristy
13 years ago

I honestly don’t get this, because I get hit on all the time. However, it might have something to do with the fact that my son is now 16, so I don’t tote around small children. It also probably has something to do with the fact that I work at a college and 75% of my hits come from college students. And trust me…I look nothing like you. (ie: not as pretty or as thin) I think that being hit on is not as desirable as you might think. It’s really rather a pain in the ass to explain to someone that you’re married and therefore can’t go out to coffee. They just go on to say “Yes but are you happily married?”

Why would you really want this hassle?

I think no one’s hitting on you because you’re so pretty you intimidate the hell out of them.

Anyabeth
13 years ago

Oh man, everyone feels this way. Am guessing that all of the above commenters are right and you are either oblivious to the ogling or men are noticing the littles hanging off of you.

I work in a very appearance obsessed industry so am considered very ugly and old in my office and yet am HOTT on my commuter bus. It is a weird weird situation.

Maybe you just need to ride a bus?

Mary
Mary
13 years ago

Oh, yeah, I know. The other day my husband sent me into a pizza place to grab a table while he parked the car, and some nice dude came up to me and said “Julie?” and I’m like “No, sorry. I’m Mary.” And he said “Damn.” In a “Because you’re cute and I was hoping you were my blind date” way. I was so terribly flattered for all those same reasons, and while I’m all blushing and happy it occurred to me that hello–THAT’S what’s totally exciting for me–some guy at Old Chicago being relieved that I’m not a total toad.

victoria
victoria
13 years ago

Try this: go without your wedding band for a couple weeks. I lost mine for about three weeks last summer, & was propositioned three times! AND I was nowhere near the hardbody that you are. Also: I was older than you are. (In the interest of full disclosure, I will add that I was making eye contact & smiling at people, so you know. They were not being totally unreasonable.) Of course, you will politely turn everyone down, but still, sometimes it’s nice to be asked. :-)

Lisa
Lisa
13 years ago

Craig’s comment and JB’s reply are priceless! Still laughing.

Keli
Keli
13 years ago

Last week I was meeting my husband at a bar. Before he got there, a man WEARING AN ASCOT was ogling me then came over and asked me if “this seat was taken.”

I guess what I’m saying is, totally depends on who’s looking.

Susie
Susie
13 years ago

I have always wondered if I have some backwards form of body dysmorphic disorder, where I think I look normal but I’m secretly an ogre. I never EVER get hit on (I’m in my mid twenties, and happily settled but STILL). I think I just fail the je nes se quoi factor. Or I actually cover my naughty bits, unlike all the undergrad sorostitutes at my school….

Sarah
13 years ago

I completely empathize. Especially since I married awfully young and then had babies awfully young, I still have actual pangs of longing for the days of flirting, which for me ended very abruptly.
My problem is that I am more vain (or desperate?) than you- I am not oblivious at all, but instead tend to read WAY too much into those half second eye contacts and brief smiles. Then my sister, who IS still single and hot and blond kindly explains to me that the guy was looking at her, not me. Whatever.

Leeann
13 years ago

Dude – every time I see a picture of you I’m like “DAMN I wish I looked that amazing after kids.” But I get it – you’re not looking for lingering glances from married-with-kids-moms in the internet :)

JennB
JennB
13 years ago

Totally know what you’re talking about. I have 2 small kids, a full time job, and some extra pounds that I’m hauling around…. No time to get a haircut or a brow wax, don’t want to buy new clothes because I hate how I look, massive crush on imaginary character. Yeah, you could say I know where you’re coming from….. Sigh.

jonniker
13 years ago

Was just thinking about this at dinner, in fact, as I lumbered through burrito place. Living in a college town, I remember when college-age boys looked at me with something other than pure unadulterated fear in their eyes, as they do now, at nine months’ pregnant.

Linda, they gaze at me in MORTAL TERROR, like I’m some kind of cautionary tale. Which for them, I am.

Leslie
13 years ago

let’s see – the last time I was “hit on” was when I was 34 and still in the Army Reserves. I was doing my last Annual Training in Ft. Lewis – right down the road from you, and this super cute 25 yr old Sergeant told me he liked “the cut of my jig”. Of course he had to explain that to me because I’m clueless and thus is took all the magic out of it – but at least it was something. Anyway, I totally get what you’re talkin about – you’re feelings are so completely normal, they’re freakish.

Adrienne
Adrienne
13 years ago

You are just hanging out at the wrong places. You have to hit up some really trashy dive bars around midnight. …um, yes I have tried it and it works. You don’t even need to hang out long, you will get your fill of being eye-effed by lots of strange guys in about 3 seconds.

Kirsty
13 years ago

I totally get this – and always have! I was never ogled much when I was young, was single for more years than I care to admit and now have a partner who probably loves me but isn’t big on the compliments (his favourite “compliments” include comparing me to Winston Churchill and Louis XIV…). I’ve put on weight in the last couple of years so now hate the way I look and generally “cope” with that by eating whole bags of Malteser’s in the middle of the night (I know, I know). Plus this year I turn 40 and at my annual gyne appointment today my lovely doctor told me, very sweetly, that I need to start getting mammograms this year.
My only salvation is the 3 months a year that I teach postgrads – I never get hit on, but do try and dress “better” than when I’m just working from home and sometimes I can sense a slight interest from some of them. Makes me feel like a queen!

lisa
13 years ago

Bleah- being oogled at is overrated. I still get that once in a while, and it always makes me uncomfortable. Sometimes, I guess it’s not too bad, like when I am walking down the street and some weird guy yells, “hello sweetheart!” out his van window, but I like being married and not really having to worry about that anymore. I guess I shouldn’t gripe too much, because I am sure I get the attention because people always think I am younger than I am- that is definitely a good thing!!

Lara
13 years ago

I check you out all the time. Lookinnn good

JB, I don’t actually swing that way, so no visit with a baseball bat necessary, but I still think your wife is hot.

Meggan
13 years ago

It was worth reading all the comments just to see JB’s slid in there.

Elaine at Lipstickdaily

The closest I came was when a completely drunk slightly paunchy acquaintance in a receiving line turned my polite kiss on the cheek into a sloppy smack on the lips . . . Oh brother. Yeah . . . more sophisticated ogler . . . I’m going with that.

MotherGooseAmy
MotherGooseAmy
13 years ago

Yep, I feel the same way. In the last five minutes, my husband has told me I am cute and also that I am beautiful and I still feel like he HAS to say that because he married me.

Why don’t we believe them, and need strangers to affirm that we are still attractive?

Lesley
Lesley
13 years ago

I think men may have gotten more subtle about the looking and admiring because… well… women at one time, kind of en masse, let blatant “construction site” style oglers know in no uncertain terms that it sucked and word got around and men grew “afraid” and younger men coming up became more sensitized. Heh. Blame feminists.

It may be that, with all this working out you’ve become too hot, Linda, and you’re intimidating them all.

The wedding ring also spells “taken.”

I can guarantee if you make eye contact the response will be immediate. I hate attention and purposely avoid looking too long at other people (strangers), lest they think I’m keen. One day, though, I was walking downtown and thought I saw someone I knew. I made eye contact, waved, smiled, and as I approached the guy – who wildly waved, smiled, and returned eye contact – discovered it was a complete stranger.

Wow, was that embarrassing.

Lesley
Lesley
13 years ago

Suggestion: take a stroll in some public arena with a gay male friend. He’ll let you know how many are ogling you.

Lisa
Lisa
13 years ago

I’m 45 and I get checked out way more often or at least more visibly than when I was in my 20’s and 30’s. I think moms of young kids give off a, well, mom of young kids vibe. I’m sure men find you very attractive (cuz judging from your pictures you are gorgeous) but they are more discreet with their ogling.

When my kids were young I felt like I was invisible to men, and no matter how complimentary my now-ex-husband was, I didn’t feel attractive. I suppose it’s anti-femnist but I like knowing that men are checking me out. I work in the entertainment industry and am surrounded by beautiful actresses – I need every bit of ego-boost I can get!

Rachael S.
Rachael S.
13 years ago

I’ve NEVER been one to get ogled/hit on/whatever and have always wondered about it. I am not unattractive or overly shy or anything else obvious, but I definitely throw off some sort of “don’t fuck with me” vibe. It’s not bitchy, just…not giggly or whatever. Which is not to say that you have to be goofy to get hit on, but maybe you know what I mean. Before kids, my husband and I opted to go to the gay dance clubs, where we could both get compliments (I enjoyed mine more than he enjoyed his, however)!

Now that I am a mom, and a pregnant one at the moment, it really is depressing to think about how out of the realm of possibility it is that I will be randomly flirted with for at least the next couple of years. This is despite whatever incredible efforts I may go through at the gym to get buff again.

Marje
Marje
13 years ago

As a native of Minnesota… my favorite part of this whole post is the title – which so APTLY describes that feeling of “Hey, I like who I am. Notice me! Appreciate my fineness!”

But then, it gets SO FREAKING COLD that it’s not always easy to appreciate the fineness.

Andrea
13 years ago

I can so relate to this post. I’m four months post-partum with my first baby and while I’m just shy of my pre-prenancy weight…i can’t shake the ‘frump.’ My husband says I look great but an inapropriate whistle or sidelong glance would do wonders for my psyche,

thejunebug
thejunebug
13 years ago

Being as I’m 5’0 and weigh 267 lbs, I’ve never been ogled in my life, but I guess I miss it, too. My husband is sweetly lecherous, so it makes up for it. At least someone thinks I’m attractive. :)

Ashley
13 years ago

Dude, you’re hot. Here’s what I think, you are so hot you intimidate. Seriously. I find I only ever get checked out anymore while driving, as soon as they see my ass it’s over ;)

Mrs. Breedorf
13 years ago

Are you kidding me? You’re just not noticing, hot stuff.

Allison
Allison
13 years ago

NOT weird

AT ALL

and I’m with the hords who are saying you are definitely getting ogled. . .and just not noticing it.

MizzM
MizzM
13 years ago

Sadly, all of these comments agreeing with you say one thing: women have been conditioned to NEED male ogling to feel attractive and desireable, irregardless of their marital status, which is really kind of sad.

We are vain creatures and men are SHALLOW creatures who are always ALWAYS drawn to a woman based on her physical appearance FIRST (and the strength of her character and the capacity of her brain LATER–seriously, have you watched episodes of “The Bachelor” EVER?)

Despite that previous sentence chock-full of Feminist Angst, I will bet you my next Tax Refund that many, MANY more men are checking you out, you just don’t notice it. You don’t notice because you aren’t LOOKING. The difference is that your brain is far more pre-occupied with your kids and your husband (who ain’t so bad, so you think he’s a “Keeper.”) Those thoughts occupy so much more of your BRAIN than your “Man Radar.”

Oh, you’ve still “Got It,” but nowadays you exhibit a VIBE that says, “Oh, YES, I GOT it, but somebody else beat you to it first! LOSER!”

(Think Beyonce and her “Single Ladies” song!)

metalia
13 years ago

Oh, my god. Not weird or dumb AT ALL. I totally relate to what you’re saying. I get hit on most often by hobos (and my husband, of course.Not that I’m comparing them to–oh, never mind.) And…I know this flies in the face of every feminist teaching that has ever been drilled into our collective heads, but if you’re ever feeling sort of down about your looks, the best solution in the WORLD is to take the #1 subway train downtown during rush hour in NYC. Some of your fellow passengers will undoubtedly commence lavishing compliments on you, your legs, and possibly your butt, and you’ll be feeling better about yourself in no time. ;)

Bethany
13 years ago

I’m not even going to read the rest of the comments because if they all say, like I do, that you are totally onto something universal and I am in exactly the same situation (including the gentlemanly and mildly offensive husband and the slight feelings of embarrassment over the whole situation), I don’t need to read them and if they don’t, I don’t want to. There. Have a sexy day!

Eric's Mommy
Eric's Mommy
13 years ago

I totally feel the same way. There is no way you’re not being ogled you’re HOT!

I’ve been hit on a few times in the past few years……..by nerds. Nice huh?

Eva
Eva
13 years ago

I just finished grad school, but two separate occasions I got to be good buddies with good-looking guys in my classes. It was a big thrill. I totally felt hot. Then ON BOTH OCCASIONS it turned out the guys were gay. Awesome. So hot guys were NOT actually flirting with me AND I have no gaydar.

Joy
Joy
13 years ago

I remember exactly the last time it happened to me. It was on my birthday – FIVE years ago! I totally feel what you have described!

Kate
Kate
13 years ago

Also, it could be that the people who would normally be ogling 30 year old women (i.e. 30 year old men) are most often already married and, thankfully, know better than to be ogling hot women they meet on the street. Just a thought…

Tony
13 years ago

Kate,

Nah.

And you should know better, we men don’t ogle at women our own age. There’s at least a 10 year rule. :)

Michelle
Michelle
13 years ago

I’m in my forties with a husband and four
kids. I wouldn’t mind being hit on once
and a while, however the only guys that
seem to notice me are extremely weird or
over the age of sixty. Those sixty year
olds are a randy bunch!

Kendra
Kendra
13 years ago

You don’t hear other married women complaining about this? Really? Who ARE these women that you know?? I complain about it. My husband I have been together for 10 1/2 years now, married for almost 7. Even on the slim chance that someone DID flirt with me, I don’t think I’d remember what to do. I’m pretty sure I’d just duck my head and scurry away. *sigh*

JennyW
13 years ago

Whenever I read your blog, my hubby comes and peeks over my shoulder asking ‘did she post any more hot pics of herself?’ I showed him your before and after pics on Bodies in Motivation, and he was like ‘……WHOA….. we need to go to Bellevue next time we visit Washington.’ So consider that a long-distance ogle!

Tina
13 years ago

Oh GOD no! I bitch and moan about that on a somewhat frequent basis too. And, like your hubby, my boyfriend is a pro at comments that are alternately as sweet as anything you could find in a chick flick or more reminiscent of an NC-17 movie. Either way, it’s all good. But I’ve learned that if I ever want to fish for compliments, all I need to do is stop by a senior center. Or, for some reason, McDonald’s any weekday before 11am. Those octogenarians will try to woo the panties off you.

aimee
13 years ago

I actually wrote a post about this a bit ago…I had to have my wedding and engagement rings cut off due to a crazy confluence of circumstances and just didn’t get around to getting them fixed for several months. During that entire time I never got hit on. Not once! Man, that sucked.

Rachel
Rachel
13 years ago

As a hot Minnesota mom I object to the title of your post.

Maria
13 years ago

Nope, not the least bit bothered at the fact that my husband (Tony) has admitted that he ogles 20-something year old women. That’s nice.

In all seriousness, it doesn’t bother me. As far as I’m concerned, ogling is mutually practiced by both sexes and might as well become an accepted pastime.

And I do believe that we 30-somethings have gotten better at the subtleties. I would hope so after a couple of decades.

Tony
13 years ago

Maria on the other hand does stay within her age group. She has a secret crush on JB.

Lori
13 years ago

Years ago when I lived in Manhattan (read: much younger, short skirt wearer) I would often walk between our two office buildings. Right by a large construction site. Where the guys hooted and hollered. I would walk the long way around to avoid that site.

One day I am walking with a non-short-skirt-wearing co-worker. I said let’s don’t walk that way, you know those guys. She had no idea what I meant. As we walked past, no catcalls, no whistles. I clearly remember thinking “what would be worse than enduring this would be it never happening to you”.

g~
g~
13 years ago

First of all, Try having a VERY hot younger sister (8 years my junior) and two very hot SILs (9 years younger) and then go to Vegas with them. GOODBYE delusions of being hot. Heck, I would settle for MILF.
Wait, that’s not true. I do get ogled. From guys driving down the road in their rusty pick up trucks, wearing a wife beater, screaming, “hey BABY!”, and weigh…oh…500 pounds and are probably named Bubba Joe. I manage to maintain my dignity as I step over their tobacco spittle.

Kelly
13 years ago

Oh, I STILL relive two not-so-recent incidents: when the guy behind me in line at Dunkin Donuts said, “Damn. You’re a gorgeous woman.” (Two years ago?) And the bouncer who ID’d my husband but not me and said, “What? No way!” when he looked at my ID. (Five years ago?)

I cling to these. So sad in so many ways.