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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jen
jen
13 years ago

sometimes i feel this way, then feel a little bit silly. you should come into nyc and i’m sure you would get loads of cat calls!

Operation Pink Herring
13 years ago

If you’re ever in need of a “compliment” and a good oogling, feel free to come and visit me. We’ll walk around the block a few times and I’ll guarantee you at least one migrant worker leaning out the window of a pickup truck making smooching noises and yelling “hola mommie, how you doing, where you going?”

Christie
Christie
13 years ago

It’s not dumb AT ALL. I even complain to my husband about it. He tells me I’m sexy, blah, blah, blah…but I long for more…to be young and sexy to random passers by! One day my husband and I were talking about this and he said, “People look at you all the time”. I of course told him he was crazy and went about my business. A few weeks later we went to the mall and as we were walking my husband stopped…dead in his tracks and yelled, “See something you like? I know she’s good on the eyes but you don’t have to stare”. I turned my head slowly only to see a young (maybe 25ish) man looking completely humiliated! My husband is not a confrontational person but apparently the constant staring really go to him. As we continued walking he said, “See, people still look at you, you just don’t notice it.” Maybe we become so content with our lives that we simply don’t notice anymore…even though we think we are paying attention maybe we aren’t!

Maria
13 years ago

Sorry Linda. At the risk of OMG what is he going to retort next, my husband is a boob.

Oh, and IF it were true, would anyone blame me? He takes pictures next to sidewalk dongs. That in itself is ogle-worthy.

Jenny
Jenny
13 years ago

I bitch about this all the time. I would LOVE to have a guy notice me. I remember back in my 20’s I had a good friend who was about 10 years older than me and she told me the minute she turned 30 she became completely invisible to men other than her husband. Now I totally get that. I don’t want to go back to my 20’s, but can’t I at least get ogled as a MILF? Sigh.

Jean
Jean
13 years ago

No. I am going through this, too. I am also becoming increasingly anxious about aging and the coming era when I’m actually not worthy of a stolen glance. I never thought I’d care, but I sure do.

Shutter Bitch
13 years ago

This means it’s time for another remodel. You need to put yourself into the proximity of some construction workers. Pronto.

Just be glad that you’re not walking with a friend who is a good looking woman and they’re very clearly ogling her, and make a point of saying that it’s not you, it’s her they’re wolf whistling for. Because that sucked. Er, sucks. Not that it happened to me. No, it was a friend of mine. Who shall remain nameless. Rhymes with Butter Ditch.

Mel
Mel
13 years ago

Obviously totally normal as you can see by now.

And..

JB – go get him!!! haha

Leticia
Leticia
13 years ago

OMG, Linda…JB is cracking me up with the comment to Craig. :o) He is so sweet.

Anonymous
Anonymous
13 years ago

Seriously?! Be glad you have a man in your life period. I’m sorry, but have no sympathy here for you.

Shawna
Shawna
13 years ago

@ Shutter Bitch – and then there’s the flipside of that: walking with your sister who, when the catcalls start, visibly preens and declares that that happens to her ALL THE TIME. Like they’d never be whistling at you, no, no.

Though to be fair, and more than a touch catty, she was probably right since she was dressed like a prostitute. And I’m not exaggerating – she had a very Pretty-Woman-inspired outfit on at the time, including the thigh-high boots and shirt that had to be clipped to her pants to stop it from popping up over her boobs, which you could see most of.

dorrie
dorrie
13 years ago

Okay, I have been thinking about this since I read it yesterday, although I haven’t read the comments so forgive me if I repeat. At 42, I am quite past the catcall stage of life, and if anyone is checking me out, I certainly don’t know. I look good, I feel good, I don’t care. It’s actually…and I can’t believe I am going to write this…a relief to have that be all over and just be ME and not some object to be judged by others. It’s kind of freeing to not give a shit because I really used to care, a lot.

BA
BA
13 years ago

I think I can pinpoint when the whistles and hoots stopped. It was SOOOOO annoying back then and now when it happens, it makes my day. I just became skinny again and am only 5 feet tall so sometimes I look a lot younger than I am just because I’m short. It doesn’t happen often, but I will take it when it comes (or as JB would say cums)

Deb
Deb
13 years ago

Dude, too funny and too true. There is a male barista at SBux who is very friendly to me and it always gives me a lift. Pathetic.

Also, JB shouldn’t be too worried about Craig – I’m pretty sure half the commenters here have secret crushes on him. How could we not love a chalk-dong-posing guy?

dorrie
dorrie
13 years ago

And just to be clear, I am not trying to pee all over your take on this, AT ALL…just where I am right now!

Helen
13 years ago

Oh I am in the realms of realising that I lost young and sexy before I ever got it. 46, mother of 6, grandma…..my sons friends who are all in their 20s all call me ‘Mother’.
You’re not alone. Sadly.
Oh OH…I just remembered, I was behind a handsome man in line yesterday and the lady on the checkout said ” are you together?” I replied “oh..No” and he said “That’s a shame!” DOES THAT COUNT?? Did the grandma get hit on because that would be SO cool!

Jennifer
13 years ago

You have over 100 comments on this! Whoa!

This may have been said already, but I bet you get ogled plenty when you’re in the gym and all pumped up. I bet both the men and women are ogling your hot biceps and tattoo and wishing they looked like you. Even if you personally feel sweaty and gross in the gym.

I’m wayyy older than you and I definitely get ogled when I’m cruising around town on my racing bike. Those are the ogles I want: the fitness ogles.

(Or maybe those looks are from the bike-hater car-drivers who want to run me down.)

Karin
Karin
13 years ago

I just 30 minutes ago left an appointment and while sitting at the light to head back to work when I got flirted with in a MAJOR way!

This old, bald man with NO teeth driving a total piece of shit gave me one of those seriously over-exagerated winks! It was such a proud moment!

I had to call my husband who was right behind me at the light and tell him to look out for his competition! HA!

Love ya Linda, BUT...
Love ya Linda, BUT...
13 years ago

I love your blog and will keep coming back however this post left a sour taste in my mouth. Mostly b/c even if you prefaced this post with a “please-don’t-think-I’m-fishing-but” comment, it’s still sounds like you’re fishing and I don’t know, I suppose that’s one of the perks of having a blog, but still.

Come on Linda, you know you’re hot. Do you really need your faithful readers to shout it out to you?

I don’t want to sound trollish but since you put it out there, I feel like SOMEONE needs to tell you this is a bit on the tacky side.

H
H
13 years ago

I was never ogled, at least not that I remember. But if I had been, I would feel the same way you do and it certainly appears as though most who have been ogled can relate! I’m hoping with some basic maintenance, I can make it to the nursing home stage where some guy with cataracts will find me attractive.

telegirl
telegirl
13 years ago

I don’t take this as Linda fishing for any compliments… really. I think she’s just talking about a topic that many of us have thought about. I used to get double-takes as I drove or walked around and I have to admit, it felt good. I don’t get that anymore. Period. Nada. Sigh. Possibly because I drive a Subaru Outback with dog nose smears on the back windows and a car seat in the back seat?! I know what you’re saying, Linda.

And, you are not being tacky. A lot of us are thinking the same thing about ourselves and it’s nice that someone else puts it out there. Don’t ever feel like you need to curb your writing style (aka being HONEST!), we love you just as you are.

Katherine
Katherine
13 years ago

Haven’t read all the comments so I don’t know if anyone has brought this up, but the great ol’ pacific northwest is not the place to get ogled. Most of the men here seem to have had that part of their personality removed or there’s moss or mold growing over it or something. I’ve been single for a loooong time and while I admit to being a bit oblivious to the signs and signals, it doesn’t take a smack in the head with a brick for me to get it when a man throws a little appreciation my way. Rarely ever happens here. But when I travel to parts south and east, it’s a whole other universe and suddenly I’m the most beautiful thing around. I get the “you got it goin’ on” look so much that I know it’s not just the change in whatever vibe I’m putting out. PNW men (JB and a few others excluded) are just a MOSSY bunch.

Interestingly, the few times in the past few years that any guy has expressed interest, he turns out to not be a native PNW’er.

kalisa
13 years ago

I didn’t comment before, but after reading today’s tweet I had to come back & check out the comments.

(JB’s was pretty fucking funny.)

I’m 42 & married (although I look very young for my age, the compliments and ogling have pretty much dried up) and have to say: Walk by a construction site if you want, but please ignore the advice to go without your wedding ring. Surely you don’t want compliments so badly that you’re willing to pretend your single. That’s not just desperate, that’s dangerous.

Holly
13 years ago

You’re probably getting ogled plenty . . . it’s just that the kinds of guys who do the most ogling are the same kinds of guys you’ve likely trained yourself not to look directly at (i.e.: ones that ooze DOUCHEBAG).

Sundry
Sundry
13 years ago

It has been brought to my attention that some people are offended by the post title (*sigh*), so just let me say I was thinking of the Soundgarden song that has the lyrics, “I’m looking California, but feeling Minnesota”.

kim
kim
13 years ago

Wow, I can’t believe so many other people echo the feelings that you already expressed . . . and that I TOTALLY share.

Holy crap, but it’s been AGES since I’ve been “checked out;” since a guy was “interested,” and it might be shallow but dammit, it sure does make a girl feel sexy when menfolk (external to the family unit) eyeball ya.

It’s like I’m starting to get to the point where I wonder why I put in all the effort, you know?

jumbles
jumbles
13 years ago

Delurking…There was an article in…Elle? I think a few months ago by one of the staff writers who was saying how she’d never been ‘the hot chick’ blah blah blah and she was going to do an experiment in sexy/slutty dressing/makeup to see if she got different results. which she did.

SO I think it’s all about how you present yourself, and not just an ‘I’m beautiful and smart and confident’ way, but rather an ‘I’m available’ way (and possibly an ‘I’m kind of ho-bag’ way)

Swistle
13 years ago

Oh, I thought of something else: I think we DO get checked out—but by guys too old for US to be noticing THEM. Like, 10-15-20 years older than us. I tend to still be looking at guys MY age, but THEY’RE looking at the 20-year-olds. It’s the guys in their 40s and 50s who think we’re hot stuff. The other day I kept looking up to find some guy looking at me, and I was like, “What? Why is he looking at me? Are the kids too loud?” and it took me, like, an entire meal to realize he was CHECKING ME OUT but that because he was, like, 45-50, he hadn’t been on my radar in That Way.

Sadie
Sadie
13 years ago

Wait. Kalisa? Appearing single is “not just desperate, that’s dangerous?” I am fairly certain Linda is not talking about wanting to HOOK UP with strangers or mislead suitors. I don’t think ANYONE, even those who suggested that she remove her wedding ring to see if she gets different reactions, is implying that.

Also, what about those of us who actually ARE (*gasp, sob, pity*) single? Dear god someone MUST be desperate if they are willing to look SINGLE, because what could be more dangerous, or more awful than being SINGLE!?!

Amy
Amy
13 years ago

Diddo to all, and to all, a good night.

Lawyerish
13 years ago

I thought the title referred to that early/mid-90s movie starring Cameron Diaz and…Keanu Reeves, maybe? I could be getting it confused with something else, but I seem to remember something about them kidnapping Alicia Silverstone.

Anyone?

Clueless But Hopeful Mama

About ten years ago, I had a 60 something client who had had a ton of plastic surgery and had obviously been a hot ticket in her day. I remember her telling me how strange it was for her to walk down the street and NOT turn heads, what a loss of identity and confidence. I didn’t get it and, frankly, found it rather sad.

That was because I was 25 and as hot as I’m ever going to get.

NOW I GET IT. There are NO heads turning my way (and, yes, I am hugely pregnant but even before that!).

I feel like it shouldn’t matter and it doesn’t really. Except when it JUST GETS TO ME.

Stacy Quarty
13 years ago

And I think the consensus is… (drum roll please): So NOT DUMB! We all want to feel desirable and it’s tragic when you realize you’re no longer getting the looks.

The only looks I’ve gotten recently were from far away- like me driving in the car. Then when I actually pass by, closer, they look away when they see how old I am. Sigh…

patois
13 years ago

Six years ago. ER visit on the way home from work. Very attractive and funny doctor. The last time someone flirted with me. And I was in the agony of shingles.

ugly betty
13 years ago

Well, nobody ever ogles me. I used to just assume it was because I was ugly. But you’re not, so maybe it’s because of the married thing. Then again, nobody ogled me before, either. So ugly then, for sure. You’re not though, I’d ogle you any day.

It’s a wonder how women ever get married, neurotic creatures that we are.

Lauren
13 years ago

I miss being checked out by ATTRACTIVE guys, because when a car full of 20 year olds honk at your behind while you’re pushing a stroller, you know they are scrubs (remember TLC?)

Fattylumpa
13 years ago

Just, you know, FYI, everyone at the Spa event was checking you out.
“Everyone” you say?
Um, yeah, pretty sure it was everyone.

[And ditto the commenter who showed her S.O. your befores and afters….and saw his hair blow straight back.]

Ashley
Ashley
13 years ago

I wanted to chime in and say I can totally relate! And from the looks of things, we are in good company!

Also, do you read the Black Dagger Brotherhood novels by JR Ward? Cause JB’s comment made me lol, and reminded me of a “bonded male”.

Anni
Anni
13 years ago

So not wrong! I’ve been with my now husband since I was nineteen, I’m 26 now. Unlike you, I look LESS great than I did years ago, and my husband still finds me very attractive…. but yes, I want other people to see me as attractive too. He asks me why, it doesn’t matter as long as he’s still attracted to me…. but I still want the occassional up and down glance. From a stranger. It shows marriage hasn’t killed me to the rest of the world, right?

Mary Helen
Mary Helen
13 years ago

Man, you must be getting looks you just don’t notice, because DANG girl. You look good! I would kill do look like you.

And you’re not weird AT ALL.

Ilana
13 years ago

Hilarious!! I was seriously thinking the exact same thing the other day and too felt lecherous. But I used to get SOME attention before the babes in arms, but now, nada. I mean even construction workers are like, “eh.” My bra’s fantastic so they don’t know how the boobies sag, and my clothing is seethrough proof. Suuure I’ve got strech marks, but only husband gets the privilege of seeing them. Maybe it’s the glazed “wtf have i gotten myself into” look that I seem to be sporting as of late. (my girls are the same age as you boys, but a little closer together. i know. kill me.) Mah.

trope
13 years ago

Oh, so not dumb, I absolutely know how you feel… I am feeling all topped up this week because I met up with one of my high school friends, who blatantly stared down my shirt. Ta DA! I got ogled! It made the plunging cleavage all worth it, though I nearly froze off the functional bits because it was so damn cold.

If it helps, my husband cannot walk past my laptop without checking you out when you post pics of yourself with the boys. I will refer sometimes to “my bloggy friends,” and he will ask, “the chick with the cool tat?” and if I say no, he will immediately lose interest. So you seem to be hitting the toddler-dad demographic pretty well.

Amy Q
13 years ago

I am in the same boat, and you couldn’t have said it better. I miss it too.

FishyGirl
13 years ago

It’s so not dumb, I think most of us feel this way. I was actually talking to my husband about it, and he noted that for a lot of guys in our demographic, their idea of what’s hot has changed, and it’s the mommies that have it goin’ on, and also that men have gotten a lot more subtle as they’ve aged, just as women, especially mothers, have their attention on other things. He told me that I get checked out a lot and I was all “You crazy!” and he started pointing it out. He’s right. The guys are more subtle AND it wasn’t on my radar. Ask JB, maybe he’d be willing to tell you when you’re being checked out, especially if you enjoy a, ah, increase in confidence, shall we say, when it happens? DH sure likes the results when he shares with me.

Liz
Liz
13 years ago

I was waiting at a crosswalk downtown the other day, and some guy in the group of people reached out and grabbed my ass. In addition to be startled, annoyed, and eventually outraged, I was also kind of smug, like, hell *yeah* i do have a nice ass.

People: I’m actually referencing a random harressing ASSUALT as something that made me feel GOOD ABOUT MYSELF.

Dear Lord, that can’t be a good thing.

trackback

[…] Linda wrote a provocative post last week and since I read it, I’ve been marinating it around in my brain juice, dissecting it and then tossing it around in there. In it she wrote about noticing – and mourning – the perceived loss of attention by men: how it makes her feel frumpy, kind of invisible – and also kind of silly for even being remotely wounded by something so superficial. […]

rms
rms
13 years ago

I feel so relieved,(RELIEVED!) when I read these types of posts from you that I’ll be okay as a mom, because you are so normal…still!

Danielle
13 years ago

I don’t think you are wierd or dumb for feeling this way. I feel the exact same way. There is something confirming about a stranger oogling you. Not in the predator way, but yeah…it’s nice to know that i still have my womanly-ways of getting attention. Too bad for me, it is usually just my D boobs. sighhh.

RandomDude
RandomDude
13 years ago

Since reading this a few weeks ago, I’ve been trying to check out moms as obviously as possible w/o crossing over into “creepy” territory.

kattyposh
13 years ago

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