Being Boswell

It’s Not Polite to Stare

Yesterday as I drove down a residential city street, a man in a white pick up truck pulled out of his parking place headed in my direction. I noticed that instead of looking out of his windshield, as is suggested and preferable, he was intently peering out of his passenger side window at something on the sidewalk. As a result of his wayward stare his oversized truck was headed down the middle of the street-straight toward me.

 

“What are you looking at?” I yelled as I looked to the sidewalk. The answer. A sweet young girl walking down the sidewalk in her summer skirt and t-shirt. “Really?” I impotently yelled through closed windows, “You are old enough to be her dad-first of all, you are going run into me or another parked car-second of all, and have a little respect-third of all.” (Is there a third of all?)

 

This morning on my way to work while I waited at a stop light, another man in a pick up truck-what is it with men and pick ups-had his head stuck out of his window to ogle a girl walking past. When he couldn’t twist his neck any further he used his rear view mirror to lock on. I began yelling again, this time hoping to catch his eye letting him know I saw him being a lech.

I get the attraction. I look at men and women too. I am attracted for many reasons. I think they are beautiful. I like their outfit. I don’t like their outfit. I like their dog. There are many reasons to look at one another.  But when guys are looking only at boobs and butts, as if the woman is on the side walk is there for their pleasure, it is time to teach them some manners. I wanted to slap their faces.

 

When my daughter, Jena, turned 21 we took her out to celebrate. My son’s fiance was singing at a local club so it was a perfect celebration. As we sipped our drinks, Jena her first legal one, I perused the room. My eyes caught a 50-60 something year old man, slight build, polyester suit, talking with many different women. I noticed when the woman turned her back his eyes went straight to her rear end. When she turned back toward him it was her boobs he zeroed in on. I felt a hot flash coming on.

 

Then, to my surprise, he was next to me and walked right up to Jena. He stood way too close to her and said, “Don’t you look sparkly tonight.”

 

I couldn’t help myself. My body moved into action before my brain was even consulted. I put my body between Jena and this lounge lizard. After his gaze left my breasts to meet my eyes, I squared off with him, “I am her mother. You need to back off!”

 

“Oh mama bear. I was just telling her she is sparkly,” he said, his reptilian tongue striking the air between us. “Back off,” I growled, puffing myself up to stand a good bit taller than him.

 

He walked away.

 

The kids were amazed, both that I intimidated him to leave and that what he did bothered me. Perhaps you have to be in your 50’s and menopausal (make my day) to be intolerant of one more man’s bad manners. Maybe you have to be a mom of a young woman to feel the fury that moved my body between them. Regardless, Jena gave me a hug and thanked me. She got it..it’s impolite to stare. I had her back.

 

 

The story doesn’t end here…this creep circled back. He wound his way around the bar to where we stood. He stopped in front of my husband. “You have one uptight wife,” he pronounced.

 

Tom held his gaze, man to slime ball and like waving a fly away from your food said “Go away.”

 

He did.

Patricia Boswell

Living in Oblivion

On the plane home from Tybee, I noticed a young woman sitting several seats in front of me and on the other side of the plane. I noticed her because she was flinging her long dirty blonde hair (it may have been dirty blond or it may just have been dirty, I couldn’t quite tell) over the back of her seat into the seat behind her.

 

“Surely this was a mistake. She doesn’t really mean to have her hair hanging in someone else’s very limited seat space, does she?” I wondered to myself. Now some women never touch their hair, some women play with their hair every once in a while (I am one of those) and some women touch their hair A LOT. This woman was the latter. So after the third or fourth time she adjusted and readjusted her hair, she always ended throwing it over the back of her seat.

 

She was oblivious to the guy sitting behind her and her infringement on his personal space. I decided I didn’t like her.

 

Driving to work the other day I sensed the woman driving in the car beside me wanted to move into my lane. I usually know this because drivers will unconsciously start to ease toward the line when they decide they want to switch lanes. When I feel this float to the center, I don’t wait for blinker, I adjust myself to make room ahead or behind me, which ever makes safe sense. In this case I slowed down to make room for her. As I predicted her blinker came on and into my lane she moved. I waited for the thank you wave in the mirror. None came (Not only am I a defensive driver, like Mr Anderson taught me, I am a polite driver. I wave my thank you’s. Sometimes I wave another part of my hand, but that is another story.)

 

Further down the road this happened again with the same driver. This time I had to slow down quickly because she was switching lanes regardless of where I was.

 

She was oblivious and a rude, bad driver. I didn’t like her either.

 

I began to think about these two events and get interested in my attention to them. “Out of all the possible things to notice on a plane, and while driving, why did I notice these?What is it about me that I observe and have a strong negative reaction to oblivion?” I wondered.

 

It didn’t take long for me to get my answer.

 

I never let myself be oblivious!

 

I learned at an early age to be hyper vigilance of other peoples needs. I can walk into a room and tell you who is thirsty. I am always considering my effect on the personal space, needs, wants, desires of the other person. For gods sake, I know when a driver wants to pull into my lane before they do. Sometimes I am exhausted making sure I don’t step on anyones toes.

 

Okay, I got it. Again. This is certainly not the first time life presented me the opportunity to learn this lesson. These two women were my mirrors, reflecting back to me my lopsided sense of responsibility for others. My lesson is to learn to be more oblivious. To not notice as much. To not care as often.

 

Anyone with me on this? Want to pay less attention? Care less, relax more?

 

I just noticed as I was writing this last paragraph I mindlessly made a hand held ponytail in my hair and flipped it over the back of my chair. Granted my hair is not that long and there is no one sitting in a seat behind me, but I’ve gotta start someplace…

Patricia Boswell

BUTT

I have been mad at my body lately. Maybe most of my life. I was too tall as a girl in the 60’s-so I slouched. My mom would instruct me to, “Stand up straight” then she’d exclaim, “You’re soooo tall.” Relatives would ask her what she fed me.

 

My mom was 5’2. I was 5’10” in middle school. After 20 years of marriage at age 42 I put on a pair of high heels. My husband said, “Oh, now I know why you don’t wear heels, you are really tall.” I didn’t put another pair on until we separated several years later.

 

I was also called “fatty Patti” by my brother and neighborhood kids. My mom countered with, “NO YOU ARE NOT!”, then refused my request for a piece of her freshly baked chocolate cake she. (My friends now call me Patricia, it doesn’t rhythm with fatty.) Continue Reading

Patricia Boswell

It’s Not Polite to Stare

Yesterday as I drove down a residential city street, a man in a white pick up truck pulled out of his parking place headed in my direction. I noticed that instead of looking out of his windshield, as is suggested and preferable, he was intently peering out of his passenger side window at something on the sidewalk. As a result of his wayward stare his oversized truck was headed down the middle of the street-straight toward me.

 

“What are you looking at?” I yelled as I looked to the sidewalk. The answer. A sweet young girl walking down the sidewalk in her summer skirt and t-shirt. “Really?” I impotently yelled through closed windows, “You are old enough to be her dad-first of all, you are going run into me or another parked car-second of all, and have a little respect-third of all.” (Is there a third of all?)

 

This morning on my way to work while I waited at a stop light, another man in a pick up truck-what is it with men and pick ups-had his head stuck out of his window to ogle a girl walking past. When he couldn’t twist his neck any further he used his rear view mirror to lock on. I began yelling again, this time hoping to catch his eye letting him know I saw him being a lech.

I get the attraction. I look at men and women too. I am attracted for many reasons. I think they are beautiful. I like their outfit. I don’t like their outfit. I like their dog. There are many reasons to look at one another.  But when guys are looking only at boobs and butts, as if the woman is on the side walk is there for their pleasure, it is time to teach them some manners. I wanted to slap their faces.

 

When my daughter, Jena, turned 21 we took her out to celebrate. My son’s fiance was singing at a local club so it was a perfect celebration. As we sipped our drinks, Jena her first legal one, I perused the room. My eyes caught a 50-60 something year old man, slight build, polyester suit, talking with many different women. I noticed when the woman turned her back his eyes went straight to her rear end. When she turned back toward him it was her boobs he zeroed in on. I felt a hot flash coming on.

 

Then, to my surprise, he was next to me and walked right up to Jena. He stood way too close to her and said, “Don’t you look sparkly tonight.”

 

I couldn’t help myself. My body moved into action before my brain was even consulted. I put my body between Jena and this lounge lizard. After his gaze left my breasts to meet my eyes, I squared off with him, “I am her mother. You need to back off!”

 

“Oh mama bear. I was just telling her she is sparkly,” he said, his reptilian tongue striking the air between us. “Back off,” I growled, puffing myself up to stand a good bit taller than him.

 

He walked away.

 

The kids were amazed, both that I intimidated him to leave and that what he did bothered me. Perhaps you have to be in your 50’s and menopausal (make my day) to be intolerant of one more man’s bad manners. Maybe you have to be a mom of a young woman to feel the fury that moved my body between them. Regardless, Jena gave me a hug and thanked me. She got it..it’s impolite to stare. I had her back.

 

 

The story doesn’t end here…this creep circled back. He wound his way around the bar to where we stood. He stopped in front of my husband. “You have one uptight wife,” he pronounced.

 

Tom held his gaze, man to slime ball and like waving a fly away from your food said “Go away.”

 

He did.

Patricia Boswell

Living in Oblivion

On the plane home from Tybee, I noticed a young woman sitting several seats in front of me and on the other side of the plane. I noticed her because she was flinging her long dirty blonde hair (it may have been dirty blond or it may just have been dirty, I couldn’t quite tell) over the back of her seat into the seat behind her.

 

“Surely this was a mistake. She doesn’t really mean to have her hair hanging in someone else’s very limited seat space, does she?” I wondered to myself. Now some women never touch their hair, some women play with their hair every once in a while (I am one of those) and some women touch their hair A LOT. This woman was the latter. So after the third or fourth time she adjusted and readjusted her hair, she always ended throwing it over the back of her seat.

 

She was oblivious to the guy sitting behind her and her infringement on his personal space. I decided I didn’t like her.

 

Driving to work the other day I sensed the woman driving in the car beside me wanted to move into my lane. I usually know this because drivers will unconsciously start to ease toward the line when they decide they want to switch lanes. When I feel this float to the center, I don’t wait for blinker, I adjust myself to make room ahead or behind me, which ever makes safe sense. In this case I slowed down to make room for her. As I predicted her blinker came on and into my lane she moved. I waited for the thank you wave in the mirror. None came (Not only am I a defensive driver, like Mr Anderson taught me, I am a polite driver. I wave my thank you’s. Sometimes I wave another part of my hand, but that is another story.)

 

Further down the road this happened again with the same driver. This time I had to slow down quickly because she was switching lanes regardless of where I was.

 

She was oblivious and a rude, bad driver. I didn’t like her either.

 

I began to think about these two events and get interested in my attention to them. “Out of all the possible things to notice on a plane, and while driving, why did I notice these?What is it about me that I observe and have a strong negative reaction to oblivion?” I wondered.

 

It didn’t take long for me to get my answer.

 

I never let myself be oblivious!

 

I learned at an early age to be hyper vigilance of other peoples needs. I can walk into a room and tell you who is thirsty. I am always considering my effect on the personal space, needs, wants, desires of the other person. For gods sake, I know when a driver wants to pull into my lane before they do. Sometimes I am exhausted making sure I don’t step on anyones toes.

 

Okay, I got it. Again. This is certainly not the first time life presented me the opportunity to learn this lesson. These two women were my mirrors, reflecting back to me my lopsided sense of responsibility for others. My lesson is to learn to be more oblivious. To not notice as much. To not care as often.

 

Anyone with me on this? Want to pay less attention? Care less, relax more?

 

I just noticed as I was writing this last paragraph I mindlessly made a hand held ponytail in my hair and flipped it over the back of my chair. Granted my hair is not that long and there is no one sitting in a seat behind me, but I’ve gotta start someplace…

Patricia Boswell

BUTT

I have been mad at my body lately. Maybe most of my life. I was too tall as a girl in the 60’s-so I slouched. My mom would instruct me to, “Stand up straight” then she’d exclaim, “You’re soooo tall.” Relatives would ask her what she fed me.

 

My mom was 5’2. I was 5’10” in middle school. After 20 years of marriage at age 42 I put on a pair of high heels. My husband said, “Oh, now I know why you don’t wear heels, you are really tall.” I didn’t put another pair on until we separated several years later.

 

I was also called “fatty Patti” by my brother and neighborhood kids. My mom countered with, “NO YOU ARE NOT!”, then refused my request for a piece of her freshly baked chocolate cake she. (My friends now call me Patricia, it doesn’t rhythm with fatty.) Continue Reading

Patricia Boswell