“Ewwww,” She Said.

Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Crimes to the Third Degree.

“Eeeeeewwwww,” Shannon said under her breath while we were taking a walk down a neighboring street.

Flying By Night novelShe looks over her shoulder at some guy about 35 who is doing yard work late in the afternoon. The guy’s just said hi to me and commented on the nice afternoon.

“Did you see that, Mommy? That old guy was checking you out.”

First of all, I don’t believe it, but she says she’s been noticing that a lot, particularly when I’m wearing shorts or a shorter skirt. According to her, most women over 30 shouldn’t wear shorts at all but I’m the exception. Hopefully, she’s not just saying that so I’ll buy her a sweater when we go shopping later.

I find it strange that men notice me. I don’t know why. I just do. I never appreciated it when I was younger whereas some women lived by male attention and have had serious esteem issues by their late 30’s when some things just stopped getting the attention they used to.

I find it even stranger that my teen daughter sees men check me out. That’s just…so bizarre.

She notices it in restaurants. I get up to go to the restroom and she watches men check me out as I make my way across the restaurant, oblivious. She notices it anytime we’re together and especially when we walk our separate ways and men don’t know she’s my daughter.

What she doesn’t realize is that I see the same thing happen with her at 16. I watch from a distance as she walks toward me—jeans and T-shirt and no skin showing—and I see some grandfather turn his head in appreciation, watching her, and I just want to stalk over to him and grab him by the throat and say, “Hey, stopping looking at my daughter that way!”

Pervert, I think.

But she’s oblivious to it until I tell her this while we’re on a power-walk and pass a man about 40. He says hello to us and strikes up a conversation with me before we can get out of earshot. There’s another man, maybe 50, doing yard work next door, but he doesn’t say anything as we pass except to make eye contact with me and tip his cap.

“Ewwww,” Shannon says as few dozen feet later, “those old golfer dudes were checking you out. That’s just so…gross.”

Yes, what’s gross for one is perverted to another. We’re both somewhere between amused and horrified.