If you’re a dad of a toddler like me, you genuinely like taking your little one(s) out for some fun on the town. There are so many choices these days: the play park, the spray park, the space center (which we call the space park…you’re welcome), or the roller coaster park. It doesn’t matter where you go, your little ones are going to have fun. There’s also one other constant….
Good looking moms, nannies, and other females. You can’t miss them and they’re everywhere. Despite having six toddlers in tow, these women leave the house looking like they just left the movie premiere. You (me) on the other hand, look like you just rolled out of bed wearing the same shirt you’ve been wearing for a year. That’s OK though, we’re not here for a beauty contest are we?
As a responsible parent, I tend to watch my child on the playground. I watch them like a hawk if I’m in an environment where I feel uneasy at all too. However, eventually my concern wears down and I start to look around at the other parents in the area. I start to survey who they are and I want to know what they’re doing that I could learn from. I often spend a lot of my time picking up tricks that I can use with my little guy.
While I’m looking/learning, the inevitable happens. I look at a female and we catch eyes. In this moment, as a man in my mid-thirties, I feel/think a lot of things. Care to know them all?
- Is she looking at me?
- Am I still looking at her?
- Did we make eye contact?
- Uh oh
- Feeling – trouble
- I probably shouldn’t have been looking at her
- Feeling – shame
- She probably thinks I’m some creep
- Feeling – more shame
- She is pretty good looking…
- What would my wife think about this?
- Feeling – ever more shame
- Am I still looking at this lady?
- Man, this is awkward
- Feeling – awkward
- Maybe if I smile, I can save this
- No wait, that would make me more of a creep
- No wait, just be yourself
- No wait, you’re an idiot
- Feeling – stupidity
- By now, she’s likely calling the police
- “Ok, time to go!”
Now, really…what should any man think in this scenario, assuming he doesn’t have any nefarious plans for this woman he’s made eye contact with?
- That’s a lady.
- She seems nice.
So, where does this come from? Does it come from an underlying set of issues I have? Am I the only guy that feels completely awkward and completely in the wrong whenever my eyes meet with a woman in a public place? Am I making too big a deal out of this, or is this a big deal for women too?
It seems to be a big deal, given the multitude of social media posts detailing how men objectify women. It seems to be a big deal, given the relentless number of blog posts about how moms want all the judging to stop. It seems to be a big deal, given the direction of our society in general.
Then again, maybe it’s just me.