I was heading to the grocery store yesterday morning between classes when someone tapped me on the shoulder. “Yes?” I said politely. (I’m not one of those crazy don’t-invade-my-personal-space New Yorkers like the woman who cursed me out my very first day in the city.)
It was a shy-looking balding middle-aged man. “Excuse me,” he said, “but I’m an artist, and I’d really like you to model for me. All the models I have access to are tall, bone-skinny college girls. I’m looking for an older, well-built, attractive woman, and you’re just what I’ve been looking for.”
Okay, I thought, I didn’t realize 29 was “older” but still, this was very flattering. I know I’m attractive, but I rarely spend time thinking about it, so when someone points it out to me I get an excited little glow.
Then he adds, “It pays a hundred dollars an hour,” and immediately my skank alarms start going off. I can’t imagine he’d pay that much for anything short of porn. I smiled, nodded, and extricated myself from the conversation rapidly. It’s not as though I have time to do any freelance work right now (modeling or not, clothed or not, skanky or not), but I was incredibly annoyed that he turned my lovely day-making compliment into something sordid.
On the other other hand, I’ve never been offended by being ogled, and I’m totally flatterable. Maybe I would have been less annoyed if he’d been good-looking . . . .