Day 209: Checking Out Men

I was going to write about this awesome salad I made…….that’s guacamole along the edges, and beets I peeled and steamed, and all organic!

Or my adorable Violet (aka Spastic Colon) that I overfed with people-food so much that she threw up all over the house. This is her looking at me wondering why I didn’t take her on my walk to the lake. It was 95 degrees outside, that’s why. And you, Violet, poop out after one lap when it gets over 70 degrees. You no longer like the sun. She didn’t understand.

Well, I guess, I just did write about both, but not at length. Here’s the real scoop….

I’ve been walking around the lake near our house, once or twice a day. While I’m walking, I practice eye contact. Eye contact is not something I learn naturally, and not something I ever feel comfortable with. Not something I enjoy. And not something that I like practicing.

I “taught” myself how to make eye contact with strangers at the age of thirty-five. I realized I was having a hard time at it (eye contact), and needed to make a change, the time I was attempting to look up at a male sales clerk at a local take-and-go pizza parlor, and I got so nervous, that I wrote a check for $400 instead of $14. He wasn’t eye candy or even close to my age. But pretty much all males under 80 and over 10 make me nervous. I didn’t realize the error in my ways, until the establishment cashed my check.

I get nervous looking at anyone I do not know well. Especially men. I have become much more comfortable with women my age and older, small children, and senior citizens. They feel safe to me. Every other age group, when I think about locking eyes, I squirm inside from nervousness.

I now set my eyes just beyond a person or on a person’s forehead, in an attempt to appear friendly and approachable. I’d say I make eye contact with 80% of the females I pass (like in a store) and about 40% of males, well maybe 20%.

Lately, I’ve been wearing sunglasses when I walk the lake, and a plastered on real-looking smile. I listen to music and this helps me smile. And I remember all the smiles I’ve been practicing in the mirror and on camera. My face fidgets all over the place, while my smile tries to find a home. I am more comfortable with my mouth closed. Though I think my teethy smile is prettier. So I probably look perplexed and intense when I smile.

My hugest practice-smiling comes when a man my age approaches me while passing me on the jogging/walking trail at the lake. There are typically a couple dozen of men my age any given day that pass me. I have learned, through trial and error, to stare down the female, if a couple approaches, before I glance very quickly at HER male with a smile. If I smile at the male first, I tend to get a very shifty-darty eyed look from the female. I find this interesting, but logical.

I have also found that men about ten years my senior or more, tend to smile at me first, and even nod or say hello, while men my age look suspicious. This could be me jumping to conclusions. I wonder if I should start taking notes.

With every person that passes me,  I stand up straighter, glance slightly that person’s way, and then look at the forehead. With sunglasses on, I can hover there longer. Sometimes I get nervous and move down to the chest or legs. Which in retrospect, maybe isn’t such a good path for my eyes to follow. The whole time I’m looking I have a cheesy closed-lip smile and I hold my breath.

I’ve been practicing really super hard, and was feeling fairly pleased with my progress. Until tonight. Now I’m going back to the proverbial drawing board in my mind and trying to connect the eye contact dots.

At the lake, on my last loop around, a man my age approached me. He came up real close. I think he ran up to me from his car. He said, “Hey,” grabbed my wrist gently, and placed a folded small piece of paper in my hand. Between the “Hey” and hand grabbing, I figured this guy had special needs and needed my help.

He didn’t. But that was my first thought—trusting soul I am.

And so I smiled big, wanting him to feel safe, if indeed he had special needs.

As he stood there, I unfolded the note and read it quickly. Kind of in shock, and not fully comprehending what I’d read, I fell back on habit and manners, smiled again, and said with a giddy voice, “Thank you!”

The note??

James. Phone number.

I saw you checking me out!

Text me your name.

Hmmmm…..I think I might need some more practice….

49 thoughts on “Day 209: Checking Out Men

  1. Bahaha!! This is so funny!! I’m hearing impaired and often get looks from people who think I’m trying to get on to them when I’m not! I’m simply making sure that I heard them properly and waiting to see if they want to say anything more. Some people flatter themselves I suppose. But, it’s sure nice to be flattered in this way if this guy wants your name and number. So… was he cute??

    1. I love that sound….bahaha… giggles
      So glad you liked it. I’m still smiling about the whole thing. Especially me saying “thank you.” lol
      Cute? Hmmmmmm. Maybe for someone else. He wasn’t bad looking. But he was running with no shirt on. I remember looking at his legs as I skipped super fast down his body to avoid his chest. Even if I was single, don’t think I would have responded…seemed so silly to ask for me to text my name…when he had already approached me in person…why not introduce himself then, but I imagine it probably took a lot of nerve to do what he did. And I kind of feel bad. But my husband said, now don’t go texting him to tell him sorry and that you’re married….LOL.

      1. I guess it kind of makes sense.Seems very formal greeting then only speaking when spoken to with exception to the note.

    2. Yeah it is difficult how people lock on to what you are looking at. I first noticed this after reading an article that suggested staring at a woman’s lips before kissing her so as to be more subtle. But I have been tweaking this principle a bit having fun now. Such as the classic mime trapped in a box routine can be done in reverse through eye contact. Just check out their shoulders with your eyes and other dimensions as if sizing them up to shove them in a box. Yes I am aware it weirds people out real well in that psycho killer kind of way lol.

      In my opinion really autism is all about actions and neurotypical is all about static objects. NT react and AT enact. Example being Material girl in a material world anyone? What I can’t seem to understand is why NT say it is cause/effect and not cause/process/effect and they keep spacing out talking in the third person about goals and their usual BS. I think it all comes down to people trying to do thinking for others rather than them self that altruism.

  2. spit laugh….ooh too funny. So laughing over here right now. Well. I’d say you got the sexy part down, scored a number chickaroo. LOL. Well if I need tips on picking up men, I am calling you. 🙂 I can only imagine what your hubby thought. lol still laughing as I wipe the spit off the computer screen.

    1. Lady Day spit worthy???? YAY! That made my night. LOL….I can totally see you spit-laughing. Tip: STARE with goofy intense close-lipped grin…and walk a few laps first so you’re sweaty. lol. Hugs to you. Do you seem my amber necklace in the photo? 🙂

      1. Ah yes, now I do. 🙂 It was a funny story and well, yep, it’s still making me chuckle. Sleep well Sam (yawn) soooo need some sleep now :)Sweet dreams to you.

  3. I knew this would happen! Look how cute you are in that picture! What’s funny to me is that I know how hard it is to do the smile. I get all twitchy when I consciously make the effort to smile too. Weird – such a common thing for me but something I’d never write about – you’re so good at making me recognize things about me that fall inside the A zone. Be careful when you are out there – some weird guys live in Washington – or did back in the day… stories for next time you are here! Let me put it this way – take Violet! Take her!! xoxo

    1. Glad you knew…I was CLUELESS…still wondering if he had special needs…lol
      I’m glad that you are able to connect some of my experience with yours. That means a lot to me.
      Safety…don’t worry…I am safe. I used to live in downtown Sacramento…work at homeless kitchens…tutor in that scary place near South Natomas…forget the name…teach in N. Highlands…I’ve been around. I always walk in light and with tons of people everywhere. Thanks for looking out for me. You are a mama cat, you know. Good to have a mama cat in my life…or bear… 🙂 Just saw BRAVE such a cute movie (has a mama bear). Violet…hmmmm…I don’t think she would scare anyone. lol….Now Scooby, he was a fierce looking guy….gentle giant he was. Hugsssssssss ~ Sam 🙂

  4. ROFLMBO!!! Hey,you are a good lookin’ lady,my friend,just take it as a compliment 🙂 You do look especially happy in the 3rd pic under the video,made me smile to see someone looking so happy-and you know I needed that smile too,so TY! 🙂 You’ll be happy to hear,I had a small breakthrough with my own demons today-lots still to deal with,but a good day,I smiled lots 😀

    The DC

    1. hehehehe So glad to give you a laugh, friend! giggles
      I think I have a hard time taking compliments, as my mind keeps thinking he must have had special needs. But I don’t think he did. 🙂
      I am happy. I had a wonderful day. And I am so pleased with the walking I’ve been able to do, being “disabled” and all. I love the heat and sun, too. All the WA people are freaking out in the 95 degree weather…that’s mild! Northern CA got into 110 degrees on hot days. So it’s nice in the sun. I hope to be as happy when the clouds come…that shall be my challenge…and might need to have you post smiling faces then, to cheer me up.
      I am very, very happy to hear, and happy that you shared, about the breakthrough. Yay! Good day!!! Yay…collect them in your pocket and pull them out for those cloudy days. I do.
      Smiles and Sunshine to you; and thanks for the kind compliment, too.
      Sam 🙂

      1. And every single time,either way that will rhyme 😉 😛

        No worries,Sam,when you have a bad day with no smiles,I will send a good clean but very funny joke your way and help you smile 😀

        I remember NorCal Summers from when I drove trucks,hot! It’s been a decade and a half since I visited Washington state,so remembering not so much. It’s been cloudy and cool all day here,enjoyed it very much too,LOL! :p

        And you’re very welcome,you are a pretty lady,but when you smile from inside out it makes you a beautiful person indeed 😀


  5. This is the best giggle I’ve had ALL DAY!! He saw you checking him out?? Oh no!! I say this was his way of overcoming his own insecurities about wanting to confront the gorgeous smiling woman who passed him on the path!! But – then again – maybe we can work on your smile enthuisam… though I have a feeling I’m likely guilty of very similar crimes. When I would walk frequently- had to say hi to everyone i passed (and smile) – and know it can be construed as flirting (by males) even if you do it perfectly. My daughters think I need to look down and not make eye contact – especially if I am passing a man on a beach stroll!! Crazy we have to be worried about this silliness — I say just keep smiling like you are — and accept this “special needs” guy’s message as a big compliment… I do agree with Solodialogue though re: being careful – this is always a valid concern – though us trusting types have tough time suspecting anything but good intentions. I get lectured on this too (though this summer I’m so housebound it’s not an issue) …. Fun post sea -sis Sam really loved it — Love your photos – especially the smile! 🙂 xo ps: yummy looking salad it is!

    1. Glad my life can make you giggle…it sure makes me giggle…
      I think he was using all the guts he had to approach me….and softy me feels sorry and wants to call him and tell him if I was single….but I know that’s not the right thing to do….or at least not the safe thing to do. I feel sorry for him. But I will try to realize this happens to people all the time, and he will be fine…and I’ll likely change my walking time…lol 🙂
      Your stories of you walking and saying hi and smiling crack me up….we are sooooo alike…soooo open hearted, loving, and trusting…and I think we do come across as flirty because we are very kind and giddy. hehehe.
      I am very careful…you can see the note I left K of Solodialouge above. I’m SMART just innocent about things. I can totally see you being lectured…lol..
      So glad you loved this, Sea Sis….always a super big pleasure to hear from you.
      Salad is Yum.
      Hugs 🙂

  6. ROFLMF(fecking)AO!! Typing through the laughter spewed spittle on my laptop keys and screen!!! OMgosh you are so funny Sam! That photo of you is electric, fantastic and ALIVE! have you considered having a T shirt made with it screen printed across the back so guys can do a polite double take after they pass you. 😉 Or maybe just one for the hubby.. that says, “Can’t touch this!” lol Your hubby must be very proud of the new sexy Sam.
    I have always been big on eye contact, and it can be a bit tricky.. especially when you aren’t a seasoned Granny.. Do watch out for those tricky ones.. Sometimes eye contact can open up paths that you may not want anyone to follow. Be aware, and enjoy your beautiful eyes! xoxo

    1. Oh, I just knew you’d like this one! So glad I made you spew and spittle…that’s great!!! hehehehe
      Love the t-shirt idea. yesterday, at the lake trail, a guy had his phone number written across his small white shorts….large numbers in black write across his bum…Thinking it was for other guys to read though. not me. It took me awhile to figure out what the numbers meant…a good five minutes…lol.
      At first I thought he had entered a race….lmho!
      Hubby is proud and a bit scared. But he’s adjusting well. I guess I got the prude to sexy thing down now and officially graduated.
      Miss you bunches. I will adjust my notes on eye contact. Maybe a little less practice and more focus on my shoes.

  7. And this would be why I have no idea how to talk to men. I’m always so afraid that merely speaking with a man will be interpreted in such a way.

    1. Yep….me, too…..thanks for commenting 🙂 I have no idea what to say, and always think I said the wrong thing or was too nice or not nice enough or giggled too much or looked down too much. lol….. Men! I’m sure saying Thank you to this stranger with a huge smile was the WRONG thing. LOL. 🙂
      🙂 Sam

  8. :)) I always thought it would be great to have some kind of little badge or wristband us single gals (and guys) could wear. It would have a logo, color and text on it that would indicate that the wearer is Single. And then it would have a one of these statements: Single but not looking, Single but open to making a new friend, Single and open for a date, Single and like one night stands, Single but would like a monogamous relationship, Single and want to get married, Single and happy alone. Just think of all the time and angst it would save!! Don’t get me started on the Married bracelets for those folks that don’t waer their wedding rings and act single. lol
    I know, I’m a nutter! 😉 Love you!

    1. hehe
      Great idea…or a changing tattoo….lol…
      I think there are smiles that indicate that and body motions and nodding and such….certain…but haven’t a clue. Dogs have it figured out….they just sniff and lick and smile at each other and run in the grass and play with strangers. We could learn from them. I love that you are a nutter…and singles need those bracelets….It’s a super good idea….except married men would lie…and everyone would know someone was a slut….lol…okay I better stop. night night. 🙂

  9. Well this gave me a serious LOL… but the cheek of the man… if he could not have struck up a conversation with you, but rather slips a piece of paper in your hand… tell him to fly the insecure When I walk around I always greet everyone, or smile… what the hell is mankind now getting to the stage we can’t greet each other without reading something into it..? Maybe that’s why all those people in New York looked at me so funnily when I greeted them on the street…
    I’m sure he must have seen your wedding ring the cheeky so and so.. if I was your husband, I would have you text him to come round and then I would have discussed the situation with him and maybe even educated him a bit, in the good old manner…
    You keep smiling… you never know you might just be making someone else feel better… still laughing though

    1. LOL! You are such a bulldog! hehehe. Cheeky is the perfect word…I’m thinking he was really nervous and that took a lot of guts for him…and perhaps he lacks some social skills…lol
      I can totally picture you in New York being kind to everyone.
      Your statement really stuck with me: what the hell is mankind now getting to the stage we can’t greet each other without reading something into it..?
      Makes me a bit sad that even smiles are subject to so much judgment and evaluation now. Used to be a smile was a smile. God was God. And love was love. We, as a race, have added so much complexity and compartmentalizing to everything. I can’t even write “hug” without wondering if a man will take it the wrong way. Sigh….Well, we will be those shiny, happy, people having fun.
      Hugs and Love,
      Sam 🙂

  10. Oh man, that’s funny what the note said. I think all of us will be a bit more naive, because to us, it seems like people are being genuine and need help, when it is something totally different. I am so happy that you have made progress on eye contact, it can be a lot of work to get to a comfortable spot, as i probably need to be more involved in acting classes again. A huge thing i notice is when i go into the mall, all i want to do is walk to where i am shopping and then leave, though i know i should probably work on that if i want to feel more confident, at least to be honest about my social skills. Lastly, on a random note, that salad looked really good at the very beginning. Cheers for healthy food. 🙂 Love you soul sister.

    1. I don’t think I”ve made progress….I think I was practicing all wrong!!! lmho!
      The salad was delicious!
      It’s still hard for me to go to the mall….they are scary…and filled with loud people. hehehe
      Hugs and love soul sissy,
      Sam 🙂

  11. Ok, now, let me study this…yes…um…okay, I think I have it. Now, if I stare at women the same way, perhaps, they will run up to me and give me their number! Doubtful, but hope springs eternal!
    Scott – BB

    1. I’ll give you lessons…it’s an —innocent, shy, I’m so scared of you I could faint, but I want to be nice, so I’m trying, but I’d rather be staring at my feet, and don’t think I want you in that way, but I’d like you to smile back, I’m really nice, and rather interesting—- glance…..Can you do that…Practice!
      hehehe 🙂

  12. hehehe…yep this one still has me giggling, you are so funny and so cute. I need to write a post from our chat about this post. I haven’t really talked much about my difficulties with eye contact, not on my blog anyways… 😉 You do make me giggle, I love who you are. Speak soon lovely Basna, are you awake yet?…LOL Wake up I’m bored. Love you loads. Me. xxx 🙂 ❤

  13. Haha! I totally feel your pain on this one – I too have had to practise the whole eye contact thing and I also struggle to maintain eye contact with men, although I’m generally OK with the retired ones. I’ve managed to give the wrong impression more times than I’d care to remember (though I’ve never been given a phone number!). I think perhaps the ‘suspicious’ looks from the men 10 years your senior are similar to what I experience: the younger ones are more scared because I don’t come across as a ‘typical’ woman, whereas the older ones don’t seem to have ‘the fear’ so much and are willing to make conversation etc. Does that make sense?

    1. Yep….makes sense. 🙂 I think I figured out from the help of someone in our facebook support group that indeed I have perfected the flirtatious look….who knew 1) shyly look up as they approach 2) smile sweetly 3) shyly turn away HELLO! That’s how I smile….lol….oh well…sigh…..

  14. I chuckled when I read “Lately, I’ve been wearing sunglasses” – if I could go through life never taking my wayfarers off, I would be much happier. Sunglasses are the key to facing life!

  15. You really made me laugh out loud!! I find it really hard to make eye contact with people in sunglasses. In fact, impossible! I just find eyes interesting. I love making eye contact. Maybe you could practice by gazing into your sweet little doggie’s eyes? 🙂

    1. hehehe
      So glad to hear! Yay. We all need a good laugh. I’m still laughing at it…life is so odd at times. I love eyes, just when they are in a magazine or on a face that doesn’t know I’m looking. lol. Yes…I shall gaze out my doggie. You’re sweet. Thanks so much. 🙂 Sam

  16. Hello. I’d just like to say that I really enjoy your blog, and keep up the good work.

    I am a young man with higher functioning Autism (my diagnosis is not Asperger’s due to a past speech delay). As a consequence of my refusal to follow and “fake” societal rules of macho masculinity, I have lived a lifetime of having mostly female friends, and some of my closest friends have been females with AS. In high school, this was ensured after I was picked on for not taking advantage of an AS female by two very perverted guys. After an outburst in which I announced in front of them and the entire classroom I was in that not ALL guys believed that girls were objects, I was ostracized from virtually the entire male student body in my high school.

    At the same time, having a mostly female social life as an AS male has also socially polarized me. My friends and I tend to overshare and are very open with each other, and our openness can scare many people, including others with AS.

    1. Very interesting. Nice to meet you, James. Sounds like you have some wonderful friends….and so sorry you had to deal with all that nonsense in high school! It’s so nice to know you treat women as people and with respect. I’m certain they appreciate your friendship and all you have to offer. Great to hear your viewpoints. I understand about the over sharing part…pretty sure I scared my acupuncturist today. sigh….oh well…
      🙂 Sam

  17. Okay, this was a great chuckle at the end of my day, Sam! You are just too funny and gorgeous! That is a beautiful photo of you and yes, I can only imagine what your hubby thought; although, perhaps, he was very proud to say “she’s mine!” I tend to be “too friendly.” I’m always smiling, waving or saying “hi” and then I feel dorky, with some of the reactions. I often wonder what other guys think, because I’m happily married, just friendly! What’s wrong with being friendly or spreading smiles? Arghhh, there are so many ways things can be misconstrued! Well, thanks for the smile and chuckles! Hugs to you! Lauren 🙂

    1. Awe, thanks for your sweet words. You sound much like me. Thanks so much for sharing some of your experience. I understand that feeling of “dorky” well. hehe. My husband is pleased….probably ought to be a little more protective…lol 😉 So glad you got a laugh. 🙂 Hugs and love! Sam

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