Anyway, today was interesting. Yesterday was just plain weird, but it ended in hookah and French fries and good Kir Royal, so yay. But today, I decided it was warm enough to wear shorts IF I wore a cardigan and a jacket. And, for the most part, it was. Coming from Connecticut (this applies to anywhere in New England, really), I have a different definition of what constitutes shorts weather than… Most sane people raised in temperate regions, such as northern France. So even though I was rocking my new, longer, culturally sensitive shorts, I was literally (appropriate use, I promise) the ONLY person I saw wearing anything short sans tights all day. This led to… unwanted attention. It wasn’t quite as bad as what happened to a friend of mine today, but I had at least one group of guys praising me in verlan (so my friend who heard them didn’t quite get what was being said) and another guy practically falling over checking me out and then commencing a song about… my ass. Stay classy, Paris.
In all seriousness, though, it’s really, really frustrating. I know stuff like this does happen in the US, but I personally haven’t experienced it, so this is kind of new to me. It doesn’t scare me, because usually I’m somewhere where there are lots of people or I’m with friends, I have a boyfriend and will gladly inform anyone who gives me unwanted attention that goes beyond verbal nonsense of this fact, and I can be incredibly loud and make a huge scene (especially in a city where people, in general, stay on the quieter side) if need be. But it does annoy me. A lot. Yes, I know I’m fairly attractive and the clothes I wear usually highlight the best parts of my body because I’m uncomfortable with other parts. This doesn’t mean that I’m inciting harassment; I’m just looking the way I look naturally and wearing clothes I’m comfortable wearing. It just so happens that what I’m comfortable wearing is what (fits best with how I personally experience the weather, even though I’m notoriously bad at dressing for the weather) makes me look the best. What a surprise. I understand being flirty and approaching people in bars or clubs. I’d be ok with that, because those are places where that type of behavior is kind of expected, and usually not totally unwanted (although if you say no, you should not be harassed into saying yes). But when I’m walking down the street, even if there are clubs nearby and it’s evening, I’d like to be left verbally (and physically, but thankfully it hasn’t [yet] come to that) alone. The street is the street. It needs to be used. I’m sorry you think my protective “bitch, please” face is sexy. I’m sorry I define “warm” differently than you. I’m sorry I like wearing clothes that make me feel, and look, good. But really, French men, you ought to be able to deal with those things internally. Maybe I’d have a higher opinion of you if you did, and wouldn’t that be nice?