> “PRETTY” <
Thursday is my favorite day of the week. Wednesday is a close second this semester because I don’t have any classes. Usually I just sleep in, buy an overpriced latte from a nearby cafe, perhaps see a new movie, and tackle some reading.
Today, I planned to do exactly that. My Introduction to Irish History final, which I took the night before, didn’t go as well as I hoped it would (HOW CAN THE TEST NOT COVER THE POTATO FAMINE WHEN THAT WAS WHAT WE TALKED ABOUT 60% OF THE TIME?!), so I was in dire need of a stress-free day.
I left the house at high noon to search for a black dress to wear at Friday night’s choral concert along with a new pair of black tights. The sky was still gray from the morning’s rain, so I wore my trusty Hunter boots and rain coat in case such weather would return. I didn’t brush my hair, wear any make up, or notice the coffee stain on my khakis. But still, a man stopped me on the street.
“Excuse me,” he said with a smile. “This may be random, but you are so pretty.”
I thought he was looking at me so intently to ask for directions at first. Pleasantly surprised, I chuckled and thanked him. We stood there talking on the busy sidewalk for a good 10 minutes. He said he knew that I was American instantly because of how I was dressed. “Americans are always so prepared for the weather. The Irish aren’t.”
Our conversation concluded when he told me to enjoy the rest of my stay in Ireland and have a great day off. I wished him the same good fortune and continued on my way down the street as he walked the opposite direction. That was it. He didn’t ask for my phone number, my last name, where I was staying, if I was single – nothing of the sort! And that’s how it should be. We hear stories of women being catcalled by men all the time, but we rarely hear about interactions like the one I had today.
Ladies, there are men who act like pigs out there. But not every guy who compliments you is doing it for more than just giving you a compliment! It’s so unfortunate that men have to compete against the stigma of inciting conversation with women for the sole purpose of taking them home afterwards. I’ve been in situations where that was the man’s intention though, and I understand that it can leave you with a sinking feeling in your stomach for days. Fairly recently a guy (in a denim jacket with a fur collar, if I might add…) said “I won’t tell if you won’t” to me at a bar in Belfast after I told him that I had a boyfriend back in America.
Perhaps I’m too tolerant, or I’m biased because the majority of my best friends are males. But still, I believe that there are more men out there with kind intentions than possessive ones. I’m not writing this entry to persuade women to be any less cautious when going out for the night, but rather less stereotypical. Men, just like females, are people. They each deserve to be given the benefit of the doubt.
So ladies, be kind to your fellow males. They’re not all so bad, I promise! Today I looked pale, acne-speckled, and about as touristy as tourists come, but I was still singled out by a man so he could call me “pretty.” I could have scoffed and continued on my way, but I didn’t. I instead had a delightful, albeit ephemeral, conversation with this stranger. I’m so happy I did.
(I also had one of the best iced hazelnut lattes in my entire life at Cafe Depeche, but that’s beside the point.)
What are your thoughts on this matter? Tell me in the comments below!
Until next time,