Monday, 15 September 2014

Never Trust A Rear View.....

So I'm out running in the skimpy running shorts a few weeks ago wondering how long I can continue to get away with it, now that I am in my forties for heaven's sake, and M is running behind me, trying to mend a stretched tendon by breaking it in gently (he is cross because this injury has been dogging him most of the year and it has already cost him two marathons, with the likelihood of a third now in distinct jeopardy as well), when a car full of boys goes past.

Now, I run in the skimpy shorts not because I think I look good in them but because when it is hot they are the most comfortable thing to run in. They are not a) a fashion statement or b) designed to embarrass my children (although I'm sure they do). Part of the reason I feel I can get away with it is because I stick to our lane which is quiet and inhabited by people I know. You don't get many non-home-owner vehicles using it. You also don't generally get cars packed full of teenage boys racing up it, bursting with and indeed expelling the kind of rampaging flood of hormones that women of a certain age who happen to be running in tight shorts would rather not be exposed to.

Predictably, they slowed down. Predictably, they wound down windows. Predictably, they hooted and jeered and whistled. Predictably, one of them leant out the window to say something which would no doubt have been of a more personal nature, had he not, by that time, seen my face.

The broad, confident grin drained to leave in its wake an appalled and embarrassed expression served up on a pallor that can be best described as used dish water. I felt sorry for him. I should imagine it's quite a nasty shock to realise the person you've been so vocally ogling from behind is not, in fact, the nubile young thing of your imagination, but is in fact closer to being your mother.

The car fell silent, the windows went meekly back up and the entire vehicle seemed to sag as it lurched off around the corner.

M caught up. Were they whistling at you? 
Yup I said. Poor deluded boys.
He grinned and said something about good taste, which I took to be either a kindness on his part or proof that the glasses I have long suspected he needs are now overdue.

The thing is, I haven't worn the skimpy running shorts since. I'm not sure whether this is to save me or them from embarrassment. 

I'm not bothered about getting older. I have a nice life, I'm married to a man I adore and I am happy, but there is something rather depressing about realising that the rest of the world requires you to dress/ think/ behave in a way it deems suitable to your years, instead of for your own comfort.

My ego was mopped up a week or two later when L and I were out helping M at a local running event. When it ended, L and I headed back to the car together, and as we got in a small flock of men suddenly appeared, evidently concerned that we'd be able to get out of the field without getting stuck. They were full of useful suggestions (the subtext of which was clearly: blonde woman in car = incapable of driving backwards), and I, being polite, thanked them and assured them we'd be fine. As we were reversing (proficiently), one of them (rather nice-looking if I do say so myself) called out: is that your number of the side of the car? The one for Sports Injuries?
It is (I said, smiling sweetly).  
Oh good (he said) I'll know who to call then, and he gave me a lovely smile.

I was grinning quietly to myself when L said in a voice of utter disbelief: was he flirting with you? 

Clearly, the answer is to wear the skimpy running shorts at running events.

CT :-) 

 

40 comments:

  1. lol, I won't be wearing shorts anywhere anytime soon as I would scare my neighbours to death! Good story which made me smile xx

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    1. They've contributed to my fitness no end- I'm so petrified of anyone seeing me in them that I run like the clappers! x

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  2. Brought a smile here too me dear, though I am sure your front fenders are as good looking as your rear end ;-) x

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    1. You are nothing less than a perfect gent, John x

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  3. Ha ha you do make me giggle. Good on you for wearing your skimpy shorts!

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    1. They may have reached the end of their outings. Although if we get another heat wave next summer who knows....? :0)

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    1. I hope that's less painful now than it was a week ago? I shall have to put warnings on my post headers: 'Chickpea, beware: possible danger of laughing ahead....'

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  5. I smiled just seeing the title and knew the rest of the post would make me laugh! Sarah x

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    1. Phew! That could have been a disaster, if I was writing about buying a car after a limited viewing, or some such... :0) xx

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  6. I think you should get right back in those skimpy shorts it sounds as though you can totally get away with them or I suppose run away with them! I know what you mean about getting older though, I have become a lot more 'sensible' in my dress since I hit my forties-I don't know why. I kinda what to be one of those totally outrageous old ladies with pink hair and amazing outfits. S.x

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    1. Yes, mam! And I completely agree about the pink hair and outrageous outfits. I am definitely up for that :o) x

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  7. Quite frankly I'd be bloody thrilled if I was able to even contemplate wearing skimpy running shorts!
    Leanne xx

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    1. You would have laughed had you seen my expression when I first opened the packet containing them. I thought: bloody hell! I'll never get one leg in those let alone both. They must stretch... xx

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  8. Ahh! The many Ages of Woman. I remember the "wait until they see my face" one! One of my most embarrassing was when, in my early 40s, my slightly younger husband still looked about 18 and was twice referred to as my son! I also went through a phase in my mid-fifties of being chatted up by gay men thinking I might be a an interesting "fag hag".

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    1. Hey Nilly :o) Your comment made me laugh and I read it out to M so he could laugh too. I have a friend who has always looked at least ten years younger than she actually is. This is useful now she's 50 but she hated it when she was twenty - her then husband was given very funny looks indeed whenever they were out together.....

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  9. Great post..you go girl :)
    Amanda xx

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    1. I am feeling empowered now to try them again..... :o) xx

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  10. A lovely, funny and honest post. As we get older we all have our uncomfortable moments. i can identify with nilly's comment. my hubby is 11 years younger than me and just doesn't seem to ever look any older then when I met him 20 years ago. I put his youthful looks down to the good life he has with me. Ha Ha.
    Jean
    x

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    1. Clearly, he is a lucky man who leads a trouble-free, well cared for blissful existence, Jean. Behind every youthful-looking man, and all that.... :o) xx

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  11. What, no photos with this post?!!!

    Take heart, you must at least have great legs and a great bum!

    Thanks for the giggle. :-)

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    1. I think a photo would have had you all rolling in the aisles :o)

      I shall hold on to the thought that my back view at least is holding it's own xx

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  12. A great post to start my working day CT.

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  13. Great post CT - did make me laugh :)

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  14. Honey, I would not hide those shorts away - Boys will be boys - same as men - get back to comfortable. Hope M's injury heals soon. I know what that feels like as did same thing long time ago. OK Mom, put the shorts back on :)

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  15. So funny CT. I was in shock when I turned 50 but had a lovely compliment from an older man while waiting in doctor's waiting room. He was talking about the '80s and said "you won't remember much about them will you? You're far too young". He genuinely thought I was only in my 30s...maybe he needs to go to Specsavers but I took the compliment and was very happy that day.

    I'm sure you look fab in your short shorts.

    Carol

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    1. How lovely. I would cherish that memory if it were me! x

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  16. A great description that has so much truth in it! The main thing is you are still running and happy, and after that I say wear what you want to - not what you think you ought to! - L

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    1. Thanks Lily. I will get back in the shorts and zoom up and down the lane for the sisterhood :o) xx

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  17. Haha love it... brilliant post, made me smile.. I love your description of the boys in the car... Rock those shorts :o)

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    1. I will. I feel I should now run in them all winter long :o) (PS- I have found myself copying your smiley :o) face all day today. I couldn't think where I'd got it from until I saw your comment!!) xx

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    2. :o) well I can safely say I won't be copying your shorts..hehe :o) x

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x