Let me start off by saying I truly believe he meant no harm. He was offering compliments and trying to be nice and probably had no idea that his comments were making me uncomfortable. Here's what happened.
I went home today to meet a service tech for a home-issue we're experiencing. He was right on time (props), professional and polite. He stood by the front door and pulled on plastic booties over his shoes.
"Don't even worry about it," I said. "I'm a runner so who knows what sort of dirt I drag into the house on my shoes."
His reply: "A runner? That makes sense. You've got a really nice physique."
I felt a little awkward but I thanked him. He looked at a few things around the house and then said he'd need to see our attic, crawlspace and garage. "Any preference which first?" I asked.
"No, any is fine."
"I'll show you to the attic." I walked across the room quickly and he followed me up the stairs.
"I like a woman who leads me around," he said on the stairs. "Men act like we don't, but we really do."
Uh, no. We have now officially crossed the line to creepy.
Again, I truly believe he meant no harm and that was the extent of any questionable comments. But men, please. You don't go into someone's home, where it's just you and a woman you just met, and talk about how you like to be led around. I felt 95% safe but that nagging 5% was there and made me uncomfortable.
When my good friend Edmund Schubert was writing his first novel, Dreaming Creek, he sat down with me and several other women and quizzed us about differences in how men and women see the world. In his novel, the main characters do a sort of freaky Friday and change bodies - the huband in the wife's body and she in his. Ed wanted some insight into how women think.
One thing I told him is that we are always on guard. Not in a high alert state, but it's just a given that as we leave the grocery store or have someone over to the house, we're aware of where we are, who we're with and our surroundings. Aware of it in a much stronger way then men are.
What do you think? If you're a woman, would you have been uncomfortable with what I described here? Men, what are your thoughts?