Thingish Things

On Becoming Harmless

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - Apr• 04•11

There comes a time in a man’s life when he’s no longer sexually threatening to women.

I think I have reached that point.  I have become officially harmless to the fairer sex.

As bad as that sounds, there are benefits to it. Women are as nice to me today as they were when I was little. I notice it mostly with girls in their 20’s and 30’s – women conditioned to avoid eye contact with strangers. They now smile at me unreservedly.  It happens all the time — I swear — on bank lines, at restaurants, on sidewalks. They instinctively know I’m out of the game, and, as a result, treat me delightfully. Some have taken to holding doors for “sir.”

I can only ascribe this phenomenon to age.  There is no other explanation.  And I should have expected it to happen; there have been clues along the way.

On a train a couple of months ago, I made a remark to a pretty young woman seated across from me.  She was clutching a copy of a Jack Kerouack novel, which gave me an easy opening. I can’t remember what I said, but it was borderline clever.  “I know,” she said with a big smile — and with no irony whatsoever in her voice — “my Dad tells me that all the time.” (My wife is still laughing about that one.)

A year or two ago, a girl in my office – she was around 23 at the time – saw a photo taken of me when I was her age. I was hoping for: “How handsome you were back then!” What I got was: “OMG, how retro!'” That and a grand -daughterly kiss on the cheek.

I suppose every man hits this point; I just didn’t know it would start so soon.

I’m noticing a new thing, though.  The young grandmothers…they’re digging me.  I’m telling you. I can feel it.


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  1. Your Friend says:

    Rage, rage against the dying of the light!!

  2. Me says:

    You still go it, Kid, you still got it!

  3. Dylan is making a lot more sense!

  4. Karol says:

    I think there might some slight exaggeration here. You’ve definitely still got it! Don’t go buying a Corvette and building yourself a gym yet.

  5. A Corvette… Hmmm…

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