One time, while sitting at a Starbucks working and minding my own business, an elderly man with leathery skin and salt-n-pepper hair sat down next to me. He hadn’t taken two bites of his muffin before he leaned over towards me, took a couple quick sniffs followed by one long inhale, then half-yelled, “Mmmmm, you smell so good. You smell like a little piece of Heaven.”
While I maybe should have been a little creeped out or embarrassed or even slightly uneasy with a strange old guy smelling around on my body, I wasn’t any of those things. I was flattered. Probably more flattered than I should’ve been, considering this man could’ve been one of my friends’ fathers. He hadn’t even remarked on anything physical concerning my looks, but I was still strangely pleased at the unexpected attention. I thanked him and by the end of the day when I was retelling the story to my friends, my version had somehow morphed into “You guys, a seasoned, mature gentleman with George Clooney hair told me I must be an angel sent from Heaven. He was older and well-established, probably a doctor or something, I dunno.” (SHUT UP IT’S EASY TO GET DETAILS MIXED UP.)
(While I’m on the subject, another Starbucks encounter I had last summer was with a man who worked at the Indian food restaurant down the street. He sat down next to me and immediately began staring at my open-toe sandals. “Those sure are some beautiful feet you got there, mmm-hmm,” he said, not looking me in the eye, never taking his eyes off of my toes. He then told me (or my feet) that I could come in and have free Indian food whenever I wanted. I wasn’t able to take this compliment as well as before, because I had never thought of myself as having beautiful feet. Also, because it was sort of terrifying. But that is neither here nor there.)
So here’s a little secret, fellas: Women want attention. Actually, we NEED attention. And if a girl says otherwise, she is lying. It’s an innate necessity; we are simply wired this way. We don’t care whom we get it from—our friends, our boyfriends, our moms, our mom’s boyfriends—we just want to be noticed. That’s it. Is that so much to ask?
Which is why, although an old crusty man undressing you with his eyes on national television should probably be considered creepy, I can’t say I wouldn’t want it to happen to me.
I myself am a former child star (Academy Sports & Outdoors was never the same after I posed in a tent with a fishing rod over my shoulder for their back-to-school ad back in ’96) and pageant queen (MISS TEEN WOODLANDS 2003 IN THE HOUSE), so I know the sort of exposure Katherine is looking for. It’s like she won the Heisman award for hotness. (I’m trying to put this into terms you people will understand.)
If my name was erupting on every Facebook status, Twitter feed, blog, newspaper and TV news show in the country over my unimaginably MIND-BLOWING HOTNESS, I think it’d be pretty safe to say I wouldn’t be bothered by it. I might feel as if I’d pretty much conquered the female race. It’d be like, “Welp, time to pack it up and call it a day, I am officially the hottest woman that the Internet has ever laid eyes on. In fact, my hotness might just break the Internet soon! Which would be a real shame because then people couldn’t Google photos of me anymore. Gosh, I really hope I don’t break the Internet. Dear God, I know I already maxed out my favors from you with my long legs, chiseled cheek bones, and tousled hair that takes two hours to curl but looks like effortless bed head, but if you’re listening, please do me one last favor and don’t let my hotness break the Internet. These people need me, amen.” After I’d said my prayers, I’d just sit back and revel in my own glory. Bask in my own hotness. Soak it in and ride it out as long as humanly possible. The word “offended” wouldn’t even register in my mind. In fact, it would kind of offend me that people would say that I should be offended. Now that I think about it, that would probably be the ultimate insult: people speaking for me and demanding that I be offended. Why wouldn’t I be allowed to make my own decision about how I feel about this? Wouldn’t it be ironic that the women (in Cosby sweaters) who were knocking Musburger would be the same women (in Cosby sweaters) totally usurping my power as a woman by telling me how I am supposed to feel?? Mind boggling, huh? This feminism crap would bore and tire me. Then again, I am not exactly a feminism aficionado. I am the girl who, upon several overly dramatic pushes of several buttons, will knowingly hand the TV remote over to the closest man, explaining rationally, “You know I can’t work this thing, I’m a woman.”
Yes, if my face (and ridiculously tanned and toned body) was plastered across television screens throughout the United States, complete with commentary explaining to little boys that the best thing that will come from their future success as football players will be getting to sleep with me, I’d sift through all of my 239,000 Twitter followers until I found Mr. Musberger and give him a heartfelt thank you (then I’d send him a Twitpic of my beautiful feet, just as a special little treat for him).