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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Sneakin' Peeks

So my wife and I are walking our dog through the neighborhood the other evening, taking notice here and there of passing cars and people crossing us on the sidewalk.

One car approaches us from behind and slows to a crawl. I tense up for a moment, 'cause one, I don't like people creepin' up on me, and two, we're in the middle of a block. There's no traffic signal coming up. So there's no reason for this car to slow down like this unless the occupant(s) plan to ask us for directions.

My speculation was off though. When they car is almost parallel to us I look over to see what he wants - it was just a driver inside - and it becomes clear. He is ogling my wife. He stares and stares and stares. Even after he and I make eye contact, he turns back to my wife and stares a little more before he finally has to look ahead again to keep from driving off the road. Then he accelerates back to a normal speed and takes off.

Now, as a guy I can't fault him. My wife's pretty. And I ain't just saying that 'cause it's my job. It's true. But there's something else. I know that all guys look. And any who deny it are lying like rugs.

I said we all look. We may not all stare. Staring is bad Burnettiquette. But we do at least get in that first look. Maybe it's the woman who walks by a man's table at a sidewalk cafe. Maybe it's the woman who happens to be in front of a man as he strolls through the mall. Maybe it's the countless women that parade down the beach as a man, just feet away, tries to "read."

Let's up the ante. Even if a guy is out and about in the company of a pretty woman, if he sees another he will look. He may only look once, but he'll look.

And that's fine. Do a double take. It's natural. Make a "confirmation" glance. It's natural. Ogle and stare though? And you've crossed the line from admiration to disrespect.

Get your look in, fine. But here's the rule: if you're admiring a woman who is with another guy, once that other guy is on to you, politely turn away. You've been busted. Keep staring and all you're doing is demonstrating you lack respect. And if her man is crazy enough, you risk him trying to "keep it real" on you.


  • Awesome! My boyfriend just commented on this very behavior the other day when we were grocery shopping, for crying out loud. Funny stuff.

    By Anonymous Adlib, at 12:52 PM  

  • Definitely a 10 on the scale of rude, 10 being the rudest!

    Sounds like you're a nice guy married to a hottie though! :-)

    Some guys definitely don't know the art of discreet looking. What's worse, they ogle in front of their own ladies, which I find doubles the rudeness.

    By Blogger Manola Blablablanik, at 5:54 PM  

  • I like how guys get pissed when you get annoyed at the staring, like "What, you're not flattered by the way I'm undressing you and licking you up and down with my eyes???"

    Also, whenever a car slows down near me, I totally freak out. I'm convinced they're going to attack me.

    I'm a little paranoid.

    By Anonymous MM, at 9:01 PM  

  • I had no idea there was this territorial thing going on with eyeballs until my husband told me he 'caught' someone looking at me and that when the guy saw that HE saw, the dude immediately turned away.

    Men defending their womens' honor with eye movements. Kind of weird.

    By Blogger laura, at 12:30 PM  

  • Thats why I carry a Glock.


    By Blogger Val Prieto, at 2:01 PM  

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