Thursday, 4 December 2014

Stranger danger

I've been sitting at the kitchen table for much of the day, re-scoring and reformatting the songs from Brass. I'm not going fast enough and am panicking somewhat. Tomorrow may well be a really early start, just so that I can get some serious bars of music behind me.

I've been simultaneously dipping into my pile of receipts, and trying to work out what I actually earned in 2013-14. A large amount of money was spent on osteopathy, which, fortunately, counts as a legitimate expense. And so it ought to; my back got knackered by years of sitting at pianos and laptops.

Probably the most interesting part of the day was a visit to the gym. I still find it a little bit odd when a father brings his little girl into the changing rooms. The gym has started running swimming classes, which means there are often children floating about in the early afternoon. It's always been a fairly aggressively testosterone-fuelled environment with guys wandering about naked, flexing their muscles and preparing their energy drinks. I don't really think this is the place for a child - particularly a girl...

Part of the problem is that children tend to stare at anything they find intriguing, and this can be immensely disconcerting. I am an hairy man! Over the years I have reconciled myself to this fact. Sometimes I even use a hair dryer to dry my hairy chest! Not all daddies are hairy, however, and one little girl made me feel like a proper freak by staring at me like I was some kind of animal in a zoo, which made me rush to put my clothes on, which meant I left the gym all damp, which meant I ended up chafing!

What's the way forward here? Do I embrace my masculinity and continue to stand entirely naked, tending to my body hair with a hairdryer? Do I tell the father that his daughter's staring makes me uncomfortable? Do I hope he'll notice himself and deal with the issue? Or do I do the ├╝ber English thing and sign up with another gym?!!

In the olden days I would have simply stared back until she felt embarrassed and stopped, but I decided some years ago only ever to look at children whose parents I know, or have at least been introduced to. The way society over-reacts to all issues pertaining to the protection of children has forced me to consider this to be the best option. So if a child waves at me on the tube or tries to catch my eye, I will point blank ignore it, unless I'm on a passing boat or something, where etiquette dictates I have to wave like a loon.

It's sad, really, because I'm sure I'm missing out on all sorts of charming encounters, but I think the line in the sand has to be drawn somewhere, and if stranger danger is as large a threat to society as some would believe, I'm quite happy for children to learn that strange men ought to be aloof and disinterested, so they know to run like crazy if someone offers them a sweetie!

No comments:

Post a Comment