So, I’ve never really had the issue that most women face of being catcalled at.  I’m not even sure that that is the appropriate way to phrase that.  But we are living in strange and desperate times and today proved that as I experienced my first pandemic pick up (please tell me this won’t be a Netflix series anytime soon).  I was on my post-birthday hangover run (thank you, Nelia Miller, for the virtual wine tasting date) and as I was running, a man in a car waved at me.  I waved back and was feeling really optimistic that maybe people in this situation are actually making people (and in particular Angelinos) more kind and friendly.  

The other days I’ve been out running, people look the other way and make a mad dash to the other side of the street, which I totally get, it is, in fact, the law right now…but couldn’t we at least smile and wave at each other?  Show some solidarity for the fact that what we are all experiencing is quite surreal, but at least we’re all in this weird game of “no touching!” together?  So, I was feeling optimistic. 

But then…as I was running back down the street, a car, the same car I realized soon after, slowed down and pulled up next to me.  I kept running (to be fair, this was more like a trudge, seeing that I didn’t sleep well after sampling 3 Trader Joe’s wines the night before).  The man rolled down the window, driving now slowly next to me and said, “you know, ever since this whole thing started, I have seen so many beautiful women outside running.  And you, you are beautiful.”

I did not look beautiful.  I was tired and hungover and had a 2-year-old sleeping on top of me all night. I smiled and was polite.  “Thank you.  Yeah, it’s great to exercise!”  I wasn’t really offended and I wasn’t really all that flattered.  He kept trying to chat me up, joking about us keeping our “6 feet of distance.”  I think his car was actually only 4 feet away, but still.  Finally, he drove past me, but then stopped a little up the street and yelled out his window. I didn’t hear him, so he reversed his car and when he caught up to me, he said, “Are you married?”  Oh my god, are you serious?  “Yes, yes I am,” I replied. “Oh that’s too bad,” he said.  No, no it’s not.  As he drove away, I quietly coughed on his car.  This is 40.


Thank you Melissa, for your story! “Inside Our Time” digital series: