It all started eight weeks ago when I signed up for the Body by Glamour Challenge. It was then spurred on by my pal Erin who was determined to learn how to run two miles (all at once)…Motivated by the warmer days and the temptations of the mare, and even more so by the November 16 deadline…I began

My Summer ’07 Meltdown

Only – it hasn’t. Melted down, I mean. After two months – eight weeks – 56 days – 1,344 hours of being committed to a workout program I have lost EXACTLY zero kilos – or – pounds for that matter! Now granted, it is possible things are firmer or tighter, but I’m talking REAL RESULTS. Results you can SEE – on a SCALE. Those are important to me.

But, I never was a quitter and I don’t intend to give up now. So – I persist!

But, my friends, I am not alone.

In the persistance thing, I mean.

It seems my commitment to persistance fits in around here.

In those not-quite-daily-but-at-least-four-or-five-times-a-week-walks I’ve seen more PERSISTANCE than I care to discuss. But, I will anyway. Cause, it is a little funny.

Other expats and visitors to Italy have commented on the insistent stares they get from men. Some girls like it, some don’t, but it doesn’t really matter. If you are a woman who has spent any real time in Italy, you know what I am talking about. This is amplified when you are out for a passagiatta or a little jog – alone.

I feel, however, while basking in my 30something American woman wisdom that I should offer these guys a bit of, shall we say, assistance with their pursuits. I have created the following guidelines for any man trying to attract a woman while she is outside alone.

We will begin by discussing “The Horn.”

1. If you are trying to entice a woman to look in your direction, and you feel you absolutely MUST rely on the car horn to do this, DO NOT, and I repeat, DO NOT LAY on the horn. A long HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONK, making the woman jump back out of fear is NOT the most productive approach.

2. This goes double if you have a DEEP HORN, making more of a HOOOOOOOONK‘ing noise. It is scary. She isn’t attracted to it. You won’t get to talk to her.

3. Some cars these days have a deep, almost growl-like horn. GROOOOOOOOOO. This won’t work well for you, either.

Do not under any circumstances honk if you…

1. are driving a cement trunk. The horn is loud and obnoxious and we will think you are, too.

2. are driving a three-wheeled tractor. It sounds broken and meek, and again, it reflects poorly on you.

3. are driving a scooter, with another boy sitting behind you, eating ice cream…(do I NEED to explain this?)

4. If you are with another woman (could be your sister, your girlfriend, or your wife). If she looks at us accusingly it will NOT be good for you…any way about it!

5. If you are older than my paw-paw. You should be paying attention to the road – not the people walking near it.

6. If you are still in high school. (Well, now…what 30something year old woman wouldn’t mind if a kid half her age tried to flirt?!?) You get a pass.

7. If you look like Noah from The Notebook. You get a pass, too.

A couple of the more creative, yet still amusing attempts I have seen…

A car full of “boys” drives near you, slows down, and one of them says, “Excuse me, can you tell me where the basketball court is?” “Uh, yea…right behind you!”

Two men drive by slowly and one of them says, “Ciao, I’m ___. We just wanted to meet you.” Then they drive off.

Well, at the end of the day (or the end of the Body by Glamour 12-week program) some of these attempts HAVE worked. No – I have never actually SPOKEN to anyone who has scared me to death with his horn, or any of the ones who execute the “drive by,” but it doesn’t hurt an ego, ya know? When you are outside, running, walking, jogging, running, walking, jogging…sweating, dying…sweating, dying…a simple glance and a smile can go a long way.

A long way towards refueling that motivation to move forward with the summer meltdown. After all, these last four weeks of the program could be the clincher.

Or, maybe it has worked already.

Maybe, just maybe…my scale is broken!

11 Responses
  1. nyc/caribbean ragazza

    LOL. I was shocked by the attention during my first trip to Italy. In Los Angeles there is no flirting.

    Throw out your scale. Muscle weighs more than fat. It’s better to measure yourself.

  2. Erin

    Check the inches. I keep fluctuating in weight but I’m noticing the clothes fit better! Good job on sticking to it. I’m trying really hard.

    I loved this post. Very funny. I noticed all that insistent attention from the men when I was in Italy, too. Very strange. It’s not at all like that here. I’m praying for someone to look at me and honk while I’m jogging, LOL : )

  3. Giulia

    Cherrye, the Italian men only oogle beautiful women, so consider yourself a beauty. Hey, if I were a man, I’d honk at ya!
    I just have to say though that you mentioned if people were older than your paw paw, they should be paying attention to the road and not you. I say anyone older than your paw-paw should stay OFF of the road here! We have enough crazy people, half your paw-paws age, driving on the roads here. I’d hate to think of how they drive at paw-paw’s age. lol

  4. j

    Well Cherrye, there is a lot to say about both of these topics.

    First fat doesn’t turn in to muscle, but it is true you might be firming up and adding muscle which will in fact add weight, but you will still look better. But don’t stop because there are a lot of health benefits to walking/jogging besides weight loss. Also, think of what the scale might read if you were not doing this workout.

    Men looking at women is a fascinating cultural thing. I think it would be a great anthropology thesis for some grad student. Men in the US do look at women (I have it on the highest authority), but it is just not cool or classy to make a jerk of yourself doing it once you are out of high school. Italian men (who are probably way cooler and classier than American men by in large) just seem to have a lot more fun doing it and probably think you are a jerk for not acknowledging a pretty woman.

    As for paw paw, cut him some slack. That’s probably one of the few things that still keeps him kicking. He probably can’t do much else, but at least he can still window shop!

  5. Louise

    OHhhhhh girl….I feel it…I have been jogging and doing TaeBo for MONTHS now and that D%$# scale does not budge….EEEEK so I have stopped weighing in…..
    Having men honk and whistle might help a bit….mmmm blond hair with blue eyes…I may just make a trip to Italy…LOL!!
    Thanks for the laugh…loved all the honks!!

  6. Cherrye

    I guess I should admit that if they DIDN’T look, I would feel poorly about myself. So, I am really not “complaining,” per se.

    So, Erin – I agree.

    Guila – My Paw Paw bought a new red convertible a few years ago. Not sure if he drives it, though… he he

    J – “Think of what the scale would say if I wasn’t working out”…Mamma mia! Are you trying to make me anorexic?!? But, sadly you are right. I also EAT when I want, what I want…that isn’t helping the scale help me, now is it?

    And, you are right. I will give Paw Paw a break. I even waved back at one yesterday – just for you!

    Louise – you should come to Italy. We can go running together (or, as I mostly do – WALK). Maybe we will get double the honks!

  7. Anonymous

    As a regular jogger i now just completely ignore all the honks. IN fact, friends often say ‘oh i saw you out running but you didn’t even look when i tooted’. What really disconcerted me was all teh long, full body up and down and up again STARES. I have learnt to stare back.

    Had a v funny experience one day when out walking with a friend. We were both blabbering on in english. Old guy in a nylon tracksuit looking like an extra from the sopranos (and probably the world’s slowest jogger) asked us if we were polish. He had also been eavesdropping on us for quite a while. I said no we’re english. we are speaking english. Then he asked if we clean houses. We do not clean houses, we are english teachers. Then he asked if we wanted to clean his house. I said no thanks, but we have a sri lankan who cleans our house so maybe we can send them. No comment from the man who jogged off ever so slowly….

    Meanwhile, my (non italian speaking) friend was completely oblivious to this and said ‘oh that’s nice the people are so friendly here’. Ha h ah ahaha

  8. Cherrye

    Ha ha…funny story, Vanessa. I pretty much tune them out when I can. Someone told me the same thing the other day about seeing me and me not waving to her…oops!

  9. Cassie

    Hahaaa, yeah, I remember the incessant attention in Italy.
    I feel ya on the sadness at no weight loss, but I agree with the ladies talking about inches. I have to find SOMETHING that reminds me that I’m doing a good job. đŸ™‚

  10. Cherrye

    You are right, Cassie. I need to measure!!!

    Also, I think with one kil = 2.2 pounds it is harder for me to measure exactly! That is my story, anyhow!

Leave a Reply