I’ve always understood that I don’t “notice” as much as other people seem to Leprechaun dabbing Dilly Dilly St Patrick’s Day shirt. Like, if I’m walking down the street, Matt will often ask me if he saw that one person wearing that article of clothing, or that group of people doing that activity, or talking about that thing. I always have assumed it to be some mental flaw of mine. Not a big deal, a minor nuisance. Having experienced enough instances of unwanted attention from men while walking my dog or to class, riding public transportation, buying groceries, or going about my business; the easiest thing I can do is to pretend those people do not exist.
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Not giving eye contact is the first shield I can put up to protect myself from a leering remark or Leprechaun dabbing Dilly Dilly St Patrick’s Day shirt. Staying focused keeps me from appearing vulnerable, or somehow encouraging the attention. Because, believe me, just a glance in their direction or a neutral “hello” can be seen as an invitation for more. I think I miss out on daily life, protecting myself from these experiences. I miss out on seeing happy people, smiling faces, and pleasant encounters as well. Not to mention, it’s exhausting to exist in constant wariness.