Monday, October 08, 2018

Being A Big Guy

Maybe because my dad, mom and brother were tall. Maybe because my friends growing up were taller than me, Jeff, Will, Steve and Howie. Maybe because my happiest time was training for the Decathlon at UCSB with guys that were as tall or taller than me.

Maybe it is just modesty, but I do not think of myself as a tall or big guy. Never have. 

One time, a few years ago, three of my Decathlon pals, Mark Snake, Bill Snake and John Snake, (Will explain the snake part some other time) were walking down the street in downtown Del Mar. This woman coming towards us - who had had a few drinks - blurts out, “Holy crap, the Chargers are here.” 

We all laughed. My fellow snake brothers do not think of ourselves as tall or big either. But we are. All over six feet - John is 6.4  - and a burly 190 to 220. (Ahem. Then) 

So one day, when I got rear-ended at a stop sign in La Jolla by what I could tell was just a fender bender in my Grand Cherokee - which already had a few dints, so I didn’t really care - I just hopped out to see if the damage was worse than I thought. It was not. So I decided to see if the person who hit me was OK. When I got to her car window, I was shocked at how horrified she looked.

“Are you OK?”, I asked. The look of relief on her face was instant. She was terrified. Of me.

It reminded me of the first time I had seen that same expression. It was on the Upper West Side in New York, I was walking fast from the subway to get to a bar late to meet friends, when I walked past this pretty, young, small girl, when she turned to look up at me, her face was a mask of fear. For the life of me, I could not figure out what she could have been so afraid of.

It was me.   

When I asked if she was OK, she sighed audibly and put her hand on my shoulder as if to say, “Oh thank god, you’re not a rapist.”

As men, it would behove us to realize women feel like that all the time. 

And what just happened in Washington D.C. did not make them feel any better.