Did you just say I look hot?

cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by smenzel

Yesterday, as I applied the finishing touches to my makeup, the Significant Other walked in the room and the following conversation ensued:

Significant Other: Wow! You look cute.
Me: Are you talking to Roxy or me?
Significant Other: This time, to you.
Me: Cute is not what I was going for.
Significant Other: Okay. Ah…you look hot?
Me: Are you asking me or telling me?
Significant Other: Which do you want it to be? But hey, you realize we’re only going to my parents’ house, right?
Me: Yep. But considering we only visit twice a year, I want to look nice.
Significant Other: Nice? In this get up, we’ll be lucky if you don’t give my dad a heart attack.
Me: Hey, anything to help the old man get some life back in his body.
Significant Other: Okay, but I’m calling my mom to make sure she has those paddle things. You know, like on tv?
Me: Oh, stop it. It’s not like he’s going to flatline.
Significant Other: He will if he has a heart attack.
Me: Oh, come on!
Significant Other: No, really. You’re wearing a short skirt, black tights, and boots. The last time my mom wore something remotely similar was 1950. The old man’s ticker may not be able to handle it.
Me: Then maybe your mom should dress like this now.
Significant Other: Uh, no. Lets go before the thought of that gives me a heart attack.

This conversation served to put a smile on my face.


Cause even those of us who resent being objectified by men, now and then find it feels good to hear a man tell us we look hot.

However, the Significant Other’s question mark at the end of “You look hot?” kind of ruined it.

His compliment was halfway between daring and safe.

It was his way of wondering, “Does she want to hear me say she looks hot, or will I have to hear a half hour discourse on why it’s wrong for men to focus on physicality, objectify women, and show shallow behavior?”

Knowing he has to tread carefully before issuing a compliment makes me realize he’s editing what he says.

And that more than likely, he’s doing it because he doesn’t want to bring my “Gloria Steinem” persona out of the box.

His reaction also confirms he’s not a Latin man.

Living in the Caribbean for many years, forced me to accept that most Hispanic men express their sentiments about a woman’s looks publicly, loudly, and without apology.

I learned to expect a “Mami, que rica estas!” (Baby, you’re hot!) whenever I left the house.

It wasn’t an isolated event, it was a way of life.

However, I no longer live in the Caribbean and now find myself living with a European who’s trepadatious about saying I look hot.

I guess a part of me should be happy; happy that he realizes it’s wrong to focus solely on a woman’s looks.

Happy that he’s cautious as to not offend me; that he tests the waters before jumping in.

Yet part of me is sad.

Sad that I don’t hear, “Hey, sexy mamma, you wanna go out with me?” or “Estas bien buena!” (another Spanish way of saying, “You’re hot!”)

Ironic, isn’t it?
(It’s no wonder men don’t understand us)

Nevertheless, I’ve rationalized my reaction by concluding that the Latina in me must be feeling nostalgia over days gone by; over days when hearing, “You’re hot” was music to my ears.

Remember those days, ladies?

Perhaps this is why some of us find Latin men so irresistible

Perhaps this is why I’m cuckoo for Javier Bardem.

I’m certain that no matter what, a Latin man like him would not have added a question mark to the phrase, “You look hot.”

I think of the possibility, and suddenly, I hear music again.

What say you, ladies?

Is it flattering or not to hear a man tell you you’re hot?

Can I interest you in some cheese?

cc licensed flickr photo shared by ulterior epicure

(This blog post is for anyone who would rather walk on glass than have to sit through an evening composed of bad hors d’œuvres and nonsensical conversation composed of crap you could give three rats’ asses about.)

Last night I had to undergo the dreaded visit to the in-laws.

(I’m glad I’m not one of those bloggers who actually counts with the support of extended family because it means I’m actually free to write about this stuff.)

The arrival at the in-laws is marked by the significant other’s mother greeting us at the door, ready to take our coats, and remind us to remove our shoes.

This is followed by significant other’s father ushering us to the living room to where a predictable guest already awaits.

This guest would be none other than the significant other’s “still-a-bachelor-even-though-I’m-way-past-forty” brother who’s happy as a clam that we’ve arrived. This because we can act as an audience for his new house digital picture display.

Without even a glass of alcohol to take the edge off the nightmarish evening that awaits me, I’m asked to witness shot after shot of his new bathroom, new living room, new kitchen and new bed.

By the tenth picture I’m ready for the significant other to light me on fire so I can catapult myself from the third floor terrace in a blazing glory.

However, before I can even hand him the matches, out comes the significant other’s mother with a tray of cheese. Yay!

OMG, have these people never heard of real aperitif and why in all these years have I not understood that the only way I’m ever going to eat anything tasty in their home is if I bring it myself?

“No thank you, I will pass on the cheese.” (Why? Because like I’ve told you for the past nine years, I hate cheese.)

“Would it help if I threw in some crackers?”

“No, I’m still going to pass.”

(Perhaps you might interest the significant other with this type of rat food. He seems to be very fond of it. Perhaps this is also why you continue to serve it year after year.)

At this point, the significant other’s brother pulls me out of my reverie as he tugs on my sleeve to remind me his digital frame is still cranking out pictures.

In the meantime, the significant other’s father looks out the window and then looks at me, almost as if suggesting he would like to join me in the “light myself on fire ceremony” followed by the catapult.

“Did you see this one of the toilet? It’s a great shot, isn’t it?”

I would like a shot of anything now to anesthetize me to this mental anguish but instead, out comes the significant other’s mother bearing gifts of coffee and more cheese. This time true to her word, accompanied by crackers.

This further convinces me that somewhere between the first offer of cheese and the time she went into the kitchen, she lost her ability to comprehend English.

“Did you see this shot of my new bed?”

(God I wish I were in bed. Alone without all this black noise, the cheese tray and the ever-changing digital frame.)

How many pictures did he actually take of his bathroom and why are we looking at them anyway?

“Honey, do you want cheese?” significant other asks with a smirk.

“Do you want me to stab you?” I whisper back. “I’ll give you fifty euros if you smash your brother’s frame.”

“I would have done it for twenty”. “Deal. Now go and put it and us out of this misery.”

Almost as if privy to our whispered conversation, the significant other’s brother turns off the frame and carefully puts it away.

“I guess I’ll put the cheese away if no one’s going to eat it.”

(Again in my head) OMG, are we still talking about the cheese?

The significant other’s father still has that look on his face; almost pleading that we commit the double suicide.

I sadly shake my head from side to side, and take a sip of my tepid coffee.

The cuckoo darts out off the clock and reminds us it is now 8pm.

There is a God.

We make a run for the door and shout, “It was great seeing everybody. See you next year.”

Really? That soon?

As we head into the night, we jointly exhale and walk away as fast as out legs can carry us.

When was the last time you had to endure your in-laws?