Saturday, April 30, 2011
Men With Candy
“Are you talking about The Creepers” she said in an off-handed way that suggested this was all old news to her.
We all know them. Something a little off or, as my sister used to say, “charm oozing from every pore.” At my age I need only scan a room once to tell exactly who The Creepers are. Sometimes The Creepers are friends of the family or relatives who have married into the family. I can still remember my mother warning us—“girls, uncle Bob is nice, but a little icky—so decline any invitation to sit on his lap. “
Sometimes Creepers are friends of friends—Ms. Filmmaker and I were reminiscing the other day about the parties my parents’ friend used to throw. They were full of artists from the city, wine flowing freely, dishes of flaming French concoctions and, of course, Andre—a little French Creeper.
Andre had spotted us—young and pretty, and of course, Ms. Filmmaker had her newly acquired big boobs. He introduced himself with his French accent clearly annunciated. He stood just a little too close…granted he was European and they do stand closer than Americans, but something was definitely predatory. The host of the party seeing Andre staring intently at The Boobs wandered over and said to us. “Hello girls! How are you finding your FIRST year of high school? How old are you now? 14? In FOUR more years you will be 18 and adults. Imagine that FOUR MORE years.” He said looking pointedly at Andre. Andre excused himself to get a drink and never returned to complete our conversation on art and Paris.
Some of the Beast Friends still have the look of little girls, but more and more of the girls are looking like women—beautiful women who do not know how beautiful they are. This innocent beauty draws Creepers like flies to honey.
I see the man on the bench outside the library of our little downtown as the Beast and her Friends stride away from me with their new found freedom of teenage-hood. And I see the man…The Man With Candy—his face lights up as he stalks with his eyes the glossy bouncing hair, the big boobs, the long legs, the happy chatter. A salacious smile spreads across his face—“Hello girls!” he says. The girls look at one another and laugh and keep on walking--Ms. Church Lady’s daughter’s, The Bulldozer, says in stage whisper—“ That’s weird—he is like my grandfather’s age.” Thank god for The Bulldozer and The Beast’s band of women warriors—smart and strong and confident.
Ms. Filmmaker and I were just beginning to learn about the world full of Creepers at 14. The Sharks, The Icky Types, The Play on Your Sympathy Jerks---there are a number of varieties, but they are all just Men with Candy….waiting, hoping, seeking an unguarded moment when they can sleaze their way into your life. I talk to The Beast about Men with Candy, to be on the lookout for them and not to be fooled into a bad situation because they play on your sympathy or your need to feel older. Her eyes glaze over—“I know what I am doing.” She says.
“I know, I know beautiful girl that you are smart and thoughtful, but humor me and listen. “ She is a good girl—so she did listen and I hope my voice will be in her head when the high school dropout ten years her senior attempts a pick-up line on her or an older artist suggests going to his loft to see his etchings…
Always be aware of Men with Candy.