I wandered in and out of the stacks inside Barnes and Nobles. As I emerged from the photography aisle, I laid eyes on Rocco in the bargain section and started moving in his direction.
Out of nowhere, a tiny blur of yellow and black flew by me like a manic bee, halting suddenly in front of a tall display featuring the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. The little Asian girl looked at the yellow bikini, then down at her dress, then back, comparing the similar shades of yellow. As she whipped her head around to look at her father, a black fan of shining hair slapped the cardboard display.
“Daddy?” she began with her brows furrowed. Confident she held his attention she turned back to face the blond model, following the line of the glossy abs with her finger. “Is this sexy?”
“I….um…” he stammered as the little girl turned back to eye him warily. I, of course, stopped moving and watched the whole thing unfold with my mouth gaping. The father’s eyes darted wildly, sweeping the room to see who had overheard his daughter’s question. We locked eyes. I suspect I smirked a little.
His eyes returned to the impatient girl at his feet. She tugged on his shirt hem with one hand, the other still stroked the magazine’s smooth surface. “Daddy! Is this sexy?!”
As he stalled for time with nervous chuckles, he locked eyes with me again and shrugged. “No?” he answered, still looking at me.
I’m sure I was smirking at this point. I may or may not have also raised an eyebrow and moved my hands to my hips. “Of course that’s not sexy. Don’t be silly.” He wrapped his large hand around hers and pulled her towards the children’s section, her chubby fingers still reaching for the magazine.
Now, I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that this guy is either divorced or gay because he totally misread me and the situation. My smirks and defensive posturing were really out of amusement at the whole situation. I was genuinely curious to see how he would respond, not trying to coach him from the sidelines. That being said, he could have used some coaching. I’m not sure that flat out lying to the girl was the way to go.
Then again, I’m not exactly your go to gal for parenting advice. My uterus is on lockdown, nothing has ever sprung forth from these loins, so I’m not about to wax all philosophical on how a man should raise his daughter. But I am a woman (at least as much of a woman as Lady Gaga) so it’s safe to assume that at some point I was a girl (even if never little). She wanted an honest answer, plain and simple. I think that precocious young thing instantly knew her father was lying. Now how is she going to believe him when bigger issues roll around? Can you imagine when that little flower hits puberty? Dude is going to either internally rupture something or spend his days heavily armed.
Look, I’m a straight girl and I think that cover is pretty damned sexy. If I had that body, I’d spend all day every day buck naked in the frozen food section of the busiest grocery store I could find blaring an NBA air horn. (Ok that’s a damn lie. I hate being cold. You still get the point.)
I’d be astounded if someone genuinely said there was nothing sexy about that cover. I suppose you could throw in some super femi-natzi stance of objectification and that whole scene, but I bet even those womyn could find SOMETHING sexy about the picture. Regardless, I think “Of course that’s not sexy. Don’t be silly.” was a horrid response. I think the answer should have been, “Yes. That’s one type of sexy and it appeals to some people. Then again, some people find Rod Stewart sexy so there’s really no accounting for taste in this world. Why don’t we go look at books about ponies?”
I think I know why no one asks me to babysit.