I used to think I was a real hotty, especially in France. Really. Because guys (and some women too) were checking me out all the time. What an ego boost. Although I did notice that it was mostly when I was in my car, waiting at a stoplight. Hmm. I wondered why. Maybe the French guys were shy (yeah right) and felt less vulnerable gazing openly from the safety of their cars. Maybe knowing they only had a few minutes until the light changed made them feel reckless and daring. Maybe the plaid fabric of my seat brought out the green in my blue eyes.
Until the day I realized it was none of those things.
In the US, stoplights are high up. Either hanging over intersections or up on big posts on the corners. In France, they are also high up, on corners, and always lined up with the line (Yes, I know that sounds weird but I didn't know how else to say it.) designating where to wait.
There is also another smaller set of lights, nearly eye level with drivers, on either or both sides of an intersection. I never really paid attention to them, I was just used to looking up for the lights.
One day, I stopped a little too close to the line. And so decided to back up a little, for the comfort of the pedestrians. There was a fine young man in the car next to mine and his eyes had not left my face since we had stopped. He thought I was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen, I could tell. Imagine my surprise when his eyes did not follow as I backed my car up. I turned my head to see what the heck he was looking at. Duh. The low-level stoplight.
All those guys (and women) were just looking at the light, waiting for it to turn green.
When I told Husband about my mistake, he laughed non-stop for 15 minutes.