She gets them. Sometimes they are vulgar. What am I saying… they are always vulgar. She is not fine with it but nothing can really be done. The people who shout at her scramble off, or else they are obviously disturbed or unapproachable. My instincts say that it’s on me to defend her dignity but no one wants to see this middle-aged dude who has never thrown a punch get into it with a crackhead street ruffian. I have stepped in in other contexts, when creeper-seeming dudes approached my then-girlfriends during moment when I was not present or simply looking the other way. At those moments I stepped in to assert myself, or something like that. I don’t fully understand or have a vocabulary to articulate what was going on but in the primal sense I was enforcing the “code” that men don’t hit on other mens’ women while the woman’s man is present. Or something like that. It was never an expression of jealousy on my part, now that I think of it. I think of it only now because it could be interpreted that way based simply on appearances. But that was not the sentiment. I wanted my woman to feel safe and taken care of, free of unwanted attention. One woman in particular, whose body I loved but who few would describe as bombshell beautiful, would get hit on all the fucking time. If I disappeared for 2 minutes I’d come back and she’d guys on both sides, vying for her attention. My appearance, and her acknowledgement of my status in this context, seemed always to diffuse the sudden attention she would receive when I was not immediately present. I never felt threatened by it, as far as our relationship. She was 100% committed to me, and I to her. But on that latter point it was distressing and even depressing to find that I was unable to interact with other women in any way, shape or form, without provoking her insecurity, anger, and even all-out wrath. Behaviour like this would have been an early warning sign to a saner man but, as one who is prone and even drawn to abusive relationships I let it go, time and time again. Only when the threat of physical assault was wielded did I announce that this had to end. But that was then. This is now. Today I walk with a woman who gets looks, and by extension I get looks. People look at us. People like us.