Awkward & Inappropriate Atlanta

I was in Atlanta for 4 days and I can officially say I have never felt more awkward in a city in all my life.  What is up with the inappropriate behavior??

My hotel was close to the restaurants I went to so it only made sense to walk, because really, what cab is going to take you less than 1 minute up the road?  So I’m in nothing that is super showy or inappropriate myself – a jacket with a cami under, black flare skirt and knee high boots.  I noticed men looking at me on the way to the restaurant but I thought that was mostly because there were very few other people and it wasn’t a blatant stare so I shrugged it off. On the way home however…that was a different story.  There are a lot of people out walking around, it isn’t late – maybe 8:30 or 9pm. I cross the street and realize a man that appears to be homeless has followed me across the street.  He stops a few feet from me at the next corner as I wait for the walk signal to change.  He stares at me, looking me up and down, bending down to seemingly get a better look at my legs.  I’m on the phone with a friend so I do not want to make a big deal of it. Plus there are another 10 people on the corner so I didn’t feel unsafe. But AWKWARD!!

Next day I’m between meetings with some time to waste.  Barnes & Noble seemed like the perfect place to pass an hour and who has ever had a bad experience in a Barnes & Noble?  Me apparently…just me.  I was looking at the bargain shelves at the front and I feel something brush against my the back of my thighs. I figure its just a woman’s purse or something and I turn my head to glance in the direction of the way the person was walking.  What I see is a man in his late 50s probably who has paused mid-step, turned back to look at me, again is looking at me up and down and then smiles at me says “hey beauty”…not beautiful, gorgeous, no…beauty.

So Atlanta, when did this awkward very open behavior become acceptable?  Why can’t you do like most people do, admire pretty things from afar and in silence?  I have never been in a city and had men behave in this way. What happened to men being Southern gentlemen?  Atlanta..time to straighten up and treat women with a little more respect.