I’m used to getting catcalls on the street.
I’m sorry, that was a typo. I meant to write, I used to get catcalls on the street.
These days, if I hear someone yell something lewd or make a kissy sound, I roll my eyes like I always did, then realize that’s presumptuous and do the 16 Candles “Molly Ringwald reacting to Jake Ryan leaning against the car in front of the church” move: look around behind me, then back to camera, then point to self, then mouth “who, me?” I don’t really do that, it’s just what happens in my head. And no, there’s no camera.
Today, though, I didn’t have to check around for younger, hotter object of harassment.
I knew this one was for me.
During a rare moment when the block in front of Citarella was empty of people, I did a loud sniff sniff sniff, then wiped my nose. Yes, with my hand. I didn’t have a tissue.
Then I heard it. Sniff sniff sniff.
Like my nose had an echo.
Heard it again. Sniff sniff sniff. Followed by kissy sound.
I turned around, and a guy standing behind a truck nodded. Yeah, you. And he did it again. Sniff sniff sniff. And wiped his nose, and then made a kissy face. With his eyes closed, like he really meant it.
I guess this is the new version of when I’d jog, and guys would run a few steps along side me, with their hands cupped in front of their chests to mime “bouncing boobs.”
Just in case it wasn’t clear, the guy was copying my snot-sniffing as a form of sexual harassment.
At least, I’ll choose to see it as sexual. You take what you can get.
I don’t know what you can say to this. “That happened to me, too”?
Ever enjoy some weird-ass harassment on the street? Or elsewhere?
Do you sniffle on the street when no one’s around?
Do you burp real loud when you’re wearing headphones and forget that people can hear you? (I don’t, it’s just a thought starter.)
TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS.
Good god your writing makes me laugh Laura! Thank you. I needed that!
Over a year ago, I began living bicoastal between NYC (where I started working), and LA (where I have a home and husband). Secretly, I hoped I’d get hit on in this new edgy east coast environment. I pictured New York men to be manly and aggressive -that bad boy boundary-crossing guy I USED to be attracted to (before I had therapy and became an expert in intimacy).
Maybe I wanted a little attention because I rarely get it from men in LA. I’m hoping that’s because they’re all aspiring actors and I’m not an agent. Anyway, I’m happy to report New York men have come on strong…sometimes sweet, and sometimes in a respectfully disrespectful way.
One man in a soiled nondescript uniform waited for me with outstretched arms at the top of a subway platform, as I ascended from the ground with the words (in thick Bronx): “My gad, an angel from heven!”
Another group of kids – they could’ve been anywhere from 12 to 18, and since I don’t have children, I’m extra unsure of their ages. There were four of them who stopped me on the street, and the biggest/most talkative asked if he could take a selfie with me. I awkwardly agreed, and then he asked if I had a “boyfriend” to which I kindly broke the news about being “too old” for him and having a husband. He continued on just as confidently and said, “Maybe he wouldn’t care.” Ah those darn kids…
That comment was much longer than I intended. While writing, it’s become evident that I’m clearly craving attention. Thanks for giving me yours Laura 😉
I was walking down an
NYC street while suffering from a cold sore, and a construction worker called out, “a little camphophenique will clear that right up, honey!” Gee, thanks, asshole.
Peter Schwartz says
Nancy, I actually think he was trying to be helpful.
One time, around 1996, I was walking along Broadway and 98th street flush with happiness from a night out, when I guess my allergies caught me off-guard and I gagged from mucous in my throat. I ran to the curb and threw-up. A smartly dressed woman walked up to me and said: “Hi. Would you like a date?” I was like, “what?!? Maybe. But what was it about me getting sick here made you think about a date?!?” She was like, “you seem like a nice person, and it could happen to anyone.” It took me a while, but then I put it all together: Broadway, night, woman approaching a strange man. It dawned on me that women really could see the best in me even in the worst situations.
Aw man, back when you could find the forgiving kindness of a streetwalker on the Upper West Side. Her post was probably the Twin Donuts on 91st.
Kristin Lush says
Laura, I have 4 words for you and hope they conjure up as vivid a memory for you as they do for me: “I LIKE YOUR ASS!” xoxox
I don’t remember that! Kristin, who said it? Was it to you or me? (I’m sure everyone said it to you, probably not one incident.)
Oh my god. I want so desperately to have this incredibly detailed fart story to one-up your snot story. But I don’t.
Maybe it’s because I cleaned up my gut and take daily probiotics, I’m just not as gassy as I used to be. I didn’t know that this would not only rob me of the opportunity to be sexually harassed in the most hilarious way, but also robbed of the gift of sharing it with others afterwards.
Here’s hoping that my allergies act up in the near future.
You know that you can have ANYTHING you want in this world. Ask the universe for more gas. Or eat broccoli – that works like a charm for me.
Trisha Condo says
This story reminds me of a time I shopped at Rossy in New-Richmond. It’s a store similiar to Walmart on a smaller scale. I didn’t get catcalls but, had a rather similar experience with a stalker in the store.
I walked in and I tend to just window shop for a few minutes looking at stuff.
I noticed a creepy man.
This man started hovering around me and he caught my attention for a second.
Then, I glanced up to see him and we made brief eye contact.
I don’t know if that gave him permission to stalk me in the store but, I stopped making eye contact. I think in his head, he thought I had the hots for him.
Finally, I just gave him a dirty look and he walked away.
Weird how some men think that by locking eyes means permission to go further with it.
It cracks me up.
Oh yeah, creeps think locking eyes with you is like being handed your hotel room key. Must avert.
Trisha Condo says
O ya. Must not look at creepy perverts.
Nancy B says
I’m going to teach you how to do a snot rocket. That’ll show ’em. Or turn them on.
That’s what I’m afraid of. I don’t want to encourage them.
OMG THIS MADE ME LAUGH OUT-FREAKING-LOUD.
I can’t handle the absurdity of this interaction!
No…literally…my brain is not computing this.
Recently there was a guy in a souped up el camino who would ACTUALLY drive next to me on the highway and honk his horn. No, there was nothing wrong with my car. He was apparently thinking I might make some kind of hand gesture that I was interested in following him off an exit.
Yes, he had mullet.
When you say “who would” rather than “who did,” do you mean to indicate that he did this on a regular basis?
If so, why’d he give up? Guys with mullets are generally very determined.