Today, I was walking to back to Union Square after buying some cheap plastic necklaces at a party store. There was a middle-aged guy standing on the street, flipping off the other pedestrians. But not just standing there with his middle finger out; he kept pulling his hand down, and readjusting his middle finger to point at each time someone passed him. I found the personal touch a little bit heart-warming, but still avoided eye contact with the guy.
In Portland, strangers making conversation with me, especially on public transportation. In high school while I was walking around downtown, dudes would usually yell that they liked my long hair, some far less wholesome yells. But catcalls from the west coast got nothin’ on the catcalls here on in the east. It’s summer, so more people are out and about at weird hours, sharing all kinds of interesting thoughts with me. So with that, I bring you an old compilation of the top ten things that have been yelled at me while walking in Brooklyn and Manhattan.
10. “Hey Mommyyyyyyy…/psssst”
My neighborhood is mainly hispanic, so I hear these two classic, standard catcalls daily. Not gonna lie, it is reassuring on days when I think I look like shit. I also occasionally get offered help with my shopping bags. “Hey Mommyyyyy” is always hilarious, and the whispered whistle plays into my fantasy of being molested in a dark alley by that guy selling letters from a trench coat on “Sesame Street.”
9. “Say ‘Goodnight.'”
The same overweight man is always sitting in a wheelie chair outside his bodega. He says this every I walk by, except the time I was on the phone. Then he said, “Lady, stay off the phone.”
8. “You dropped something.” “What?” “Your dignity.”
Apparently what thirteen year-old hood rats say when they’re bored in Central Park. Maybe they saw my friend and me hiding in trees and jumping off rocks? I should’ve hit back with the equally witty, “You dropped your pocket.”
7. “Me llamo.”
Which translates to “I call” in Spanish, meaning I got dibbs-ed. One day I also got a long rant in spanish where all I could pick out was something about him asking if I wanted his salami. The answer was of course “Hell no!” but I went with my usual tactic of ignoring.
6. “Hey Cowgirl! Where’s your lasso? I’ll take you for a riiiiiide. Come on cowgirl! You can lasso me!”
Just what every girl wants to hear when the subway line she needs to take is down in the middle of the night! His friend finally said, “I wonder if she can hear you.” I yelled, “I heard you.” This started another round of “Well, you wanna go for a ride? You can rope me, I’ll be your saddle.” I did want to take a ride…in a taxi far, far away where my gold cowboy boots and I wouldn’t get harassed.
5. “Hollywood star! Seriously!”
sunglasses+dress+heeled boots= movie star. OBV!
4. “Hey ladies…”
Nothing noteworthy about the words, except the fact that it came from a four-year old boy.
3. “You don’t need to speed up, we see better girls than you everyday!”
I’m sure you’re rolling in bitches, guys selling knock-off perfume from a stall on Canal Street.
2. “What’s up Velma?!?”
This wasn’t even on Halloween! It was walking to the train at 3am on Friday night. Some guy in a station wagon yelled out the window as he drove down Metropolitan Ave. I yelled “F*** you, I’m not a cartoon character!” He said, “Why you looking like one?” I said, “Why are you an asshole?” Someone new comes up with the Velma comparison weekly, as if I haven’t heard it. It doesn’t bother me anymore, because I do have a short bob and wear glasses, but any dude yelling at me from a car is getting a earful back.
1. “Heeeey! You textin’ me?”
From a NYPD officer sitting in his car at the intersection I was crossing while looking at a text. My response, “Yeah, you f**king wish!”