I have a complicated relationship with cat-callers. Working in downtown Minneapolis as I do, there are many of them and they are quite vocal. On one hand, their comments about my anatomy make me angry and annoyed. On the other hand, I’d be sad if the calls stopped because to me, I’d feel like I wasn’t desirable anymore. It’s flawed logic, I know.
Most of the time, the cat-calls go like this:
“Hey [insert pet name for a female here, like baby/angel/sexy/girl], you’re looking [insert synonym for attractive, usually sexy/fine/hot as hell.]”
Or perhaps they do this one:
“Damn baby! Wanna come home with me? Can I take you to dinner? Oh, you dropped something! Better come back and get it!”
It’s basically Mad Libs at this point. Some of them, like when a man got down on one knee in Macy’s and asked me to marry him, make me laugh. The ones who get dirty get a scowl. Don’t be vile if you want me to acknowledge you. (Also, I’d rather have you yell at me than lean in close to me and smell my neck, which happened once. Still stunned from that one.)
But to be honest, I wish my cat-callers would be a little more honest once in awhile, just to keep me on my game.
Why don’t they ever say, “Hey girl! You’re lookin’ a little dead behind the eyes today! Having a rough week?”
Or perhaps, “Your hair color is nice, but you should trim those split ends.”
Let’s be real for a minute. When I’ve put time, money and curling-iron sweat into my appearance that day, I like a cat-call or two to validate my work. And my propensity to swish my hips as I walk, combined with the fact that I wear my dresses tight, have white-blonde hair and red lips, is kind of an obvious magnet.
But most of the time, I’m schlepping around in leggings, hunting socks and a big cashmere sweater and I’m probably wearing yesterday’s mascara. My hair gets washed every 7-10 days, depending on how I feel. It’s not like I’m some hardcore glamazon pounding the pavement.
Here are a few more realistic cat-calls they could add to their repertoire:
“Hey baby! Way to wash your hair this week! Lookin’ relatively clean!”
“Way to rock the messy ponytail this week! You’ve really figured out the intricacies of making it look effortless!”
“You put on jeans today instead of those same black leggings you always wear! I see that effort, girl!”
“You can go a few more weeks with those roots. No one will notice. Promise.”
“Girl, you don’t look tired at all with no makeup on! You look natural!”
“You did an impeccable job coordinating your sweater and lipstick today. You look totally chic.”
“It’s OK to eat all those tacos, baby! You could stand to put on a few more pounds. No one will notice if you gain weight! Would I lie to you? Go on.”