The Line Between Complimentary and Creepy

It’s summertime. Time for summer dresses, flirty skirts, short shorts and spaghetti straps _ it’s hot and skin is in. And so come the catcalls. Not just from construction workers on scaffolding or cabbies whizzing by, but from bums to businessmen walking the streets.

Not that I run around Chicago naked, or even half naked, it’s just that it’s summertime in the city and as long as you are wearing anything less than a burqa, you’re going to get catcalled. I understand this, I don’t like it, but it’s just how it is. What gets me is when the compliments slip into the creepy. That’s when I get pissed. That’s when I get ugly.

So this morning, I’m rockin’ a new multi-colored art deco-ish print frock, capped off by chocolate wedges with an ankle strap. On the way to work a man gives me the once over, smiles broadly, drawing out a “goooood mooooorrrrnnning gorgeous.” I simply nod and move on. I’m annoyed, but that’s moreso because it’s 5:15 a.m. and all human contact at that hour is annoying.

Fast forward to this afternoon, walking to my car after work. Man stops in the middle of the street “Hey sista you look good!” I’m on the phone, I keep chatting. He’s nonstop with the comments, getting louder, more aggressive. Then I hear him shout that I’ve got nice looking legs… I can tell he’s ready to move on to other body parts. Before I know it my arm is raised high, hoisting a one-fingered salute. He angrily hollers: “What? I’m just paying you a compliment!”

Um no, you’re not. There’s a difference between a compliment and being a creep. And so many people need to learn it. One rule of thumb if you don’t want someone saying that to your mama then don’t say it to me. Why do guys do that anyway? Are they hoping we are charmed and give them our number? What’s your opinion on this?

Well, it’s only June 1 and I’ve already flipped off my first fellow. By August I start contemplating packing a bright green Super Soaker so that I can just hose the next creep, you know to cool him off. It’s hot.

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2 responses to “The Line Between Complimentary and Creepy

  1. Ugh, I hate when this happens. Last Halloween, I was out buying costumes with a few of my friends (and I will admit that the costumes were not burqas) when two middle aged guys walked by us on the way to the changing room. They looked at us, then at our costumes, and gave us a very sketchy “Hey, ladies”. Needless to say, I was a more than a bit creeped out.

  2. Yes, it does blow. My challenge is finding the right response. So no burqas for Halloween? Were you then an emo nun? 😉 Checked out your blog, enjoy your summer break!

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