City Cat

I’ve officially lived in Portland now for about two weeks. I’ve officially spent less than a week actually in Portland, what with all the important corporate trips I’ve been going on, but I’m settling in nicely. I walk everywhere, I bought a reusable grocery bag (along with my very first bottle of wine) at Safeway, and I go running along the river. I wear high heels to work and carry a computer bag; I take the bus and the streetcar to places my birkenstocks don’t want to take me.

But there’s one thing about living in the city that is truly different from living anywhere else: I get cat called…apparently ALL THE TIME.

The first time it happened, it was a frat boy in a Rav4 yelling, “Great knockers!” out his driver’s side window on a stretch of Milwaukee Blvd. The second time it happened, it was a middle aged bald guy in a Plymouth Voyager telling me to, “Yeah, shake that thang!” when I was walking home from work. The first time, I was somewhat flattered and bemused. The second time, I had to curse a few orphans to keep from giving him the finger. So, à la Carrie Bradshaw, I had to wonder: why do some cat calls make us purr while others make us hiss?

Do you want this hitting on you? Me neither.

I don’t know many people who don’t like compliments, especially harmless ones. Rav4 dude’s comment felt very harmless – my first response would have been, “Why thank you, they think you’re pretty nifty too” had he not sped away in a cloud of hazy recollection. Plymouth jerkface’s words were just demeaning. I was not shaking anythang to begin with. In fact, I was in business casual, the wardrobe typically associated with anti-shaking of anythangs. I was pack-muling my computer bag all the way from 10th and Yamhill, sweating like a frog on a racetrack, and in no mood to be objectified. Unfortunately, that’s what I got.

I have to wonder if I have a double standard. I’m not quite certain if it was the words, my mood, or that shodily-manufactured American car that pushed me over the edge, but I do know one thing for certain: next time I see that Voyager, his back windshield is toast.


5 Responses to “City Cat”

  1. 1 Genesis

    Nothing flatters like a leering baldy in a creeper Plymouth…

    One time my sister and I were outside waiting to cross the street in downtown Phoenix and some guy actually walked up and slapped my sister’s ass like…really hard. It would probably have been safer just to jay walk. Asshole.

  2. 2 Burton

    I’m sorry, sweetheart. I wish I could offer some advice, but I’ve a) never really had this happen to me, and b) always thought of Portlanders as being “more polite” (in a sort of proximity-to-Canada kind of way.)

    But if you need moral support (or someone you can trust to to leer at you) I’m always here! 🙂

  3. 3 Katie Hulse
  4. 4 Truman

    Most guys in Plymouth Voyagers are too ashamed of their cars to catcall anybody; try being proud of that guy’s progress instead of angry at the shape that the progress takes.

  1. 1 Downtime « The Aspiring Leader

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