When I was but a tender lass of fourteen–all glasses and L.A. Gear and oily T-zone–my family took a vacation to the American southwest. During a day trip to Mexico, we stopped to have a look around a quaint little Mexican chapel, where there happened to be an actual mass underway (with prayers being said in Mexican and everything!). A nice man held the door open for my parents and older sister to enter the church, with me trailing behind. As I passed by him, he reached out and grabbed my ass with such fervor and boldness that I assumed it was some sort of cultural thing I didn’t understand, like quinceañeras or plantains or where the members of Menudo were hiding their balls.
Turns out it was just sexual, something else I didn’t understand. Same diff. But as I walked into that church–both sets of my cheeks quickly turning a bright shade of red–my confusion and shame turned to pride and validation. TURNS OUT SOME DUDES REALLY ARE INTO EXTREMELY MYOPIC CHICKS WITH SPIRAL PERMS, I thought. HOW YA LIKE ME NOW?!
It went to my head a little.
See, that little bit of Christ-adjacent ass-grabbery meant the world to awkward ol’ me, and to this day I feel grateful for the validation. I ask you: what’s wrong with a little self-assuring lechery?
Now, before you go tattling on me to Act Classy’s H.R. department (which is just a spare room filled with housecats, so good luck with that), allow me to assure you that I’m not glorifying sexual harassment or unwanted sexual attention per se, I’m just saying that a lady likes to hear the occasional filthy comment about her cans from time to time. Show me someone who isn’t secretly flattered when the driver of a passing car honks and hollers in her direction and I will show you a DAMN DIRTY LIAR.
Not to be confused with damn dirty apes, although they are not always mutually exclusive.
In fact, it was the saucy whistle of a leering passerby that restored a significant amount of my postpartum self-confidence. You might not be aware of this, but a lady’s self-esteem often takes quite a hit when she squeezes a screaming person from her hoo and spends the next
few several months looking like a four-week-old Mylar balloon. I mean, sure, my husband and family told me I looked beautiful as I sobbed uncontrollably from surging postpartum hormones, but I ain’t even hearin’ that. They HAVE to feed me that bullshit. But a stranger? A stranger doesn’t feel obligated to tell me he’s warm for my form, so when that random dude whistled in my direction and expressed his humble desire to motorboat the contents of my nursing bra, well, this lady was walking a little taller that day, and I’ll tell you that for free.
No, my first name ain’t “baby,” it’s Janet — Miss Jackson if you’re nasty and by all means be nasty because from time to time my self-esteem depends upon it.
Admittedly, I did not always feel comfortable with the chestal bounty bestowed upon me during my nursing days, especially because it attracted the sudden and intense attention of a particular boob-gawker at my workplace. Even though he’d never paid me much notice before, once I returned from maternity leave he always gave me and the girls a good once-over whenever we passed in the hall. I didn’t particularly enjoy this (although I didn’t particularly mind, either), but once the nursing stopped and my body returned to normal (in this equation, “normal” = torso of a slight 15-year-old boy), do you know what that damn pig did when he passed me in the hall? HE LOOKED ME RIGHT IN THE EYES.
Something along the same lines happened in the garage of my office, where we are treated to a daily valet service (this sounds luxurious until you realize it’s just a fancy way of saying ‘the garage is too small to fit all these cars so we had to hire these guys to park all your vehicles within millimeters of each other’). One day when I arrived back home after a day in the office, I noticed a piece of paper in my car’s cup holder. Unfolding the paper revealed a crude (but heartfelt)(OR SO I THOUGHT) gesture from a garage employee named Carl, who implored me via his shaky cursive to “give [him] a call sometime.” Creepy? You bet. Made me cringe? Absolutely. Gave me a boost knowing that–if all else should fail–Carl would definitely hit this? Bitch, I ain’t even gonna lie. Erring on the side of “Carl is a potentially dangerous sexual predator” I decided to tell my supervisor about the note, and it was then that I discovered the hurtful truth: he had been leaving similar notes IN ALL THE WOMEN’S CARS, because apparently I’m the only one who believes in romance anymore, CARL.
Not my Carl, but just one of the many hot sons of bitches who come up whenever you do an image search for “Carl.” Heartbreaking bastards, every single last one of you!
You see, there’s a right and a wrong way to do everything, and, my friends, lechery is no exception. Forget about the awkward pawing and unwanted physical advances — a well-timed, crass objectification from afar is all you need to let the special people in your life (who, in reality, are not and never will be in your life) know that you think they’re special. Or that parts of them are special. And if you told them that those parts are special, would they hold them against you? You get the idea.
And for those of you on the receiving end of such attention, I urge you to stop frontin’ and take it at face value. Allow the strangers of the world to occasionally pick up what you are putting down. After all, if a tree werks in the forest and no one is around to see it, does it really werk at all?
If this is the tree, then yes.