Living For The City: “I Just Wanna Smell It” And Other Creepy Things We’ve Heard Men Say On The Street
That’s what a man, one who appeared to be homeless, said to my friend as she and her sister made a mad dash to get cash from an ATM in Midtown.
“Damn! You did all that for Jesus?!”
That’s what a guy standing out on the street in Long Island had to say to my co-worker about her curves in her Sunday’s best when she was on her way to church one morning.
“I just wanna smell it.”
And that’s the disgusting thing my colleague claimed a guy said to a statuesque woman who was walking down the streets in Jamaica Queens.
All three statements could make any woman shudder when they’re just trying to get from Point A to Point B, but if you’ve lived in a big city long enough, you might actually get used to it. Keyword: might.
That’s probably why I was the least disgusted person in my office this afternoon when I told my colleagues about an encounter I had with a creepy guy on 125th Street yesterday. They all gasped at it, but at the time, I was too tired after fighting a sinus infection all weekend to react.
I was barely in the mood to go to 125th Street to retrieve the large container of Shea Butter for my fiance, but with me asking for a luxe faux fur coat for Christmas, I felt that I needed to make sure I was on his good side. He likes the large tubs that are a bright gold, which he sits on the back of his toilet and covers his skin with every morning. I put him on last year when his skin was especially parched, and now he’s glistening after each bath, better moisturized than even me! Knowing his dedication, I recognized that he would have been disappointed if I came around him without his tub of gold.
So I handed over $20 to the first seller I saw, and the man realized that he needed to get change. So he walked away and asked me to watch his table for him for a few minutes.
There I stood, next to the oils and incense, African black soap and Shea Butter, taking in the smells. I always love to check out the variety of products these vendors sell, including the names they’ve picked out for their oils. As I was scoping them out, from out of nowhere came a rather tall and heavily-built man who was standing in sweats, ogling me. I knew wearing tights was a bad idea.
“You looking real good today,” he said. I said thank you and quickly looked away, but he just kept talking.
“You got a boyfriend?”
Since I wasn’t feeling too good, I made a bad judgment call and quickly flashed my ring to make it clear that I was indeed taken–and to dead the correspondence. I say that I made a bad judgment call because my mother often likes to scare me into hiding my ring–as to not get the wrong attention on these New York streets. But he paid it no mind.
“Aw, okay. How long you been engaged?” he asked.
“A while,” I responded. To which he replied, “You havin’ a bachelor party?”
I raised my eyebrow at the confusion and responded with, “You mean a bachelorette party?” I don’t know why I even bothered to try and correct him, because by engaging this guy, I kept him talking. But considering that I was supposed to be watching the man’s table and waiting for my change, I couldn’t just bolt or flat-out ignore him. Who knows how he would have responded?
“Yeah, a bachelorette party. You know, if you need that, me and my man’s can hook you up…”
I started to zone out of the conversation and directed my attention back to the incense lamps, thinking of how nice something like that could be as a Christmas gift. And then I thought about how hot it was for a December in New York City. But my random thoughts were quickly interrupted when I heard this man say, “So yeah, we can hook you up! If you’re looking to drink, smoke or you wanna f–k before the big day, please let me know.”
It was said in such a nonchalant way that it made his statement all the more creepy. And yet, I was so sick and so tired that I just stared blankly and said nothing. Thankfully, the man whose table I was watching, who owed me $10, was coming back to hand me my change. As he gave me my money, I quickly grabbed it and walked away. Away from the disturbing dude and away from 125th, as I headed back to the train to Brooklyn. As I left, the man said, “Alright. Have a good one. You still look good!”
When I shared that story with my co-workers as I asked them about some of their creepy encounters with guys on the street here, as it turns out, my story somehow took the cake. It took the cake, in their eyes, over a man telling my married co-worker that she had “gorgeous toes” before following her through a bodega. It took the cake, in their eyes, over our office secretary telling me how a man propositioned her mother for sex on the train just to see if she was down. It took the cake, in their eyes, over the co-worker who said she and a friend walked past a group of guys who gave them a round of applause and said they were thankful for the view.
Everyone had a story about what it’s like to encounter thirsty men in the city, but mine seemed to be the worst. Blame it on the vulgarity of someone inquiring if a taken woman still wants to try and “f–k” before saying “I do.” Hard pass, bruh.
But what’s your story? What’s the craziest thing a guy has said to you while you were walking around in your city? And how did you respond?