I suppose I was overdue. It hadn’t happened in awhile.
Monday I’m working (happens a lot when I’m working, or on my way to work). My job’s tedious and annoying. I’m wearing an ugly orange vest and carrying around two orange flags. I’m a spotter for a forklift as we maneuver gear around in a high foot traffic area.
Most people are following my instructions and walking a safe distance around the lift. Some people I have to yell at because they are so absorbed in their iPhoneAndroidMusicThing that they almost decapitate themselves.
So as I’m blocking people from hurting themselves, one older black gentleman walks by, looks me up and down, and yells, “Oh yeah girl, make that money. Make that money, girl.”
I’m startled for a moment. It’s been sometime since I’ve been catcalled. As is my normal way, I ignore him and go on with my day.
Then last night, Tuesday night, the next night, I’m walking towards my load out. Monday was a hard day. Today is no better. 6am load in. 3pm touch ups. 10pm out. I’m tired. I didn’t get enough sleep.
Monday was draining. Tuesday is taking its toll. By the time I’m walking towards my strike, I just want to finish the gig and collapse into my bed.
As I walk through the parking lot to the main entrance, I see two guys by a 26′ box truck. They’re working with another company. I put a car between myself and the two men as I make my way towards the front. They’re chatting amicably, and I get this feeling. Sure enough, as I walk by, a high pitched shrill whistle rings through the air.
I’m not startled. I am slightly annoyed. But I was expecting it. I keep walking.
I don’t get it. Cat calls (from randoms on the street) have never caught my attention except in negative fashion. Why do guys do it? What’s the point?
In my experience as a “shorty”, cat calls are the exact opposite way of engendering my affection. At best, I ignore them and go about my day. At worst, I loathe the person hooting in my direction and wish a thousand plagues on their lives.
Has a cat call ever worked? I can’t honestly think of one person I know who has responded to a cat call with a phone number. Laughs, maybe. A smile, possibly. But, for me, absolute loathing.
Twice in two days. A record for me solo.
Once, though, when I went on a high school trip to Puerto Rico, our group encountered cat calls multiple times a day. Then again, we were a group of eight sixteen and seventeen year old girls in the middle of a Latin cultural Mecca. To not be cat called would’ve been odd.
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