Why Yes, They Are Mine

I was walking in Union Square Park to meet a friend for dinner, looking very weary after work when I ran into a friend. We chatted for a bit and as we said goodbye, two awkward chubby 15-year-old boys crossed the sidewalk and without a hint of hesitation stuck a rose in my hand, saying “a beautiful flower for a beautiful girl”. I smiled and laughed, noticing they were wearing t-shirts from the same NYC art camp I had attended many years ago. Amazing! I thanked them for the rose and told them that I too attended the camp. “When?,” they asked eagerly. “2008”, I replied. They seemed visibly disappointed at our age gap. We shared awkward conversation until the corner when I split off.

I continued down the street laughing to myself thinking how I looked like a contestant on The Bachelor holding one single red rose given to me by fifteen year olds. Too funny. Late for dinner, I hurried through the next block, still laughing, when I heard a tall African American guy next to me say, “Those yours?!” I wasn’t sure what he could be referring to… It seemed like a question that wasn’t directed at anything specific- something you say to get someone’s attention and try to talk to them. So I ignored the question and instead cackled loudly because his line delivery was so funny. “Thank you!!” he yelled in reply. I walked ahead before getting stopped at a crosswalk when of course the guy and his friend caught up. As I was waiting, the guy and his friend approached me again. “You never answered my question.”

“What do you mean?” I asked. He gestured “politely” toward my breasts, which although large for my petite frame were completely hidden by a baggy, knit sweater. I laughed awkwardly avoiding the question (so awkward), to which he said, “But really, are they real?????” “Um YES”, I said indignantly. It was so uncomfortable! I walked ahead and called a girlfriend to stay preoccupied and avoid another random sidewalk confrontation. Yet another case of cat calls in New York.


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