But thank god a creature of some stripe has taken a liking to me. In this Siberia of foul urban winter and dispositions, attention from any human specimen is at the very least refreshing, if not welcome. Commonly, I have been quite popular with the type of suitor who stands on street corners/ works construction/ is a Vietnam veteran/ is homeless. In the gilded days of summer, any off- handed commentary regarding the generous proportions of my backside would have been greeted with an aghast, "How very dare you! I am a tax- paying, upstanding citizen of high moral fortitude!" Now if the local wino shoots me a sidelong glance, I prance and dance away.
So when I walked past a middle school yard (and the yard part quite clearly resembles the prison type of yard rather than a place in which to play croquet) at lunchtime and a rotund Latino boy whose voice had not yet experienced the tinges of pubescence threw himself against the chain link fence and shouted, "Miss, I think you're so beautiful," I smiled in spite of myself. How charming! What elevated tastes and preferences!
But then a few days later I was walking by those basketball courts on Houston and Allen behind a group of four (maybe) junior high boys. They were doing a super annoying bad walking thing that makes it impossible to pass, and this will drive me to physically assault to old ladies on the subway. So I sighed obnoxiously, and one of the young scamps said, "Sorry Miss, but he [Asian boy, ill- fitting button down, gay] wants your number." I was wearing a puffer jacket, maybe that threw them off.
BUT THEN, a few days later, I experienced a run- in that begs the question: do I look young, like a dewy faced nymphette, or matronly like, "Hello Mummy?" I work in an all- girls school where all the pupils are paragons of virtue, but we unfortunately share our building with a gauche boys- and- girls- together institution. On Friday, I was walking in one of their halls, and granted I did look fucked up. I was wearing Minitonkas, jeans missing several closures, and a bargain basement poly- blend monstrosity. As I walked by a pair of young men who were no more than 18 years old (although they looked as if they may have been 30 and work on the docks), they did dinner plate, cartoonish, elevator "AAAOOOGA" eyes and said: