I Am Man: Catcalls, Pick Up Lines, and Other Success Stories

Man shouts, “Hey there, beautiful!” from the other side of the street, and Woman dodges two lanes of speeding cars to meet him. Let them honk, she thinks. I have found love.

Waiting for dinner to arrive, Man draws surprisingly realistic penises on a paper serviette. Woman silently assesses: funny and artistic. Woman sneaks photo, posts on Instagram, wonders rhetorically: #whyamisolucky?

Man wants to know: “You from around here? Local girls aren’t this pretty.” Woman feels – counting babies and old women and small tweens too young to be hit on – like one in many million.

Man mansplains his job as an architect and it occurs to Woman: I never knew buildings were made from plans. Woman finds herself deeply attracted to Man.

“Hey, I didn’t think you’d notice me,” is Man’s comment from behind Woman in the queue. She hadn’t but now she has and her only regret is that it wasn’t sooner.

Man “accidentally” leaves sunglasses in Woman’s purse to guarantee a second date. In a hypothetical pie chart representing Woman feeling touched versus creeped-out, creeped-out is only a tiny sliver.

Man walks on the side of the pavement nearest the cars, hand shooting out periodically to prevent Woman crossing the road ’til he deems it safe. Woman imagines herself a princess. Or a small child. “Chivalrous,” she tells her housemate later. “Like a knight.”

Man’s five construction site co-workers, shoveling cement, look Woman up and down, but only Man has the balls to say, “Wanna come home with me, sexy?” She does. Of all the things Woman wants today, this is the most.

Man calls out, “Hello there, ladies” as Woman passes by, alone. Woman considers that Man might be suggesting a threesome and gets excited.

Man fixes his eyes on Woman at Bible Study and reads aloud from Proverbs 31: “‘The virtuous wife looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.’” Woman makes mental note never again to eateth the bread lest it spoil her chances of becoming Mrs. Man.

Man looks down at Woman’s sandals and notes, “You’ve got very nice toes. I have a foot fetish, so…I would know.” Woman feels special in a niche-market/artisanal bakery/vintage-clothing-store-purchase kind of way.

Man whistles at Woman. Woman hears it. Man knows Woman hears it. Woman knows Man knows Woman hears it. Yet Woman walks on, pretending to play coy. Really, she is imagining how handsome Man’s face might be. Probably very.

Man grabs seat next to Woman journaling on the bus and jokes, “Can I sign that?” Woman laughs. Woman can’t stop laughing. This is very funny.

Man–strolling casually through the weights section of gym in his “My Girlfriend Is Outta Town” T-shirt–treats Woman to an unsolicited wink. Woman smiles back. Woman mouths slowly: I’m all yours.

“Do you speak English?” Man asks in a bar full of English. Woman tries to answer “non” sexily in French which she then remembers sounds exactly like “no,” so just ends up giggling flirtatiously. Woman won over, already.

Man says, “I wanna get lost in you” after a few drinks and Woman wonders if Man knows how sex works, but mostly she is turned on.

Man has been eyeing Woman at work. Woman has been eyeing Man eyeing her. Finally alone in the elevator, their eyes meet. Man delays no longer: “Has anyone ever told you you’re the most beautiful woman on the 9th floor?” Woman blushes, hopes elevator will ascend forever.

What Perfume Is,

Perfume is Semester Abroad Syndrome (when your friend kisses everyone on both cheeks to say hello now that she is back from Europe).