As the only daughter in a typical suburban household, my mom and dad assumed the customary role of over-protective parents. The City was a dangerous place where children from good families were kidnapped by pimps and drug dealers disguised as bus drivers. It was better to spend our time sitting in our carpeted homes watching people living in the city on television, or to occasionally go out to the movies and watch it on a much much larger television. And I mean who can blame them, I recently got on a bus bound for Cambridge and somehow ended up in Roxbury. In a 12" miniskirt. But sometimes, it's just downright flattering. There are all sorts of crazy people around with very active vocal cords seeking to embarrass themselves just for you! One of the more awesome (and very odd) moments of my life occurred this morning:
I nonchalantly walked past an idling taxi, at which point the driver shouted something at me. Naturally I assumed he was asking me for directions and I would be forced to tell him that I was just visiting. He offered me a free ride to wherever I was going (three blocks from my office) which I declined, which prompted him to then ask me to lunch and/or dinner. I began to walk away but he actually got out of his cab to follow me around and ask for the specific reasoning why I would not go out with a nice middle-aged taxi driver like himself. After fumbling for a while with some excuses I had stashed in my purse for the appropriate moment, I finally found the good old standby which was that I was in a VERY SERIOUS COMMITTED LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIP WITH A GUY WHO DRIVES A MUCH BIGGER TAXI THAN HIM and that I probably shouldn't even be speaking to him right now.
A less exciting and somewhat more uncomfortable example happened last night around the south end, when I was mistaken for a prostitute and queried about services by a man driving slowly by. He didn't go so far as to ask for rates/discounts, etc., he just uttered the two magic words: "Sweetheart. Sex?" (He liked me!) After pausing to consider the proposal for the appropriate two to three minutes, I moved on. I am a lot of things, but a prostitute is not one of them.
For whatever reason I've been getting approached by people in vehicles lately. Why is this? So they can drive away real quickly if I actually say yes? So there you have it: cities are a great place to build up your self-esteem by talking to whackos.