Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Boobies on Parade

This morning I was faced with a minor conundrum while walking to work -- a conundrum which I quickly resolved by burying my head in the figurative sand and walking along my merry way. But, as these things tend to do for me, I started thinking too much about the situation.

As I stood on the corner of a relatively busy downtown DC intersection waiting for the light to change, I noticed a nice young woman out of the corner of my eye. She was about my height, petite and trim, sipping what appeared to be a cup of coffee.

I noticed her because every time she lifted the cup to her lips, I got a rather clear view of her bra, as it supported her right breast, nicely separating it from the left.

I did a subtle (I hope!) double-take just to be sure, and yes, it appears that one of the buttons on her blouse had come undone. But not the top one. So basically she had one button done, the next one undone, then the rest, leading down to her waist where the blouse was then tucked into her dress skirt.

Flummoxed, I tried to figure out how to bring this to the woman's attention. Do I tell her that I just saw her lace-covered right boobie? If so, how? Do I feign some embarrassment? Excitement? Perhaps just saying it matter-of-factly might do the trick?

Eventually, however, I reached one conclusion, and that was that it was too early in the morning for me to get slapped in the face or, worse yet, to have coffee thrown at me. Not having much experience in the field of commenting on women's breasts, I figured I'd err on the side of personal caution and keep my mouth shut.

See, you can never tell how a woman is going to react to the knowledge that a random man has been -- however briefly or accidentally -- staring at her breasts. This woman could possibly have thanked me for pointing it out. Or, this woman could possibly have branded me a perv for even daring to allow my eyes to drift 10 degrees south of the horizontal, missing her eyeline completely.

Sometimes women react this even if when they are wearing clothing designed to draw attention to her breasts, or at least their chest area. By this I mean, for example, tight t-shirts with words on them, like "Everything's Bigger in Texas" or "Juicy". Most people are compelled to read those things, but then some women wearing them get offended that the readers are staring at their chest:

Girl: Are you ogling my chest?
Guy: Uh... well, uh... I was just...
Girl: Man, I hate guys like you. That's so freakin' rude.
Guy: I was just reading what your shirt had to say!
Girl: Yeah, right!
Guy: Don't look now, but there are words running across your chest right now, which kind of invites me to read them.
Girl: Just because there are words on my chest doesn't give you free license to stare at my boobs all day!
Guy: Well if you don't want someone reading your chest, you shouldn't wear a shirt with all those words on them.
Girl: Just go home and masturbate, and leave me alone, perv.

With me (because I seem to attract scary people), the conversation would have continued thusly:

Me: Chill out. Hell, I'm gay, fer cryinoutloud.
Girl: Shyeah, right. "I'm gay" is a cheap and easy get-out-of-jail-free card for sexual harassment, now isn't it?

Just to be sure, for reasons completely outside the realm of sexual harassment, the same analysis applies to men. I can never tell whether to tell a guy his fly is down for fear that they'll wonder why I was staring at their package to begin with. This took a particularly uncomfortable turn when, at a work conference several years ago, a colleague of mine returned from the restroom with part of his shirt, otherwise tucked into his pants, protruding from his wide-open zipper. How was I supposed to tell him? Would that have been better or worse than having him suffer the embarrassment of many many many people seeing it before he noticed it himself? (Aside: he is a rather overweight guy, if you catch my drift, so I'm not sure he would have seen it himself for quite a while.)

So this is why I ended up keeping my eyes straight and, and mouth shut, on that corner this morning.

And for the record, sometimes I do go around just checking out random guys' packages.


Cincy Diva said...

In your best stereotypically gay voice say
"Girlfriend, your name must be Victoria because I can see your secret!"
She;ll either get it and laugh or she'll be clueless and a peepshow.

Steve said...

Maybe you could've just said, 'excuse me, but your boobs kept staring at my eyes and I couldn't help but notice...' Nah, mabe not.

john of ne said...

"Nice tits, thank you."

MoDigli said...

I love the RuPaul-type approach that cincy diva suggested! Great idea! :)

Hopefully Miss Skippy Button felt a breeze or something that might have helped to alert her to the boobie shot that she laid wide open. Otherwise, she may have worn it that way all day. Yikes!

katie said...

I always wonder what to do in situations like this as well.

As a woman I think it's easier to tell people because you usually aren't accused of being a pervert.

Ryan said...

That chick looks like Nancy Grace - Librarian for Hire.

Jon said...

Next time, just jot down a note saying something like 'Bitch, your tits is like popping out and shit' and bolt away before she can read it.

But it's not like I'd do that. I'd probably maintain a very straight face and burst out laughing as when she's out of ear shot