Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Amusingly Horrible Things Strangers Have Said

Strangers sometimes say amazing things, so we asked you to anonymously pass along the best you've heard, and we made it into an unseeded tournament. An impartial judge picked the "winners."

1. While I was walking to meet a friend before church, before noon, wearing a dress: “Yeahhh, walk of shame!!!”

2. I was on the subway. There was a homeless man sitting across from me who was carrying around a collapsible card table and holding a Mylar balloon. After he caught me watching him talk to his balloon he looked at me and said, "Ugly face, you an ugly face! You ain't never going to find a husband." I happened to be riding home from a horrendous job interview the day after my boyfriend dumped me.

3. Blockbuster cashier: "Your son wants to rent this video game so should I add it to your other items?" He was referring to my 11-year-old brother, I was 16 at the time. He followed it up with "You know, you kind of look like Jay from Jay and Silent Bob. That's pretty cool."

4. "Oh, you're studying Arabic, are you? That's not your culture." [I'm white.] "You know, with girls, I really recommend instead of trying to learn things that have nothing to do with your background, you really spend some time working on yourself instead. Just think, if you really wanted to, you could lose like 10 lbs!" And then she gave me her card; she was an eyebrow threader with a salon in the neighborhood.

5. I was actively receiving chemotherapy, at the hospital, sitting outside in the grass between sessions. I weighed 85 pounds, completely bald without eyebrows or eyelashes. A lady walked by and said "You know, sitting in grass like that can give you cancer." I looked up at her and said "Ma'am, I don't think I have to worry about that."

6. Drunk Girl: "So, when are you due?"
Me: "I'm not pregnant."
Drunk Girl: (shocked) "No! You're TOTALLY pregnant!"
Me: "...I'm. Not. Pregnant."
Drunk Girl: (confused) "...Are you SURE?"
Me: "I'm going away now."

7. "Your sons are so sweet and polite. I would never have guessed you were a single mother."

8. “You have a really small head." About 50 different Japanese people. I was getting really paranoid until someone told me it was a compliment. Apparently.

9. Halloween. My girlfriend was dressed as a Bavarian beer maid and I, also female, was dressed as a fairy. We took our kids up to one door. A middle aged woman gave the kids some candy and said, "A beer maid. You need bigger boobs." Then looked at me. "And you," she said. "You're supposed to be a girl, right?" "Everyday," I said.

10. An elderly lady with dyed black hair walked past me at a crosswalk and yelled "You're not allowed to fuck!!!"

11. "Of course you would, you chubby thing!" When asked if I would like cheese on my burger, at a BBQ.

12. After asking what race I was and I, in a moment of weakness, actually giving the real answer: "Wow! I would never have guessed you were black! You're so pretty! Are you sure?"

13. Some neighborhood toughs to a guy friend I was walking with: “I’m gonna fuck your bitch so hard her ass is gonna cum.”

14. I'm wearing lace tights (and other clothes, thank you!) and riding on the Metro in Washington DC.
Female stranger: Damn, girl.  That looks terrible.
Me: I'm sorry?
Me: I am . . . wearing tights?
Female stranger: Oh shit, I though you were a burn victim.

15. Yelling, while at the DMV: "No, I don't want to be an organ donor! Don't you know that now when you die, they give you this shot that makes you come back to life? So if you're an organ donor you come back and then you don't have any organs!"

16. So, post-make-out-slobber-fest on a dance floor at da club with tall, dark, and handsome, duder and I exchanged digits outside. Next evening he called to schedule a date, and said, “I'm not very picky, but you looked interesting." I still went on the date.

17. Ten years ago, an older woman at my church who I knew only by sight told me, an awkwardly lanky and skinny 12-year-old with a shaky body image, "You know, the way your ribs poke out, it looks like you have two extra boobs under your boobs. You have four small boobs! Almost like a cat!"

18. Before an early-afternoon college football game, I was walking to my job writing obituaries at my hometown's newspaper. As I passed a parking lot, a man as old as my grandpa offered me a beer. Because I was underage, I declined. Then he said, "So how about a blow job instead?"

19. After just meeting a former, five foot tall roommate, “Ooh you're tall. You can reach things off the top shelf for me! You know what would be add to this awesome? If you also had a penis!"

20. I'm walking down the street, about to pass a dude on a stoop: "DAMN girl HAAAY!" I walk past him. "OH HELL NO that girl ain't got no ass! Aw no, shit, never mind THAT."

21. Man in sloppy, oversized coat and hat: "You know you really shouldn't wear skirts in winter, even with nylons. The cold is bad for your vaginal area.” As I back away: “Hey, I am a gynecologist, I can say these things!"

22. From a girl I had just met at a bar, through mutual friends:
Her: "Is that your real hair?"
Me: "Um...yes."
[Awkward silence as everyone in group dies of discomfort.]
Her: "Oh! No! Hahaha! It looks really good! it just looks kind of fake and wiggy!"
Me: "..."
Her: "No, it's cute! Like Monica Lewinsky!"
Me: "..."

23. My college hosts the state's annual Special Olympics each year, so we are encouraged to be helpful with the athletes walking around campus. I was waiting at the corner for the light to change, and the lady next to me looks at me and says, "Excuse me, should you be crossing the street by yourself? Do you need help?" I was not an athlete.

24. After giving a sushi waitress my order she said, "You eat a lot, you freak."

25. After introducing himself at a bar, without a pause long enough for me to swiftly turn away, a man leans in and blinks his eyelashes on my cheek, leaning closer he whispers in my ear "that was a butterfly kiss."

26. “I really feel like I’ve met you before. No? Are you sure? Really? God, you must just have one of those really generic faces that just looks like everyone because it doesn’t look like anything at all, you know?”

27. "What happened? You used to be prettier." Guy I'd never met before, who heard my last name and thought I was my sister.

28.  I'm at a bar, on a date with a totally different guy when this guy sitting next to us starts talking non stop about how great my boobs are. He turns to the girl he's with and says "It's too bad she's not bi, we could play with her." The girl responds, "Oh I'm not nearly drunk enough."

29. Store clerk, upon seeing my driver's license picture with my natural hair color: “Ugh!  Why'd you dye your hair that dishwater blonde color in that picture? It looks way better now.”

30. A homeless man approaches me and my girlfriend while we're eating cupcakes in a public area.
Man: Wow, you have really great hair.
Me: ... I'm glad you think so.
Man: It's very nice and pretty...[ferociously] like a girl! [He runs away.]

31. “You’re really pretty except for when you smile.”

32. A cashier while checking out at a clothing store:
Her: "Oh, this is really cute!"
Me: "Uh, thanks..."
Her: "It's a good thing you're buying it now, too."
Me: "Yeah, I figured I'd go ahead and get a jacket before the weather gets too cold."
Her: "Oh, I just meant that we seem to run out of the really big sizes quickly."

Previously: Amusingly Horrible Things Bosses, Significant Others, and Moms Have Said.

Next: Amusingly Horrible Things I Have Said. Please submit!

554 Comments / Post A Comment

Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood

When I was walking home from college 2 years ago a (what looked like) homeless man asked me if i was in a band, told me that i looked like i was in a band, and after cornering a me against a wall asked me if i wanted to be in a band.

I assume this is how 'N SYNC was formed.


@Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood The homeless have a lot of opinions they will provide, unsolicited. I was walking home from the gym with my friend, who is naturally very slender. A homeless man said, "YOU look good," then to me said, "You got about 5 miles to go."


The Hairpin: Putting dumbassery in perspective since 2010™


Hahahahahaha! #17, I'm so sorry for your 12-year-old self but that is HILARIOUS. I have that ribcage too.

Ms. Information

@wallsdonotfall That one was funny because the old lady compared her to a cat. I imagine the old lady had a lot of cats. They were probably her only friends.


@Ms. Information Right. Without the cat: horribly mean. With the cat: what?!


@wallsdonotfall Haha yeah..see if people had compared me to a cat like that instead of just inferring I had anorexia I would've found it funnier.


@Polina What is it with people and anorexia diagnosing? When I was younger, this happened all the time! A woman shopping in the book store I worked in years ago walked right up to me--too close--and stage-whispered (read: not at all quietly), "Are you going to be OK? It's a good thing you work here; maybe you could look at some of these books in the self-help area." That was actually worse than the many acquaintances and coworkers who did the, "Why are you so skinny? [complete with disgusted face] Do you ever eat?" Answers, respectively: "...Genetics?" and a deadpan "Yes." (And don't even get me started on the bitches and assholes who nod knowingly when you decline the hideous office-party cake they're serving for whatever stupid occasion they've come up with that week!)


@Hellcat People are so terrible when it comes to other people's weight. I have so many stories about this. My brother and I are in the genetically thin category, I guess. Kids were really mean about it. My own sister was my biggest bully. And oh my LORD the work environment bullshit. It was literally the biggest crime I could commit: not drinking soda (hello headaches) and bringing a bagged lunch rather than listening to the stress-whims of my stomach (that would be made up for at dinner). People seem to think that if you have the littlest bit of self control (or IBS..who wants to have to admit that?) that you're not one of them and are mentally ill. Then there's that whole real women have curves thing. I know it's hard to be a woman and worrying about your weight, but we're not doing ourselves any favors by saying one woman is normal and another is not. Can you tell I could go on forever?


@Polina I don't mind if you do go on forever; this is a thing that always bugs me, especially the "real women" business. I'm a real woman, I swear! I've rounded out a little bit over the years, but I'm on the smaller side now and, every once in a while, this still happens (though not to the degree of strangers blatantly asking about anorexia--which, by the way, if I were suffering from, would I talk about it with some lady I don't even know in a book store that happened to be my job? I think not). The majority of both sides of my family are on the tall-and-narrow side (I got the proverbial shaft on the tall part); it's no one's conscious choice and, in my case at least, it had nothing to do with eating/not eating. And, believe me, there were many times that I wished that my fast-food habit would change things for me (back then, you'd never catch me with a salad, laughing or otherwise!). I felt sort of violated that people who'd be mortified to mention a heavier person's weight felt no compunction about commenting in depth on mine. I am certainly grateful that weight isn't something I have to struggle with; I wouldn't even know how to go about it. I just wish that some rude people wouldn't assume that there's more to the story (or, at least, assume all you like, just keep your nasty trap shut about it, I guess) than ordinary genetics!

And I am a non-soda-drinker too (unless you count plain seltzer.. because I am an addict) for no reason other than it is too sweet! I don't find that weird at all! Why does everyone else?

Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)

@Hellcat Ugh, I hate it when people say that "real women" have a certain body shape or whatever. Don't people know that there's no actual definition of what a "real woman" looks like?


@Hellcat Yes, yes, yes! It's just so frustrating to be treated with automatic suspicion just for being thin (and at a medically healthy weight). For instance, I've started to have to watch some of the foods I eat because they are automatic triggers for my IBS. Sorry to be gory, but stomach cramping and subsequent diarrhea with certain foods quickly inspired a newfound self control with my eating habits. And I hate that I literally have had to explain my shit problems to people just to get them off my back about not ordering Chinese food at lunch. No, I'm not on a diet that makes me holier than thou. Just trying to avoid something wildly embarrassing and painful. And I will eat all the bad food in the comfort of my own home where I don't have to be embarrassed if I run to the bathroom afterwards in pain. These are people who are extra sensitive to the "fat" comments. But they turn on a dime and infer that I'm unhealthy and trying not to gain weight (I have seriously never tried to lose weight in my life). Honestly, I've just gotten to the point where I just have to categorize it as unchecked jealousy/insecurity. I know to people who are battling weight problems that sounds horrid, like I'm just a thin little princess sitting on a cloud, but I'm tired of battling those people.


@Hellcat Oh, and I'm still going. I hate how people are constantly trying to say that people like Christina Hendricks or Kim Kardashian (as beautiful as they are) are finally changing things, bringing back the ideal body. That is just as unhealthy and dangerous for young girls as Kate Moss being shoved down their throats. They should want to be them, not someone they can never be!

Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)

@Polina Think of it this way: If we start seeing more women of different shapes and sizes, and it's their natural size, being thought of as "beautiful" then it's a step in the right direction. But we're not there yet. Maybe someday.

And I totally get your struggle with IBS: I don't have it, but I'm lactose intolerant and my stomach is sometimes weird about other things. Because of it, I'm maybe 5-8 pounds lighter and the weight loss shows. I dated a boy who liked to tell me that my wrists were too thin (maybe he meant it in an affectionate way?) and thought I was too picky about my food (I'm not counting carbs, it's just that I've eaten nothing but carbs for three days and maybe I should have some vegetables or something).
Being graphic about it is basically the only way to shut people up.


@Rookie As one of those 'real women' who has curves AND fat (not actually the same thing) hearing people talk about 'real women' makes me want to barf. On their faces.

'Real' women don't even necessarily have uteri and vaginas, so shut up. (Them, not you, obvs). I don't want to shift the ridiculously small parameters of 'beauty' a few centimetres. I want it to include EVERYONE.

I have one particular friend who I have just stopped seeing because all she does is snark on other people's bodies - too thin, too fat, too short for that dress, too whatever - and it is so exhausting. And don't even START me on the office food judging. Maybe I just like salad and don't like licorice, and am not on a diet, please don't nod approvingly. I am not 'being good'. ARGH.

Sorry. I just get SO MAD when people seem to think they have a right to dictate how other people's bodies should look.


@Rookie I'm not the best at articulating this...I definitely think having all sorts of women represented has to be better than not. I just feel as though right now it's exchanging one "norm" for another. As you say, we're not there yet.

@Craftastrophies "'Real' women don't even necessarily have uteri and vaginas, so shut up." YES! Such an excellent point.


@Polina I've found my own internalised bigotry about this got better once I unplugged from maintstream media. I didn't intend to, but since I mostly consume through the internet, I see far fewer ads, and I watch a lot less shows about only one kind of people. I find myself looking at ads now and thinking 'oh my LORD, she looks like an alien! What happened to her rib cage? Where does she store her organs? Is that supposed to be sexy?' NOTE: this is only about 'shopped ads, not about actual people walking around. It makes me so cross that the 'ideal' is not only something that only 2% of the population can achieve, with time and money, it is now actually completely impossible, because human beings do not look like that.


@Craftastrophies "Where does she store her organs?" made me laugh in such a way that part of the almond I was eating came out my nose.


@CraftastrophesI don't know about aliens and organ storage, and I've known plenty of people, myself included, whose ribcages are visible (and the god-damned jutting hipbones that are never not bruised because of balancing a laundry basket or just running into to every hipbone-level thing on earth), but I love that you used the word "cross" in this context! It's sort of old-fashioned and so perfect!


@Hellcat Ha, 'cross' is one of my favourite words. I am fairly old fashioned and crotchety, so it IS perfect :P

Yes, I did only mean images like that Ralf Lauren disaster where they literally would not have the torso room for organs. Bodies are so different, all you can tell from looking at someone is what they look like - you can't tell if that fat person runs marathons or if that thin person has an eating disorder or, like one of my cousins, eats about six meals a day and is still teeny tiny. I hope it didn't come off as judging real people - that is, actual people walking around. Just the artificially 'enhanced' images we are force fed. One of my cousins has a concave chest, it's just how she'salways been, and people are just so intrusive and rude about it. You know, it 'can't be normal' it 'needs to be fixed'. IT IS FINE. It's fine! She looks lovely, and also even if it wasn't fine, it is 100% none of those people's business.


@Craftastrophies And what if it actually did "need to be fixed," you know? Why do these rudesbys (rudesbies? How's that for old-fashioned?) assume that the person has not already thought of this, or in the process of having something done? On top of being insulting to someone's appearance, these people are doing the same regarding someone's intellect! Ugh. Oh, I hate people!

My friend has taken to slapping his palm down on his desk and yelling, "I am extremely cross!" at work. People don't seem to know what to do with that.


@Hellcat I KNOW, right? Like... there is nothing you could say about this that is necessary or appropriate. Just shoosh. You do not always need to be flapping your mouthlips. Your input is not needed. I'm a small fat, but some of my largerfat friends constantly get people asking if they've tried weight watchers, etc. They have. They have tried everything. One of these friends had a serious eating disorder for many years, so that is NOT an ok thing to say to her. Or people saying 'oh, you're fat!' Like... maybe we hadn't noticed and none of their friends were game to tell her? JEEZ.

People. Why do they think their opinions are worth a damn?

HA! I like your friend. That made me smile.

Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)

@Craftastrophies Ugh. People are evil. They need to think before they speak.

The Lady of Shalott

People are unbelievable.


#17: After I had mono in high school, my spleen was really inflamed. So my doctor sent me to get an ultrasound just to monitor it. When I lifted up my shirt, the technician shrieked and told my Dad who was with me that "she really needs to get some treatment for her anorexia!" I have Pectus Carinatum, a rib deformity which even if I wasn't a thin person, would make my sternum and ribs pretty obvious. I don't even have a severe case in the scheme of things. But if I had a dime for every time someone had a similar reaction upon seeing it, I'd be rich.


@Polina We can be freaky torso buddies. :) I have an inch and a half deep dent in the center of my sternum. I was born in under 1.5 hours of labor, and I guess it's fairly common for quick births to result in broken sternums.
The doctors are very clear on that part of the story. They are less clear on how no one in the hospital could have noticed the new baby's sternum was practically in two pieces...


About a year ago, I was working by myself when this rather anxious looking guy comes in. He is not interested in anything I'm selling. In fact, like #12's stranger, he wants to know what race I am. When I tell him (mixed, black and white) he - NO JOKE - says, "Yeah... you look like a house nigger." Then he went on to describe how he would've been stuck in the fields, unlike ME, and all the while I stared at him mouth agape.


@mouthalmighty Oh dear god. That's f****ed up


Dear #17:

My childhood best friend was always very thin (she struggled with an assortment of eating issues, though we didn't realize at the time) and had very prominent ribs and collarbones.

"Katie has six boobs," we always used to say.

Sorry, Katie.

P.S. She is all better now.

Lauren Mullins@facebook

The thing I dislike about "real women having curves" is that I have small boobs. I'll always have small boobs, even when I gain weight. So I have a real self esteem problem about it. I feel like I'm not a "real woman." Especially around my friends with their bursting cleavage and when I see honest to god runway models with boy bodies that still have more tits than I do.


I feel like sometime there's also going to have to be a bracket for amusingly horrible things you've accidentally said to people during a nervous bout of verbal diarrhea.


@werewolfbarmitzvah I could fill my own bracket.


@werewolfbarmitzvah I once (drunkenly) told a friend's girlfriend how much I liked her backless shirt (one that just ties in back. This was circa 2001.) and that I was jealous because I couldn't wear them because "My boobs are too big."

Of course I didn't mean this as "Your boobs are small! Ha ha!" but everyone took it that way : /

Really though, I'd love to loose a cup size or two and get to go without a bra. In my mind at the time, it was sort of a compliment?


@werewolfbarmitzvah I once told someone that I really liked how big her teeth were. I did! I think mine are too small!


@werewolfbarmitzvah I could definitely fill my own bracket too, but I can't think of any right now. I know I put my foot in my mouth on the regular, but I actively try to block it all out, otherwise i would spend all day every day cringing.

Deanna Destroi

@werewolfbarmitzvah At a Halloween party, a guy was dressed as the Oxiclean infomercial guy. The way his shirt was tucked into his khakis made his pants kind of pooch out, so I drunkenly asked him, "Are you wearing padding? Can I poke it?" He looked at me strangely and said, "Um, no, I'm not wearing padding." *dies*

Nicole Cliffe

@werewolfbarmitzvah When I worked at Dairy Queen ("there'll always be a place for me at the DQ"), I once said "oh my God, what happened!" to a mom about her baby.

Full-face birthmark. I wanted to kill myself.


@werewolfbarmitzvah In college, I had a long suffering crush on a guy friend of mine that was never going to happen. When he got a girlfriend, I made the extra effort to be super nice to her so everyone could see how mature I was being, and I drunkenly told her that I just LOVED her accent....yeah, she had that accent because she was deaf. OOPS.


@NeverOddOrEven Uhhhhhh I may have had this exact same conversation with the exact same best-of-intentions.


@werewolfbarmitzvah Oh God I win this one. 1988: we come around the corner in the school bus and see Narrabeen Lagoon in the sunshine! "Isn't it breathtaking!" I exclaim. "You said it," says Jen. Her father had drowned in it THE WEEK BEFORE. She still talks to me. Amazing.




@werewolfbarmitzvah Once, this dude I had just met, who I guess was of a middle-eastern descent, remarked that he looked like Osama bin Laden. I observed that this was an odd thing to say of oneself, and that he didn't at all, and in fact on balance if he had to look like a prominent Middle Eastern figure, I would say facially he was closer to Saddam Hussein. He went round the party we were both at telling everyone 'that girl said I look like Saddam Hussein' as if I'd just rolled up to him and said it unprovoked. I had to leave the party.


@NeverOddOrEven I was always a small-boober (finally grew some when I was 35!) and I would have understood completely! At the book store job I mentioned in a comment above, I had to be in this horrible bridal shop fashion show in-store event thing and the shop proprietor lady was such a bitch to me (who, by the way, was cooperating admirably by wearing an awful salmon-colored number that weighed about 75 pounds due to excessive beading) as she shoved scratchy shoulder pads from some other outfit into the front of the dress, all the while cursing her luck that "the short bony one" ("one"! Not even "girl," or "young lady") would be more appropriate in the flower girl ensemble. God, that job, man.


@werewolfbarmitzvah Hear ye all big-boobed ladies. SMALL-TITTED LADIES DO NOT HAVE A FREE PASS TO LET THEIR BOOBS ROAM FREE. I have less than A tits, and I can tell you that I *need* a bra. Those pointy bastards look odd as hell out there on their own.


@Yatima You're in Sydney?! I wonder how many Sydney Hairpin readers there are. We should organise a pin-up. Er, if one hasn't happened already.

Kate Kane

@werewolfbarmitzvah Gah, I once told a a heavily pregnant bride who was explaining having to take out her dress "you can't even tell [you're pregnant]." What I MEANT was the cut was flattering, but I'm pretty sure it sounded like "good job hiding your enormous self." Totally appropriate comment on your wedding day and from your friend's girlfriend that you've met maybe four times, right?


@werewolfbarmitzvah There is! It's the next round, it says so at the bottom. Submit submit!

I'm sure I have fifty gajillion million, but thankfully my memory is shite these days and it's all a warm fuzzy blur.


@cado My wee ones point in opposite directions and/or wander around if I don't rein them in. It's like being wall-eyed, except with tits.


@Xanthophyllippa YES!! This is exactly my problem, although I would never have the genius to think of it as having wall-eyed tits.




@GoCeilings Ah! Amazing to see other Aussies on here, not from Sydney but I thought I was the only one :)


#5 There are some places that sitting in the grass can give you cancer, such as in the parks around Chernobyl. So, she was partially correct.


@graffin Getting chemotherapy in Chernobyl - or, what it feels like to go on a date with Rich Santos.


@graffin I can't believe #5 got knocked out in the first round. Really? But I'm sure it will triumph in the Comebacks you Amazingly Enough Thought Of At the Time bracket.


So, for #13, you'd fuck her until she pooped on you? Sounds...sexy?

And I've had something similar to #4. I was in a natural history museum with a friend. A woman chaperoning her daughter's school trip tapped me on the shoulder, and handed me a card. It was a card advertising some sort of weight loss therapy. After I read it I looked back and her and she said encouragingly, "It really works for people like you!" Because I was surrounded by school children, all I did was give her the dirtiest look I possibly could and then tear the card up in front of her. Grrrr.


I'm a little sad 25 didn't do better!

Vera Knoop

@antarcticastartshere 25 is my absolute favorite. By which I mean, of course, that I may never sleep again. *shudder*


@antarcticastartshere My grandmother used to give us "butterfly kisses" when we were leaving after a visit. (She also gave us a quarter each as a "PG" or parting gift.) I am very upset that this creepshow has tainted my childhood memories.


@Vera Knoop

The appropriate response might be a caterpillar kiss (lunge in, bite off one of his eyebrows, spit it onto the floor, and say "Oh, look! A caterpillar!").

Etruscan Duck

@antarcticastartshere The failure of 25 to advance out of the sweet sixteen is the upset of this tournament. I feel like I need to wash my face now. Clean person: Bleach? Or vinegar?

JoAnn, Sidewalk Chic@twitter

"You are so pretty, except for your arms. Your arms are fucked up." Never mind suffering years and years of eczema and acne on my forearms (they're fine now).

People are pretty shitty sometimes.


@JoAnn, Sidewalk Chic@twitter I have big, prominent scars on my left forearm because I was an unhappy and melodramatic teenager. They're much less noticeable than they used to be, but I think strangers will still be asking about them for the rest of my natural life.

I just get "WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR ARM" on the regular, though. No "fucked up." Yet. Thank god.


@JoAnn, Sidewalk Chic@twitter My sister has skin grafts and burns on her arms and people have assumed anything from cooties to STDs. And they have no problem speculating this to her.


@JoAnn, Sidewalk Chic@twitter I feel your pain. I hike in the deep woods for a living, and factor in scratches, falls, and one very angry squirrel, add an oil splash burn, and you have a good idea of what my lovely forearms look like.
They are also ridiculously ripped and tanned most of the year. My little sister told my dad she wants to meet a man with manlier arms than her sister has... :)


@JoAnn, Sidewalk Chic@twitter Oh, hey another eczema-haver! It sucks.


I have one I have one! On a very crowded train I was able to find one open seat next to a woman. I asked her, "May I sit here?" and as I sat down she said "Don't you think it'll be a tight squeeze? You're a very big girl. There isn't any room."


@gigglefest and then you beat her senseless with your handbag.


@gigglefest At least once a week I sit next to someone super passive aggressive about space. It's usually young dudes who apparently need all that room for their massive testicles, or old women with shopping bags. I used to try to make myself as small as possible - my general public transport strategy of politeness. Now I let my fat rub all over them. TAKE THAT.

Kara Reynolds

Wearing a button down and knee length skirt and Audrey Hepburn flats on my way to my job at Brooks Brothers, some crone screams "I SEE YOURE WEARING YOUR FUCK ME PUMPS TODAY!"

Wookiee Hole

@Kara Reynolds I can't like this enough!


@Kara Reynolds Loving the use of "crone"!

Chloe Zoidberg Harrison@facebook

@Kara Reynolds My dad said that to me once. He called my shoes my CMF's, or my "come fuck me's." On the plus side, he's dead now.


@Chloe Zoidberg Harrison@facebook Wow, that one wins the creepiness award for me.


29...I had something similar happen at Boston's Logan Airport. The security man scrutinized my ID, looked at me and said, "you look MUCH better in real life." Granted, for some reason I am orange in my license picture.


@jackeemarie This reminded me of the time an airport customs dude was looking at my passport and commented on how I must have lost weight because I looked thinner in person. I agreed with him because I had probably lost about 10 lbs since the picture had been taken. Then he said "You must have lost like half your body weight!" Whaaaat?!


@jackeemarie This happens to me all the time. I get bored easily with my hair, so I grow it out, cut it short, and dye it different colors on the reg. Plus it is curly in an unpredictable way, so it looks different every time anyway. It seems like everyone who checks my I.D. has a comment - usually "Oh I like your hair way better now, you're much cuter than this picture," but once in a while "Why did you cut your hair? It looked great!"

Either way kind of sucks. Either you look awful now or you looked awful then, which people don't seem to realize is also an insult.


@jackeemarie in the late 90s i had a super short winona ryder cut but my license pic had long hair. i had to get my car towed and the driver looked at my license and told me i needed to wear wigs, like his wife does. WTF?


@oeditrix I had a TSA agent outright LAUGH at my passport and insist it wasn't me. I had to show her my expired driver's license (why I was using the passport instead) to confirm my name. Even though I agree the passport picture is terrible and I look better now, it was just cruel.


@jackeemarie customs guy in Vienna looked at my passport photo - at me - back at my photo and - laughed. Just laughed. I would have asked only my jaw was on the ground. It's true I look like a vampire witch in that photo. But still!


@jackeemarie Oh, man, security in Israel last summer almost refused to let me on the plane because I "didn't look like my picture" and "how could they be sure it was really me, would I please follow them and their extremely large machine guns to this small room, please?" And all I could do, in my moronic half-Biblical Hebrew, was try to explain that, dude, I was NINETEEN in that picture, and weighed 15 pounds more eight years ago, and have dyed my hair a bit since then, it's true, and can I please, please just go home?

a horde of great crab things

@jackeemarie I think that guy either got transferred from or to Cincinatti airport! Last time I flew into the states I handed over my passport, the guy looked at it, looked at me, looked at the photo again, shook his head, and said very aggressively 'that's not a good photo of you'. Yes, that's Cincinatti, Ohio- otherwise known as the Stinkeye state. (i'd like to thank wikipedia with its assistance on that joke).


@Pony-girl I've gotten the laugh before...I think it's because I accidentally wore white in my picture so it looks like I'm a floating head. I'm bad at ID pictures.


@jackeemarie Passport photo of me at twenty: glossy ringlets, John Lennon glasses, expression of EXTREME naivete, stereotypical fundie christian. Actual self, almost ten years later: Mia Farrow pixie cut bleached blonde hair, titanium frames, tech job in San Francisco. Customs agent looks from me to picture and back, laughs: "Girl, wha' HAPPEN?"


@Yatima You sound positively adorable. Says an internet stranger with the least creepy intentions possible!


This last weekend was homecoming, and as I was biking to campus to do some studying, a guy screamed at me from his porch "YEAH. RIDE THAT BIKE. LIKE A DICK. YEAH."

Unfortunately, at my school being anonymously verbally abused by drunk bros is pretty standard practice any time of the year. Several of my male friends have inexplicably been accosted with drive-by homophobic (or otherwise hateful) slurs for, of all things, wearing jean shorts.


@renemargarita Street harassers are so creative, aren't they? Just a few weeks back I was walking home with a friend, walking my bike so I could talk to her, and some passing stranger felt the need to inform me that I could ride him in a fashion similar to that in which I'd ride my bike. Or something.

Great minds!


@renemargarita Oh god. My bf and I were walking by a frat near our apartment once and a guy leaned out the window and shouted "She's too fat for you, bro!" One of the reasons I hate living in a college town.


@Polina Oh god. Ugh.


@renemargarita I was biking home from work in absolutely torrential rain. Needless to say, I am drenched. I round a corner, and a wonderfully observant and mature motorist LEANS OUT HIS CAR WINDOW to say, in a lovely sing-songy tone, "You're all we-et! Na nana na na!"


@mynamebackwards @kayjay My bf spent the next 15 min yelling at him to come down and apologize, and I just wanted to go home..

But I threw a rock at his window when a lot of the students went home on that particular weekend. It broke and we had a torrential downpour the next day. Sometimes the universe aligns! Probably shouldn't be admitting that, but you know..it kind of made me feel better.

Ham Snadwich

@renemargarita - Well come on, jorts. No one should wear jorts.

Ladies Who Punch

@renemargarita Were they wearing jean shorts cause they were never nudes? Maybe they were not okay with Tobias Funke the Analrapist?


@renemargarita Some dude yelled something like, "I LIKE YOUR JEAN SKIRT! I WANT TO FUCK IT! JEAN SKIIIIIRT" at me a few months ago, and I barely broke stride, because why bother. College towns.


@Polina I'm delighted that you did that.


@thebestjasmine It could've worked out badly for me, but I guess the universe allows perfect revenge sometimes.


There ought to be a little message card to hand such people. Something like: "Later when I tell all my friends and then share your epic insensitivity on the internet, please know that 1,000s of strangers will be rolling their eyes at you, much as I am right now."


@City_Dater Let's hand those out at the next pinup. Cause that is brilliant.


@City_Dater Speaking of much needed cards to hand out, I quite enjoy the idea of these. Maybe we could make a PSA and try to get the street harassers on board


@City_Dater I LOVE THIS with my whole heart! Reply cards to the terminally insensitive is Brilliant! I making them right now. I mean after work.


"I like your hair. It's not too curly."


@Jaya "You have lovely straight hair! It'll probably get curly when you get pregnant. That's what mine did."


@Jaya One of my best friends is Korean, and freshman year of college, one of the girls on our floor in the dorm said to her, "Oh, you have such pretty Chinese Korean hair!" And then was totally baffled as to why that *might* have been offensive.
Of course, now we tell my friend ridiculous things about her Chinese Korean hair all the time and giggle uncontrollably, so that's good.


OMG mine made the bracket!


#29: You should probably tip your colourist extra though!


@Megan Patterson@facebook I would if I did not do home color!


Once, in a pizza parlor in the middle of summer, random lady says to me:

"Wow, you're really pale. Is your skin naturally that color? Have you gone to the beach at all? You should really go to the beach. Wow."

Fuck you, snooki lady! Pale skin was a symbol of ROYALTY.... 400 years ago.


@bonnbee THIS HAPPENS TO ME EVERY DAY. *sobbing*


@bonnbee Just going to add a big ME TOO. Fuck those people. They'll all die of skin cancer and be wrinkly.


@bonnbee I did go to the beach, and was told, "You're so white, you make the sun squint."


@Polina Right? Sorry people. I don't tan. Not like I Don't Go Tanning, not that I would anyway, but my skin PHYSICALLY DOESN'T TAN. Get over it.

My standard response is "I'd get skin cancer before I got a tan."
Hopefully puts it in perspective for them...


@bonnbee I've had internet dudes tell me to "get a tan!" (and also, "fix your hair" - it's curly) more times than I can even count. Also, on the night before my college graduation I broke out in hives due to an allergic reaction, puffy and red all over, and when one of my friends saw me at a party that night, she congratulated me on "getting some color." So apparently my red, bloated, swollen hive-face still looks better than my normal paleface, I guess. These tan-bigots can shove it as far as I'm concerned.


@bonnbee Me also! Ex-boyfriend's mom turned to me during a conversation about summer at the beach: "Do YOU like to sit in the sun-- no, you don't, do you." Then we all laughed uncomfortably.


@WaityKatie This is really off topic I know, but I gotta ask: are you a Wobbly?


@WaityKatie Ohhhhh yeah, the allergic reaction thing has happened to me, too! I had a bad reaction to some sunblock and got a big red scaly rash all over my face for about a week, and when I walked into work, people started saying, "Hey, looks like you finally got some color! Good for you!" And I'm all, "Whaaaaa?" Even a scaly red rash looks better than my natural ghostly pallor?


@J Keems@twitter Not officially, but I admire them!


@NeverOddOrEven When I really want to bring the room down, I mention that my dad has melanoma, and it's genetic, so that is why I'm going to go ahead and NOT "try harder to tan," thanks.

Kerri Mercury Morris@facebook

@bonnbee Last summer, I took my friend back home (to Eastern Kentucky, god help her) for a family reunion. On the way, we stopped at a gas station to buy sun block for her very fair skin, and the check out boy said "Oh yeahhhh, yer gunna need this, yer REAL WHITE!"


@Kinloch I'm sorry, I just laughed out loud at that.


@bonnbee While studying abroad I had a woman compare me to "a snow-capped mountain" because of my pallid chest/shoulders/face over a black tank top. I just laughed. I was not even large at the time!

I also had a gypsy curse me and then spray me with breast milk. But that's another story. If only I'd entered this contest though!


@bonnbee In middle school, one boy came up and pointed at me and asked his friend "What color do you think she is? Transparent?"


@WaityKatie I'm super petty about it and I love making people feel guilty about it by telling them about my Dad's pig skin graft on his head. It generally shuts people up.


@Lucienne Ugh, I had almost this identical experience.


@pterodactgirl Tell! The! Story! Tell! The! Story!


@Lucienne fksdljfksl! My high school principal once asked me if I had drawn on my arms with a marker, referring to my veins. It's kind of insane how many stories I have on this topic.


@Lucienne One of my "nicknames" (from bullies) in junior high was Casper. That was actually the nicest thing they called me, so I wasn't too bothered by it.


@Polina Pig skin graft! I usually just talk about the chunks of flesh they cut out of my dad, but that one is even better.


@pterodactgirl I second the request for the gypsy story!


@pterodactgirl My sister's boyfriend is Ecuadorean-Lebanese, and when she visited his father nicknamed her Caspar. "My older sister [me] is even paler," she said. True.


@bonnbee Once on vacation I got a ton of dickish 'you're so pale/albino' comments from an exceedingly sensitive dude staying in the same hotel as me. He also called San Francisco 'Gaytown' when I told him I was from there. Later in my trip I saw him and he had apparently been pickpocketed for a large sum of money. I wasn't entirely sad for him.


@WaityKatie my nicknames were Albi (as in Albino) and Powder. This may have caused me to become a regular at the tanning beds for a couple of years (I no longer go!), which I am already paying for in wrinkles (at 24) and am convinced I'm going to get cancer. Wah waaaaah.


@oeditrix @WaityKatie So my boyfriend at the time was visiting me in Chile where I was studying. We went for the day to a beach town and were approached by a gypsy who offered to tell my fortune/make my bf love me forever. Being a naive American who'd never really had contact with gypsies before, this seemed like a cute idea and I agreed. At the beginning of her spiel she says she needs all the money in my wallet, but that DON'T WORRY I'll get it back (I was 20. I was naive!) So I hand over the equivalent of about $40. Then she proceeds to prophesy sunshine and roses for me and my bf forever! Haha very fun, okay, now I want some of that money back. I will pay for the fortune but not $40. But now she claims "That money is gone." Um, no? The conversation got progressively more heated until my bf spotted a passing policeman and brought him over. He treated the gypsy woman like the scum of the earth (which I was fine with at this point, hurray Chilean racism/classicism) and forced her to return the money. Then she proceeds to curse him, me, and my relationship with undying gloom, although I probably couldn't have been in this contest because I can't remember her exact words due to her culminating this speech by WHIPPING OUT HER BOOB, SQUEEZING, AND HAVING BREAST MILK GO EVERYWHERE. Including on me. Then she shuffled away grumbling, while I stood there in shock.


@beanie It's okay dear lady...I only recently stopped slathering on stinky self tanner.


@Polina haha that stuff does just smell awful. My roommates and I were three pale girls (two blondes and a redhead) and our bathroom reeked of Jergens Sunless Tan.


@beanie It's really too bad this didn't happen in like 2007, and then you could have pretended that was an "Albi, the Racist Dragon" reference and that you had the coolest bullies ever.


@bonnbee One winter break we visited my grandpa and his wife down in Florida, and even though they are of Dutch ancestry (as am I, what with being related and all) and even though they both grew up in Michigan, which is not known for its year-round sun, neither could get over how pale I am. To them, I am The Pale One.


@pterodactgirl I . . . did not know that was even possible. I am glad I never pissed off a nursing mother.

That is one hell of a gesture.


@oeditrix Girl. I did not either. She looked very crone-y to even BE a nursing mother so maybe it was all part of her gypsy powers? Although considering she cursed me I'm not allowing myself to believe she actually has powers. My bf and I did break up though...so maybe??


@bonnbee The otherwise-very-nice lady in Sephora the other day did this to me! She was helping me (too much, really; I just wanted to find something myself, but I made the mistake of asking for something they didn't have, and thus summoned the "How about this one?" routine) and said, "This one would be best for you because you're very pale--FAIR! You're fair!" I didn't really care but you'd think the cosmetic lady would be especially skilled in that particular art.


@all: Sorry you had so many experiences with people commenting on/berating your skin. This dude thinks fair skin is lovely.


Oh my god I can't believe how late I am to a topic that seems like it was made for me! I have got comments about this all my life.
@WaityKaite I got 'The Ghost'. They missed out the friendly Casper part.
My dad is probably the worst person I know about it actually. He ruins all my holidays*!


Atheist Watermelon

@bonnbee I once had a guy ask me when I broke out a miniskirt after a long winter, "are your legs naturally that pale???" I replied, "no, I bleach them."


@LittleBookofCalm Haha, zing!!

Blousey Brown

Ex-boyfriend: "You have the cutest little mustache." Same creep, at college reunion, after turning me around by the shoulders to inspect my body: "Those jeans do nothing for your ass."

Man on street in Austin, to my friend and me: "Hello, whores."

Other man on street, in Denver, on Valentine's morning: "Good morning, shit face."

@special_boots The Hairpin could do a whole "Amusingly Horrible" column on street harassers, I believe.


@Blousey Brown To be fair, that last thing is the way I wish I could greet most people on Valentine's Day.


@Blousey Brown so true. My weirdest street harasser: man asks me for a dollar while waiting in line for coffee. I decline. He barks, "you probably need to, to keep it so you can BUY SOME FAKE TITS! You have FAKE TITS!" and runs away.

Best: "Hayyyy, you got pretty buns! Pretty buns."


@Blousey Brown Or, like, ten of them. Did you see the one on Jezebel a couple years back? The one from the girl who had some creeper on a bus tell her she had nice eyes and he'd like to cut them out and fuck the sockets beats the HELL out of the grossest harassment I've ever gotten, which is saying something.


@special_boots Oh my god, the eye socket one. I had someone say something very similar to me, but it was a coworker when I was 16. Something along the lines of "What if you fell and hit your head on that corner, and broke your skill open and I fucked your skull and your brains?"


@teebs holy christ. where the fuck were you working?? the docks? slinging crack? i can't, even.


@anna-chris haha, you just reminded me of the Best Time a Homeless Person skeeved on me. I was walking quickly down the street in my former sketchy neighborhood and this homeless guy was crossing the middle of the street. He saw me and exclaimed with so much enthusiasm, "it's a GIRL! Heeeee!" I burst out laughing, it was so random and well, I was lookin' pretty girly.


@candybeans I WAS WORKING AT RITE AID! I had no idea how to process what he said and just said "uh.." and then a customer came and I walked away.

hairdresser on fire

@insouciantlover I had a good strange encounter today too that this reminded me of! I was walking around my university today and an old man yelled "GOOD MORNING, STUDENT!" at me. I wish I had gotten to these earlier, dammiiittt.


@hairdresser on fire HA your username is awesome. And something like that would cheer me up, too. I love when people break societal norms to spread happiness.


When I was, oh, seven, I was walking on the beach with my mom and the wife of my dad's commander walked by. She leaned over and hissed "you have very ugly hair!" My mom chewed her out and hustled me away, but it scarred me until...college, probably. I have super super thick, wavy, coarseish hair (my current hairdresser, who i love, admitted to me recently that she was afraid to cut it the first time i showed up) that tends to grow into a triangle around shoulder-length if it's not layered properly. i restricted myself to short hair until this year because of the fear of triangle head. i'm happy to report that it's longer than shoulder length and not triangley...but damn, why would you say that to a 7 year old??


@dotcommie oooh, another. i was followed for about half a mile by two dudes who interrogated me about the ethnic origins of my butt. "girl, where you come from? you can't be white with that ass"

i was at a park near campus in my first weeks of college, blissfully studying on a bench when an older guy sat next to me and asked me if i had children. "uh, no, i'm 17" "well, are you married?" *gathers my things, begins to scurry* "no, i have a boyfriend" *he follows me as i nearly run back to my dorm* "please, i just want to be your friend" he hands me a card with his listed profession: carpet cleaner. ewwww.


@dotcommie My old housemates and I once had a party large enough that at least one stranger managed to come in off the street unnoticed. Unnoticed, that is, till he cornered me in the kitchen and insisted, "You must be Indian. I can tell from your ass." (Indian subcontinent Indian or American Indian Indian was never clarified, nor did it seem relevant.)

I won't even get into how far the conversation devolved before I had some of my friends throw him out. I was too drunk to do so as quickly as I should've. Je regrette.

Carrie Cook@twitter

@dotcommie I've had a similar ass-ethnicity confusion. I was walking (by MacArthur BART, bay area 'pinners!) on the street when a man at a bus stop yelled "Girl, you better give that ass back to the black girl you stole it from!"


@dotcommie Are you my best friend? Sounds just like her hair. but hopefully something so terribly bitchy as that never happened to her.


@dotcommie I, too have curly hair and have come to accept/embrace it, but finding a hair stylist who doesn't fuck it up has been a challenge. I always make sure to explain that I wear my hair curly, but they seem to only know how to cut it for straight styles. The latest bad haircut was horrible; crooked & frizzy. The owner of the salon kept trying to get me to come back in so they could style it straight so I would see how GREAT of a haircut it was. I have to fight the urge not to flip her off whenever I walk by the salon, which is everyday because it is in the same building as my office.


@dotcommie So many of these. Mine is, Scene: Lunch, 11th grade, in line for lunch, up to this point I had always brownbagged it. "Girl, is your MOM black?" "Uh, no." Hmm, this is weird. "Is your DAD black?" I don't understand, where is he doing with this? "No." "Then where'd you get that ass?" "Ummmmm." mumbling "I don't...genetics?" The thing was he definitely seemed to want some kind of answer. I just wanted some fries, dude!!


@Carrie Cook@twitter haha, that formulation is actually kind of clever. the thing is, i am half-ethnic (though v. white on the outside), i just don't want to give them the satisfaction of knowing that

The Lady of Shalott

@RosemaryF Auuugghhh I feel your pain. My curly hair is a...trial to me, though I usually love it. The last haircut I got was awful--the stylist kept asking me if he could cut bangs, even though I explained that I can't do bangs because they will curl up, and I'm not patient enough to straighten every day. "No, I'm sure they'll lie flat!" Okay, WHOSE HAIR IS THIS?

I hate that shit so much. Don't cut my hair like you would for a person with straight hair.


@dotcommie If by chance you live in Brooklyn, let me know, because I have a lady who will solve your triangle-hair fears, just as she did mine!


@Ophelia thanks for the offer, but I'm in Chicago and have found a dream hairstylist who likes to scare me by saying things like "maybe i'll go to nursing school." triangle head is a thing of the past!


@dotcommie soo, i'm also in Chicago and i have curly hair and major anxiety about finding a new hairstylist and avoiding triangle head and who/where do you go to?!


@gunface man i wish we had DM here. my stylist is justina at milio's by the belmont red line stop (it's in the same building as a tanning salon but don't be fooled by the door). fair warning, i don't have curly hair, just really thick slightly wavy hair, but i have faith she could help you! she's very good at listening to what you want, and not that pricey (like $40-45)


@dotcommie yesssss, thank you! i actually had a previous roommate go to Milio's and said it was an awesome experience, but i didn't trust her. BUT I TRUST YOU! i'll definitely have to make an appointment with Justina.


@gunface milio's is really hit or miss with the quality of their stylists--i had some bums before finding justina. tell her the internet sent you!


#8: In Mongolia sometimes they called me baby horse. Apparently a compliment, because baby horses are cute. Talking horse, however, is an insult.

Where I worked the Mongolians had covertnicknames for all of us foreigners (my favourites translated to "crazy bitch" and "gnome"). At first they didn't know my translator roommate was giving me language lessons, which mostly consisted of insults and compliments. I caught our translator calling me pretty during the morning meeting :)


@Xaxa The thought of being called a gnome honestly just gave me the LOLs.


@Polina Gnome (ulghereen bataar) was a very short French Canadian gentleman. It was very fitting!


#29 Side note: I know there are a bunch of us redhead 'Pinners. How many of you have gotten a variation of the backhanded compliment "You're one of the pretty redheads!"?


@Polina When I dyed my hair red I got a lot of, "whoa, red head = trouble!" type comments. Blonde I would get looks but no comments. Black, ignored completely.


@Polina Yep! And some, "Oh, you have NICE red hair. That must be better than the other kind" Meanwhile, I totally looked like Orphan Annie until about the age of 12, so F off, strangers.


@Polina : I'm a redhead, and I've gotten a few like that. My favorite was when I worked in a brokerage firm as the only female trader, and a CLIENT asked if it was "true what they say?" He then explained, "You know, red on the head, fire in the hole!"
I wish I'd known the term Juicebox back then.

Nicole Cliffe

People just LOVE saying crazy shit to redheads.


@Ophelia Yeah, a lot of people over the years have said that my hair "had to be dyed" because it was straight as a pin.


@Xaxa i once had an old lady in the grocery store recite a poem to me that she had written about red heads. something like: she leads a life of sin, and drinks gin, because she's a redhead.

also when i told my family that i had gotten engaged, my grandmother asked my husband if he was sure he knew what he was doing. me having that "redhead temper and all."


@MoonBat Ugh..the firecrotch stuff. Something funny which I will relay, though: a few years back I had dyed my hair black and my gyno (who hadn't seen me for a while since I had moved away) was like "Oh! Heehee..so that's not your real hair color." Which honestly was one of the best/funniest "firecrotch" moments I've had.


@roaringkitten A life of sin 'n gin sounds pretty A-OK to me!


@Polina that is AMAZING


A man in a van driving down 1st Avenue once pulled over, rolled down his window and yelled "You're transparent!" at me


@thatsrealbutter: "... then how did you see me?"


The worst thing a stranger ever said to me: "I think I'm gonna rape me a WHITE BITCH!" Oh wait, that wasn't amusing, just horrible.

The best thing a stranger ever said to me: "Better run, girl. Sugar melts in the rain!" (It was pouring.)


@punkahontas My favorite thing that someone said was, "It's okay, I'll beat up the floor for you." I had just tripped on a crack in the sidewalk.

Unaccompanied Lady

I was riding (horses) with some childhood friends in our old neighborhood. Though I grew up on horseback, I hadn't ridden much in the previous 10 years (I was in my early 30s) so when I got thrown and, it was revealed later, fractured a vertabrae, it stung in more ways than one.

A woman driving by saw what happened, and, while my friends were off trying to catch the horse, offered to drive me home. In the car, she asked me my last name, and said, "Oh you must be [name of younger sister]"

"No, no, that's not me. I'm ...."

"O! She must be your daughter!"

My younger sister is four years younger than me.

O! Winged Wanderer

@Unaccompanied Lady
Awww... I hope your back is better!

Elvis Costello's Spectacles

Ahh some of these are awful. It makes me never want to leave my house again.
Some recent ones I have encountered:

"You're so... white!"
[To Mr Spectacles] "When you two break up, can I have your girlfriend's number?"

Still, it makes a change from the usual cat-calling followed by HA I DON'T WANT YOU ANYWAY YOU'RE FAT when you refuse to acknowledge it.


@Elvis Costello's Spectacles flawless username


How did #2 beat out #25?

I was crossing the street one day, and this guy leans out of his car and shouts, "I wanna stick my dick in!"
I also had a drunk frat boy say to me, "Well fuck you and your little-boy haircut" because I didn't have any rolling papers to loan him.

Blousey Brown

@anna-chris Haha! Those are both amazing. Pretty buns!


#5 made me so mad! I had to stop reading for a while and take some deep breaths and come up with some good zingers. One such, "Thanks for your concern, but if you're really worried about cancer you should go into that hospital behind me and donate some blood or plasma. You know, something that might actually do some good." Or "I'm actually being treated for cancer right now, as we speak! And this is the first time in months I've felt well enough to go outside and enjoy nature, so thanks for ruining it, asshole." Oh man, sometimes I hate people.


@BigSteve Yeah, like, no offense to the lady who got called pregnant, but that is suuuuch a worse story.


@BigSteve I can only hope she was trying to make a joke. A very poor joke.


@BigSteve She was just one of many. I had one person ask me if my bald head was a "lifestyle choice". Yes, it was an euphemism.


This weekend I was dressed as a Muppet for Halloween, and various juiceboxes kept pawing at my costume's nose and eyes, and I would tell them to knock it off, you'll ruin it, etc.

One dude said "You wore it, you asked for it."

Luckily I had the presence of mind to ask him if that's what he thought of ladies in general.


@hungrybee Is your picture from the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta??


@The Kendragon Maybe? It came off the internet somewhere forever ago, because I like bees.


@hungrybee Oh ok, I grew up in Albuquerque and loved those two balloons.


I have a lot of tattoos so I'm kind of used to getting random stupid comments from strangers, but one I remember in particular was walking up the street in Baltimore and having a panhandler yell "you'll never get a job - you're too written on!"

I have a job now, and I had a job then, but whatever.


After making a remark about how I had bad teeth, an ex girlfriend said "I hardly even notice them anymore".


What's up with strangers and having so much to say about other people's damn hair? The one I thought about submitting, but rightly thought wouldn't be funny enough:

[Checking out at the grocery store with my girlfriend at the time]
Cashier:[addressed to girlfriend, not even looking at me] Ooh, can I touch his hair?
Girlfriend: Um...
Cashier:[vigorously rumples hair] Tch! Conditioner!


@Probs: Ahhh. I hate when people touch your hair without invite. I have had this happen so many times and it is always a gross violation of personal space. *shudder*


@mouthalmighty Yeah. I've had people ask, and while I've often said no, I've also consented on a number of occasions. But it's pretty messed up just to touch on someone else's head without their permission.


These should all win. Good lord.

viola bruise

"You have a small face and a tall nose."- 1000 people in Japan to me. But, it is actually a compliment!

You know what's not a compliment? "Good lord, that girl is bow-legged to death." Or, my dad to me and my (knock-kneed) sister, "It says XO when you guys stand next to each other!"

viola bruise

@viola bruise Or the shriners who offered to get me a scholarship to their hospital for crippled children when they saw me running pigeon-toed around the playground as a toddler.

viola bruise

@viola bruise What I am saying is, I am a born cowboy.


@viola bruise I just discovered that I am rather bow legged from all my years training horses.
I was reading a stupid girly mag article (So we already know this will be ridiculous) and it said that you can tell if you have "perfect legs" because when you stand with your feet together they will create 3 triangles of empty space in between where they touch. (Told ya it was ridiculous.)
I stood, looked, and saw one long oval.
Apparently Cosmo doesn't think my legs are up to snuff.


@The Kendragon Three triangles? Oh that's right, our thighs can't touch one another because that would be GROSS.


@oeditrix Eww. If your thighs touch, I think you need to do more laughing alone with salad! And I judge you. Heavily.


@The Kendragon When you laugh, the world laughs with you. When you laugh with salad, you laugh alone.


@oeditrix But...your makeup and hair is PERFECT when you laugh alone with salad. Isn't that what's important?


Ahhh these are so much more awesomely hoirrible than the previous brackets. My favorite one is the burn victim lace tights, because she didn't ZMEAN to be horrible but damn.


@iceberg *MEAN. Also, how did 12 not get further, that one is terrible. Oh, it's not amusing I guess, just wrong.


@iceberg Also also. Sorry #20, it probbaly stung at the time but that made me laugh. I could DEFINITELY contribute to the street harasser bracket if one comes up : (


@iceberg #20 was hilarous, agreed.


Ugh just yesterday I was walking home around midnight, and a drunk and/or homeless man muttered -- just loud enough that I'm pretty sure he wanted me to hear it -- "I wanna BITE that pussy!"

So of course I went the TOTALLY SAFE route and yelled back at him "Oh yeah? Really? That's nice! That's really great! GO FUCK YOURSELF!"


@Alli525 Similarly, while walking down the street in jeans, man says to me: "You just KNOW that's a gorgeous pussy!" To which I replied, "Your mother must be a whore." I'm ashamed of what I said about his mom and all, but I was mad.

Chesty LaRue

@vodkasaurus Similarly, I was crossing the street and a dude said to his friend "Look at the tits on THAT!"
I said, "Go fuck your mother."


OOH!! Can we do "amusingly horrible things people say to pregnant women"?? I am 28 weeks along and I have enough to fill up an entire bracket.


@bluesuedeshoes I'm almost 14 weeks and, fittingly, I think I could fill half a bracket, starting with the creepy salesclerk at the bookstore where I bought my pregnancy guide the day after I got a positive test and ending with a "friend" who tried to grab my belly this weekend. Her excuse? "Well, *you* just touched it!" Dude. DUDE.


@MmeLibrarian omg when I see people touch a pregnant woman's stomach without asking I shudder. Boundaries people!


@bluesuedeshoes Having been through two full-term pregnancies, I think there is Nothing you can safely say to a pregnant woman about her appearance. Of course everyone should know better than to say anything that makes her feel huge or gross. But also: I always carried small, and would get nonstop comments about how "tiny" I was. Meant as compliments, but the fact that I was actually measuring small and a little worried about the baby made them really stress me out. If you Have to say something about how a pregnant lady looks, stick to something safe like "you look so happy!"


@beanie Yeah. I don't let anyone touch my belly. I have heard that an effective way to combat this is to reach out for their bellies in reply.


@beanie Oh god, I was at work once, and a coworker straight-up grabbed my pregnant coworker in the hallway so she could touch her belly. I would seriously have punched her.


@piggie "You're as big as I am right before I delivered." Said the woman with the 10 month old WHO SHOULD KNOW BETTER. Grrr.


@piggie When my mom was pregnant with my sister, she was really big. There was a whale stuck in the San Francisco Bay at the time that the press named Humphrey, so people at her work started calling my mom that. I don't understand why she didn't set the office on fire.


@thebestjasmine OMG, I totally remember Humphrey! Also, OMG people are awful.


@bluesuedeshoes Sometimes previously pregnant people are the worst offenders. Maybe they think of it like fraternity hazing? " I had to go through it and so do you"? Who knows. These are probably the same people who regale you with unsolicited stories about their horrific or magical/easy birthing experiences.


@MmeLibrarian WHY do people do this belly-touching? I have never been pregnant, and don't plan to be, and even I notice this weird thing going on in society! What is going on in people's heads? And why do they seem like they think it's a nice thing to do? I can't even with that.


Also, I think we should have an "Amusingly Horrible Things Customers Have Said" -- so many awful stories from retail. Customers can be so rude and you just can't say anything back or your ass is fired.


@Alli525 Oh my god yes. I think that would take the cake.


@Alli525 Not retail, or all that offensive, but I was really taken aback by a comment to a guy who's table I was waiting on

Him: How's the Cubano?
Me: Well it's..
Him, Cutting me off: Oh, you're a vegetarian. Nevermind

WTF? The ONLY thing I think he could have based this on was the fact that I had just chopped my hair into a pixie cut. Maybe the fact that I have a visible tattoo?


@NeverOddOrEven True story: coworker meets my husband. Several weeks later, coworker refers to my husband as a vegan. I point out that when coworker and husband met, husband was eating. He was eating lamb... raw lamb. Oh, well, coworker sniffs, he may not be a vegan, but your husband sure has a lot of opinions.


@datalass I am just so confused by all this.


@Alli525 I worked in a bakery. A woman and her little boy come in, and the woman asks for a 'normal doughnut'. Now, I thought this might mean our by-far most popular chocolate covered cream filled thing, so I start bagging that up.
The woman sees this and very irritably tells me I'm wrong, and she of course wanted a sugared doughnut. So I oblige
The little boy:"Mummy, is she stupid?"
The mother: "Yes, shh,"

This is the same place where I met a man who was angry that the bacon wasn't ready for his bacon roll (maybe ten minutes after the shop had opened) and he was yelling at me. I forget what he said, because he had a teeny tiny swastika tattooed on his forehead, prison style.


@Alli525: Have you ever been to the Not Always Right site? Full of the crazy/amusing/awful things customers say. Any time I have a crazy/offensive customer, I like to look at that site and remind myself that at least I have company in the hell show that is retail rudeness. So basically what I'm saying is yes, I second this emotion, let's have a Hairpin version!


@feartie: Oh my gah. That would be my last day of work, with that lady and her kid. I would be fired. Maybe arrested.

Judith Slutler

@Alli525 I had a hipster dad and his insufferable seven-year-old daughter come into a cafe where I was working to play a round of foosball. The daughter was like, "UGH, why are you playing old music? Don't you have anything BETTER?" I'm sorry, you tiny evil child, I WILL PLAY ALL THE BILL WITHERS I WANT TO!

Lumpy Space Princess

@Alli525 I don't know how we don't have more stories on this topic yet! The most recent shitty shit shit thing that happened at work was I was ringing up this guy and his son, and the guy sort of whispers to his son, "I want you to pay attention to this. You need to study so you don't end up with a job like this." WTF! I like my job! It's cool and fun - except for the asshat customers of course!

Lumpy Space Princess

OH wait! I just realized that wasn't amusing, it was just horrible. Here's weird one to balance - I have major dimples and an old dude asked me once if I fell asleep on my rings. (I don't wear any rings).


@Alli525 My favorite story so far, of probably my entire life, went as follows:

Me: [la la la I have my earbuds in I am minding my own business and getting on the Q]
Me: [look down. confused. only wearing my silver claddagh ring, not fancy] "Oh, thanks."
Me: [legit question, I'm wearing it on my left ring finger] "My dad."
Woman: "Oh so it's your dad's ring?"
Me: [is this seinfeld? do i have man hands?] "No, I asked for it for Christmas, and my dad gave it to me."
Woman: "IS HE DEAD?"
Me: [well this just took an odd turn. easiest explanation is...] "Yes."
Me: [seriously?] "Well, I mean, he left."
Me: [ok say whaaaa] "I'm sorry, I really don't want to talk about it. Have a nice day." [earbuds back in]

I mean come onnnnnnnn. Who keeps pestering someone after they say their father is dead?? Just when I thought I might have seen everything. (Backstory: my father abandoned my family for another woman and now lives in the Philippines, so.)


@Alli525 When I was in college and working my first job (retail, similar to Hallmark store), a lady whose daughter had gone to junior high with me came into the store.

Her: "Don't I know you from somewhere? ... Oh! Are you [Elsajeni]? I'm [Some Girl]'s mom!"
Me: "Oh, of course! How nice to see you! How is [Some Girl]?"
Her: "Oh, she's fine... You know, I'm surprised to see you here. I always assumed you would go to college."

Iggles McFearson

@Alli525 I worked at a popular clothing store for 5 years (college and one year post-graduation) and usually once a day, or at least once a week, customers would comment on my height: "Ooooh guuurl, you so luttle! I just wanna put you in my pocket!" "Hey, you're really short!" Oh, really? My goodness, I never knew... THAT'S why I can't reach things!
I just do not understand where people learn that it's okay to say these random, most often insulting things to complete strangers!


Walking to the subway alone, late at night, carrying knitting needles: "ooh, girl, you look so pretty with them sharp objects in your hand."


I had a crazy old woman in rome come up to me and tell me that I was pretty, but too fat, and that I should eat more chicken. whaaa? did she think I was sitting around gorging myself of red meat and I should switch to the white meat?

Allison Richie@facebook

I was boarding the BX12 on Fordham road and a stranger came up and whispered in my ear "You got a fat ass for a white girl but you can keep that to yourself" as he walked away he hit his head on the side mirror of the bus.


@Allison Richie@facebook the whisper is so disturbing, but love the head whacking.


@Allison Richie@facebook maybe he meant "phat" which is a compliment ;) positive spin!!! I bet you do have a phat ass!


@Allison Richie@facebook
Is there ANY guy who can navigate the sexy vs creepy whisper?
WHY is it always the CREEPY WHISPERER


When I was 19 I walked in to a gas station to get some coffee as I was on a long drive. I had pink hair at the time, the man behind the counter was on oxygen. He looked at me and said "GIRLY WHY IS YOUR HAIR THAT COLOR" and I shuffled awkwardly and said "because I like it, I think it's pretty." At that point he became enraged and shouted "GOD DIDN'T INTEND FOR YOU TO HAVE THAT HAIR COLOR, HE DIDN'T MAKE HAIR THAT COLOR FOR A REASON, IT AINT NATURAL" to which i shakily replied "well sir, God also did not create oxygen tanks, so he probably intended for you to be dead by now." Then I booked it, sans coffee.


@Larkyn I wish i could like this more than once.


@Larkyn I want to high five you for this.


@Larkyn You are AMAZING.

Nicole Cliffe

@Larkyn Yeah, you win the everything.


@Larkyn What I love most is how I can feel the combination of nervousness and courage you must have felt. I also like that you ran out, no coffee.

Sorry For Partying

@Larkyn One of my dreams is to think of a clever response like that in time to actually say it. Instead of three hours later, which is what always happens.


@hungrybee I was TERRIFIED honestly I think I cried a little but by the time I made it home (2+ hours later) I was like GUYS, GUYS GUESS WHAT I DID.


@Sorry For Partying That's definitely the only time in my life it's ever happened to me.


@Larkyn this currently pink-haired lady salutes you.


@Larkyn: BOOSH.

Press your hand up to your screen right now to receive my e-high five.


I had a woman insist I was pregnant one time.
"Is it a boy or a girl?"
"Boy or girl that you're having?"
"Um...I'm not pregnant."
Then she put her hand on my stomach, rubbed my belly and said, "Are you sure?"
Then we had to stand there for a few more awkward minutes, waiting for our Taco Bell orders.


@mademoiselle my friend had a NURSE ask her when she was due and at what hospital she was delivering. Horrible.


@beanie Can't we just issue a decree that no one, ever, should ever ask about due dates or gender or anything about a pregnancy that s/he isn't *dead certain* exists? I have a friend who has been asked man times about when her baby is due (including by relatives of her new boyfriend at a funeral, which must've been troubling for everyone), and has never been pregnant. She could've had five entries in this bracket. just... come on! don't we ALL know better?


@candybeans my mother said to never ask anyone if they were pregnant, unless they were mid-labor, knees in stirrups.


@mademoiselle Ugh! Why do those people always ask if you're sure? Isn't it bad enough that they just called you fat? Do they have to call you stupid too?!?! I've gotten that more times than I can count. I must look REALLY pregnant and REALLY dumb....


@Kimchi-chan Ohh! I have a related one. I was at a group retreat, and we got a massuese in. Everyone else there were mothers. I was the last to get a massage. We spent the whole time talking about how she was almost 40 and had wanted kids, but it was totally fine that she neer had them, etc.

So she gets me to roll over to my front, and she starts massaging my stomach. There's this little pause and I think 'oh... no...' and then she says, with a wistful smile 'this is the only tummy I've touched today that hasn't had a baby in it.'

ARGH. 1) babies do not live in TUMMIES, no one eats babies (well...) 2) she was right, but how did SHE know? I might have had an abortion or a misscarriage or given up for adoption 3) I'd just gotten together with my partner, who has kids and has had the snip, so I was processing the fact that if it all goes as well as I hope it does with him, I will never have kids. In the event, I was fine with it, but man. What a not-ok thing to say!

hairdresser on fire

@mademoiselle Yeeppp, this has happened to me. I had recently been dumped and was selling purses at Macy's. I wore this verrrry mildly unflattering (but comfortable) dress to work every day because it was the right color and I didn't want to/was to miserable to buy a new one. A woman came and poked around the handbags, and right when I leaned over to unlock one for her, she said, "Are you pregnant?" And I said, "No..." Which, y'know, end of conversation? But then: "Oh. Did you recently have one?"

Chesty LaRue

@hairdresser on fire I was in the bathroom at a fancy restaurant in the Bellafio in Vegas, and wearing a super cute retro dress with a belt around the waist. Conversation goes as follows:
Woman: did you just have a baby?
Me: ha, no.
Woman: are you pregnant?
Me: nope, just fat.
Woman: ...maybe you just ate too much at dinner..?
I hadn't even gotten my appies yet, I was washing my hands so I just left the bathroom. I wonder how long it would have gone on for, if I'd stuck around.


@Chesty LaRue I stroke my potbelly sometimes. It's relaxing. I've gotten given seats and skipped to fronts of queues. Sometimes I take them. Sometimes - if I realise what's going on fast enough - I say 'oh, no, I'm not pregnant, just super fat! Thanks, though!'

I stole this wording off of a trans* coworker. Someone who should have known better asked her if she was pregnant. REALLY?


The crazy man that lived (and pooped) in the subway station near my college felt the need one day to growl at me: "I can smell your pussy!" Amusing and horrible, criteria met. With the bonus of being shocking and disturbing, especially at 8 in the morning.

O! Winged Wanderer

BONUS POINTS for Silence of the Lambs reference. He probably thought it was the cleverest thing in that movie and uses it on all the girls...


@HydrogenJukebox I've had the same experience! Central Brooklyn, per chance?


@piekin: Nay, Midtown Manhattan. Perhaps he drifts. I would hate to think there's more than one person saying this to people outside of horror movies.


to #14 - I was once wearing floral print tights and someone on the subway asked me why I has gotten such awful tattoos.

When I was a high school teacher, my students had be on intense baby bump watch. It was like I was Jennifer Aniston or something. Everytime I wore an empire waist, or seemed a little bloated, they would ask if I was pregnant.

Also, one student once saw me drinking diet coke and asked, "Are you one of those crazy white women who throws up all her food?" Um.

Kids, they say the dardest things...

O! Winged Wanderer

I worked at the airport in New York for a number of years, and people just say the damnedest things to airline employees.

Similar to #2:
Once I was stuck working what was known as the Bermuda Triangle - a cluster of three gates that were way too close together with shitty, older equipment and a propensity for frequent last-minute gate changes where no flight seemed to get out on-time EVER.

On one particularly crappy day (featuring multiple hour-plus delays and random freak maintenance issues), I was working side-by-side with a supervisor I'd had a crush on for some time whom I'd finally convinced to start dating me. After making several announcements and whittling down our respective lines, she decided to call down to operations and get a status update from the maintenance team. As she was on the phone, an older gentleman approached and began speaking. Trying to focus on the conversation at hand (operations can be very loud and it's very hard to hear with our crappy phone), she helped up her hand and pointed at the phone at her ear.

"One sec," she said. His shouted reply:


Then he randomly stormed off. She turned to me, shocked with mouth agape. Even the surrounding passengers were stunned. Finally, I broke the silence.

"You didn't tell me you had a boyfriend, you trollop."


@O! Winged Wanderer Airport people get the worst abuse! I have had to stop my mother from yelling at airport staff on several occasions.

O! Winged Wanderer

@Xaxa You get thick-skinned pretty fast but some things are so either hilariously awful or over the line, you can't help but react. I've got some doozies, and the worst are from fucking celebrities. People are hilarious.


@O! Winged Wanderer We need all your airport celebrity stories, stat, please.

a horde of great crab things

@O! Winged Wanderer Yes, please! You can blinditem them if you must.


So glad I didn't say / forget anything on Monday to make this list (though really, it would have probably been more of an "amusingly nice but waaaaay to forward" bracket winner, cuz everyone was super-awesome). And my contribution to horrible things:

New years day. I'm in Tompkins at about 6am (ugh why) in 2000 or so, and a clearly homeless lady walks up to me and says "here you go son" - and hands me a dollar.

Needless to say, I turned that dollar into a 22 of colt 45 and drank it on the streets. But still.


#26, sympathy. I have had a similar exchange with people I have met multiple times who don't remember my face. Also reminded me of: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEus5GLMFMg

Cat named Virtute

My left eye is kind of blurry looking due to glaucoma and a fucked up cornea, and while strangers have said all manner of special things to me about it, I think it's the Nice Ladies Of A Certain Age that tell me they'll pray for me that make me angrier than anything. Fuck you and the high horse you rode in on, you condescending jerk. The people who tell me I should get glasses/go see an eye doctor run a close second though.

Lately I am mostly just amused by all the Nice Ladies Of A Certain Age who come into my work (I'm a circ clerk in a library) and tell me that my (shaved on one side, vintage movie star wavy on the other, more complimented than any haircut I've ever had) haircut is "very... interesting." Thanks, lady.


@Marika Pea@twitter: Tell them they should pray for some tact.

Cat named Virtute

@laurel Oooh, that's genius! I'm going to remember that one! Thank you, Internet Stranger!


@Marika Pea@twitter I have blue hair. I've had blue hair for nigh on a year and a half now. The other weekend I had dinner with my family, then lunch the next day. Uncle D, three hours in to the lunch: Kate.... your hair is green!
Me: It's blue [continues conversation].

Then we also had to talk about my green (perscription for migraines) glasses. Which I have also had for some time.


I had an incident similar to the winning entry happen to me, except it wasn't really quotable because it went on and on and on. I was waiting for a train and some punk was verbally harrassing a very curvy woman on the platform. Usually my urban MO is to ignore and not get involved with anyone acting out in public, but this guy was really getting to me so I turned to him and yelled, "Shut the fuck up!" He lost. his. shit. He started yelling at me, he followed me onto the train, and he sat across from me and verbally harrassed me for like 15 minutes. Since I had already triggered him by acknowledging him and he had already followed me once so I didn't want to attempt switching trains, I just sat there like a stone statue, determined to wait it out. The highlight of his rant was that he made up an impromptu rap of insults about me: Ugly face! *thump, thump* Big feet! *thump, thump* Flat chest! *thump, thump*. Finally, finally, he gets off the train, still spewing insults at me to the bitter end. At the time I was livid with anger, but now I just think it was a weird experience that makes for a damn good story. Also, I thought it was ironic that I got myself into that situation by trying to come to the defense of another woman who was being harrassed, yet several other passengers on that train listened to me being harrassed for 15 minutes straight without doing anything about it.


@SuperGogo Yes, this is the kind of story that contradicts the "but why didn't you just stand up to him?" comments from the bar harassment story posted last week.


How does one get to submit these? I'm guessing emails are sent out? Anyway, they're uncomfortably wonderful.

1) Said to me by a dude in a wife beater while I was walking away from my apartment located in the Mission in SF, nearly 6 months pregnant at the time: "Hey sexy, you look good. How far along?"

2) Anything anyone has ever said about my name, thinking they were extremely clever and original. My name is Kandy.


@kayjay Kendra Wilkinson has ruined my name. I've got a whole song and dance routine down now.
Me: Hi, I'm Kendra
Them: Tundra? (for some reason everyone is always wanting to rename me Tundra.)
Me:No, Ken-Dra.
Them: OH! Like the Playboy bunny??
Me: Well... not much like the Playboy bunny, but yes, we share a name.


@The Kendragon I was trying to sort out the Kendra thing and why that would be a problem, until I got to that last part. I didn't know who Kendra Wilkinson was! She has a last name?

And Tundra? WTF?? That's just baffling, straight-up.


@The Kendragon No offence to your name, but I think I would let them call me Tundra. It's got mystique!


@kayjay Yes, she does. I unfortunately also know way too much about her, compliments of the common name. Apparently she's the "sporty one!"

@Xaxa I would, but I rather like my name.


@The Kendragon Ooh, a fellow 'pinner named Kendra! Although I've never had anyone reference Ms. Wilkinson when I tell them my name; they just seem to always assume I said 'Sandra.'


@loudmouthedgirl I am amazed you haven't gotten that at least once. I have no idea why people decide it's Tundra. Maybe I can't pronounce my own name?


@The Kendragon Suit yourself. I guess because I have a boring name (Christina) I welcome people inadvertantly giving me other names (usually just get Christine, but sometimes Christiana!) Though once when I was typing my name on my ipad I must have hit some wrong keys because it corrected my name to Cuttlefish.


@Xaxa Mine always autocorrects to 'rabid'.

Kate Kane

@The Kendragon My first name really is Kate and I've had many years to practice pronouncing it, but I guess I don't have the hang of my simple, common name. I had one person briefly convinced my name was Cake.


@Xaxa I especially love it when people automatically assume I go by "Chris." Once, at a former job, my boss stood behind me for, like, five minutes trying to get my attention by saying, "Chris? Chris?" over and over again. When I finally realized he was talking to me, I told him, "I do not go by 'Chris'" and stared at him stonily until he slunk away.


@Kate Kane I am now going to introduce myself as Cake. Because I am delicious!

Actually, my sister does this thing which irritates me to NO END where she'll mishear something, and instead of thinking 'hmm, what sounds like that, that is more likely in this context' she will say 'Your name is CAKE? That's STUPID'. Well, it might be. But that is not what I said.


@Kate Kane A little boy who I used to babysit couldn't pronounce my name so he called me cake. I thought it was adorable.


I'm fairly horrified by all of these and really impressed they didn't all end in punching.


@zobot Same here. Then I think about how usually when someone says something super mean I freeze up sort of like "no..that didn't just happen!" And then I spend the next week being angry, haha.


#18, I would like a follow-up story of how you got your revenge on the dirty grandpa when writing his obituary.


@dinos Ugh, this happened before I knew I could stand up for myself (I was 19 at the time), so I just kept walking.

When I got to work, Joyce, a sweet woman who had grandchildren herself and who had just returned to work from a leave for cancer treatment, hugged me and reminded me that not everyone who grows older grows meaner. And then she told me to start carrying a knife.


@thingsfallapart You and Joyce are awesome.


#12 just demonstrates how useless our notions of race are.


Imagine a very awkward, very self-conscious 9-year-old girl with a terrible boyish haircut (me) sitting on a bench at summer day camp. Two girls my age come and sit by me, and one stage-whispers to the other, "She looks like Paul from the Wonder Years."

The best/worst part was me hanging my head in shame and muttering, "I know."


@rhoswhen This story made me laugh, but not *at* you. It's super adorable. Have you by any chance seen the back cover of Mindy Kaling's new book? With the pic of her as a little kid wearing glasses and a puppet on her hand. I think you two would've been BFFs. Also, I loved Paul from the Wonder Years.


for context, i'm a very pale redhead. it was 90 degrees and i was wearing shorts
homeless lady to me: "daaaaaaaaamn girl you need a TAN!"


I was on my bike sitting at a stoplight, and some guy yelled at me, "Gurl, you look like a forty-six dollar hooker, and forty's for the bike!"


@mustelid He probably heard that from a friend and was simply determined to use it on the next woman he saw with a bike.


Once I was jogging relatively early on a Saturday morning & a homeless woman yelled at me: "You better run for your breakfast, KLONDIKE!" hahahahaha.

I hope Amusingly Horrible Things Said to Pregnant Woman and By Customers come to fruition. These are definitely one of my favorite features on The Hairpin.


@Liina I'm pulling for their 'Neighbors' edition, because I would win (lose?) that hands down. However, as someone who briefly worked as an 'erotic masseuse,' I'd gladly take on the 'By Customers' one too.

oh, disaster

A woman I vaguely knew from church was standing in line in front of me at the entrance to a youth basketball banquet. She turned me and said, "You look just like your mother. And that's a good thing, because if you'd be a very ugly girl if you looked like your father." I was 11.


In High School, I was talking with a casual friend of mine when all of the sudden he says "You know, you have really good child bearing hips."
Me: Uhhhh, thanks..?


@Gangy My best friend's mom ALWAYS said this about me. "You should have kids, you've got great child bearing hips!" My own mom always told me my whole life how great of a mother I'd be.

Aaaand now I've got an incurable disease that will never allow me to have children.

BOOM. Irony in yo face!


@Gangy I had a boyfriend tell me that once, although he called them "birthin' hips." EX-boyfriend.


@Gangy oh, I've gotten that one! THANK YOU.



man i had forgotten about all this stuff until this thread, eek


@Gangy I had co-worker years ago, who, when out one night, old me that I had the kind of body that would just BALLOON after childbirth. Then she laughed like she thought it was hilarious.


@Gangy Once when we were about 13 my BFF told me that (she prob heard it on tv or something). I repeated it to my dad and he told me not to talk like that haha.


@Gangy My mom has said this to me regularly since I was a child, with the addition of referring to herself and I as "pioneer stock." I think she was trying to make me feel better about being snubbed by the skinny girls. Because I would be better at popping out babies than them, I guess? And not die in childbirth a hundred years ago?


@Gangy my physics lab partners in high school made a powerpoint about how i had child-bearing hips and should stay in the kitchen, complete with clip art of ovens, thanksgiving turkeys, and babies


@steenie I hope you set them on fire.


Why do I never notice these calls for submissions? I've got a really awesome/terrible one:

I was walking to class and this man starts yelling at me: "You four-eyed piece of shit. Only a Caucasian man would want to fuck you. And then he'd look at you a second time and decide not to do it again."

I have not been called "four-eyed" since elementary school.


@klemay I always miss them, too! Here's mine:

I was waiting to get a beer at a bar. There was a squirrelly-looking dude in a trench coat standing behind me and while I was faced away he reached up, took the pencil out of my hair that was holding up a bun. I whipped my head around thinking it was my boyfriend messing with me and was completely shocked when he started to arrange my hair around my face and said, "That's better. Not so bad now." I was speechless.

OH, and walking to the UPS store on Saturday: A random, aggro, homeless dude SCREAMED in my face that I was a white piece of shit and that he was going to KILL me! Oh, San francisco, you so crazy. (by the way, I am easily mistaken for hispanic, arab, etc. but I guess we all look the same, right?)

sarah girl

@TeeFee Was the guy at the bar actually Derek Zoolander?

hot dog princess

@klemay I love how that guy has no problem totally berating you for no reason, but yet he took the time to say the politically correct term Caucasian. Because, you know, he didn't want to seem like an asshole?


In #28, was someone wearing @Melis' sexy plaid threesome shirt??


@Ophelia LOL, I wish I had been.


@Gnatalby I can't tell whether it's hilarious or horrifying that this seems to happen to so many 'pinners...


@Ophelia It was funny to me, even at the time, especially since I'm like, a fat, surly thirty year old. I would have thought my days of getting picked up in bars for three ways were looooong past.


I had an "Amusingly horrible things mothers have said" moment this morning. My mom called and asked me about my love life. I described the devilishly cute lifeguard with "Dear LORD" abs who's kind of an ass, the cute, quiet girl I flirt with after Econ, and a guy I just met who seems like the biggest sweetheart.
Her reply: "Oh dear, do you think that's wise? You don't play nice with sweethearts. At all."
Thanks, Mom!


#16--I'm dying to know HOW the date went?!

femme cassidy

OH MAN I have an awesome one! I was sitting at a bus stop and this old lady sat down near me and asked me about my necklace (a seashell pendant on a string of black beads).
Her: Why do you wear that necklace?
Me: Oh, it's a souvenir. I got it in Hawaii.
Her: So, you like having dark power over people?
Me: ...It's a seashell?
Her: You use it for cursing people! I know what you do! Why else would you be wearing black!
Me: ...It's a SEASHELL.
Her: I knew the moment I saw you that you were full of lies and evil.
Me: ...
Her: I don't like you. I don't want to talk to you.


@femme cassidy
Watch "the Little Mermaid"
Seashell necklace's are EVIL!!!!

femme cassidy

@The Kendragon Ha, I never thought of that. Obviously I wouldn't have thought she was crazy if she had just calmly explained that she was afraid I might be a sea witch!


@femme cassidy it's my special voodoo necklace to make the bus get here faster. only, there won't be a seat for you when it comes.


Orthodontist's assistant: "Your teeth are so big! I LOVE big teeth, it's so easy to get the braces off!"


@alliepants The orthodontist had seen both of my sisters before I came in for my first appointment. The first sentence he ever said to me; "Well you're a S. girl so you'll be needing an expander. (looks in mouth) GOOD LORD, GIRL! Where did you get your ginormous mouth?"

Apparently I have my father's jaw.


@alliepants When I was 14 my orthodontist offered to sand down the edges of my teeth- 'round them out'- because, as she helpfully explained, my square teeth are rather masculine. I declined.


I just realized I have one!

I was visting NYC for a weekend with friends, waiting on a subway platform when a (possibly homeless? Definitely crazy) older black woman comes up and accuses me of being a Natzi/racist.
I was wearing a formal Air Force jacket I picked up from Salvation Army and dearly loved. She asserted that it was a Confederate Army jacket.

Her: You must not be from here.
Me: No, actually I'm from Minneapolis...
Her: Yea? You guys got lots of them up there?
Her: Lots of them white supremacists?
Me: Um, no actually...

She went on an epic non-stop rant, most of the details of which I've forgotten. Everyone else just looked on stunned, as I tried to back away and meekly explain that the jacket is from the Air Force, Minnesota didn't fight for the south, and please leave me alone.
It obviously never occurred to her that a real Confederate uniform would most definitely NOT be sold in a thrift store in suburban MN.

femme cassidy

Also, any and every time a perfect stranger has seen me and thought, "My, that girl has large breasts! I wonder if anyone's ever pointed them out to her before?" One time a dude actually asked me "Are those real?" before he asked my name. (It was New Year's Eve and later on I drunkenly made out with him in my best friend's bathroom. I blame Jose Cuervo.)


Whenever anyone says anything dumb or offensive, I'm going to point at them and yell, "You're not allowed to fuck!" If only I had known about this line in my college years.


Dude I don't know why #4 lost out so early in the race. It combines so many offensive elements into one!


@oeditrix I totally agree! #4 is possibly THE most offensive partly 'cause it came from some girl trying to drum up business. Excuse me, but who the fuck cares what you, as an expert eyebrow-threader, "recommend" for girls to do! UGH.


I was wearing an empire waist dress at my first day on the job at a retail store that shall not be named because it was awful.

My boss comes up to me and says, "Oh, when are you due?"

Me: Ahh... uh? I'm not pregnant.

Boss: Really? Your belly's so BIG.

And that was my last day at that job, too.


Is there going to be an amusingly horrible thing your sister said?? because I have a billion of those.


@mooseketeer Oh dear, do I ever have some of those. Background: My sister is 3 years younger than me, and also taller, thinner and gorgeous to boot (although I'd like to think I don't fare too badly in the grand scheme of attractiveness). The summer I was 19, I went on this crazy healthy eating/ exercise kick and lost about 10 pounds. I thought I looked pretty good, and so went shopping and got myself a cute new bikini. Upon arriving home and showing it to my sister, she asked if she could try it on. She comes out of her room, wearing the bikini, with a look of abject horror on her face. She says, despairingly: "It fits! I'm fat!"


@loudmouthedgirl haha, I also have a younger thinner more beautiful sister. When I turned 21 and got my new license, I gave her my old one so she could have a fake ID. She then related to me that she had shown her friends the ID to see if anyone believed it could be her. One of her friends said that it looked like her, except if she used to be really fat.

Also, once we were singing together and I go, I think you're a little flat. and she yells- at least I'm not fat!!



@mooseketeer Not my sister, but a dear friend with a gift for putting her foot in her mouth once informed me that I couldn't lose any weight or she'd wind up the "fat one" in our group of friends. This was said nonchalantly at dinner in the midst of said group of friends (who are mostly male). Every one of their jaws dropped and I turned red/nervously laughed it off.


@mooseketeer Not my sister, but a dear friend with a gift for putting her foot in her mouth once informed me that I couldn't lose any weight or she'd wind up the "fat one" in our group of friends. This was said nonchalantly at dinner in the midst of said group of friends (who are mostly male). Every one of their jaws dropped and I turned red/nervously laughed it off.


#20 oh man, that kills me. My mom relays a similar story to me all the time. She was walking past a construction site in Boston, and she was wearing her usual mini-skirt and platform heels (it was the 70's and she has great legs). A Construction worker shouted out at her "Would you look at that?! All that meat and no potatoes!"


I have had a group of ten-year-olds in Hartford yell, "Yo, why do you look like that?" at me in the park, but I assume this is a formative part of everyone's teenage years.


My (much funnier, less mean) version of #2: Summer after I graduated college, two friends and I are walking down the street eating ice cream in our little summer dresses. Lone car comes out of nowhere, drives by, woman shouts "YOU'RE UGLY" out the window.


An elderly lady with dyed black hair walked past me at a crosswalk and yelled "You're not allowed to fuck!!!"

Fuck you, I am not that old and my hair is natural.

Also, once I had a very, very drunk old lady tell me - at a wedding, no less - that I was going to end up "with either a wife beater or a doormat." And she very much meant it as a compliment, and she very much wasn't talking about apparel or household items.


@karion In what universe is that a compliment?!?!


@pterodactgirl: It was delivered just moments after her damning praise that "[successful] girls like me don't need a full-time man," and that if I made the mistake of marrying, I would end up with the aforementioned wife beater or doormat.


@karion Join me in making this your new mantra.


I stopped at a stop-sign, in the bike lane, on my bike-ride to school. The asshole who was making a right turn did not look both ways before hitting the gas and rolled right the hell over my bike. Fortunately, he'd been mostly stopped so he didn't hit me hard and I wasn't hurt, though my bike was mangled all to hell.

A middle-aged woman jogged past me as I lay half-pinned under my wrecked, car-still-crunching-my-front-tire bike, and explained that I should have been more careful.

I was eleven.


@thefingersofgod I was learning to ride a bike (I was 15 - I didn't learn before this because of rural living/single track roads where I lived before I moved to the city) and I lost control of the bike and bumped into a wall, not hurting myself luckily, just kind of bashing my knees and shocking me a bit. A woman who was walking in front of me when this happened turned around, squinted at me, and said (in a posh Miss Jean Brodie accent)

"Do you think that's funny?"


#14, the exact same thing happened to me when I was wearing red lace tights from Urban Outfitters! Except it wasn't a stranger who told me I looked like a burn victim, it was this dude I wanted to bone. Fun times.


@kittens I want to know where these people think they are going with the burn victim comments. Stranger or dude you want to bone, who wants to have this conversation?


@Pixley And, I mean, what if you actually WERE a burn victim? Wouldn't that make you feel like shit?


I was checking in at the doctor's office. I handed over my driver's license and insurance card, and the young lady behind the counter gasped at me and said, "You look AMAZING. I thought you were my age. I'm 22." I was a mere 30 years old at the time. I didn't know whether to be incredibly flattered or clock her. I ended up muttering something about wearing sunscreen and shuffling away like the andient crone I (apparently) was.


I also can't believe I didn't enter this, I once had a man come up to me at a bus-stop and tell me in Spanglish that Jesus Christo didn't approve of my short hair and that I should wear dresses because then I would be pretty. So pretty!!!


@kittens OOO what is wrong with people? I had a short pixie cut for years and would get those kinds of comments all.the.time. I'd be out with friends, and some random guy would just walk up to me and tell me I might be pretty if I grew my hair out. My stock answer was, "you know what? You'd be MUCH better looking if you shut your mouth."

one cow.

I was a cocktail waitress when I was 22 at a pretty nice suburban restaurant & had been waiting on these 2 mid-30s guys the whole night. "Are you done with your shift? We can give you a ride home." "Uhhh, no, thanks." "Come on...[touches my arm]...it'll be okay."

Faintly Macabre

I'm sure I have tons buried in my memory, but the one that sticks out is while I was stuck in the UK during the Iceland volcano debacle. I had been in 3 different countries in 16 hours, spent the night changing trains, and had a 12-hour layover before my ferry from England to France. I found a cute, cheap outdoor cafe and ordered a cappuccino, trying to wake up. An old couple looked for a place to sit, and I kindly moved my giant bag over. When I returned with my second cappuccino, the old man leaned over and quietly said, "Aren't you concerned about your figure?"

Not that it matters, but I am not at all overweight. I still kick myself for only saying, "Oh, well, it's just milk!"


one cold wintry night, i was walking to north station when a homeless woman in front of the 7-11 on causeway st jumped up and shouted at top notch in my face, "don't worry. things will get better for you! smile a little bit, bitch!"

about 30 seconds later, her other homeless friend threw a chunk of ice at me and called me a "sidewalk skank."

it was then that i realized, i really need to smile more on my commute. when the homeless are starting to give you pep talks, it's time for a vacation.


@becky@twitter The summer I was studying for the bar exam, I only left the house about once a day and, for that special occasion, changed into one of two cotton Old Navy skirts. By the end of the summer, the homeless lady on my corner was like "what's wrong with you? Why don't you have any other clothes?". Fashion advice from the homeless = the best.


Once, a lovely friend of mine had a stranger stop her for directions. She gave them to him, then he looked her in the eyes and said "how much?" and started miming a blow job.

Another time I was standing out the front of a tattoo/piercing place and (at the time) had a couple of facial piercings, an older guy came up to me and started asking me questions, did it hurt etc, and then proceeded with this gem: "but you know, I heard some girls have it DOWN THERE, how can that work? What if I want to fuck her? How can I fuck her all closed up like that? What if I want to LICK her, you know what I mean, LICK HER? DOWN THERE?" then stuck his tongue out and jiggled it at me in a suggestive manner.


#21 is the winner in my head.


#20 happened to me except it was 5 guys and they repeatedly shouted "FLAT ASS! FLAT ASS! FLAT ASS!" for a whole block.


Said to me while I was waiting in line at a drug store, wearing my fabulous orangey-red trench coat, opaque black tights and black flats, glasses, and no make-up (so, obviously not a whore, which becomes relevant shortly):

Random guy (who looked not-crazy): I want to buy your coat. How much?
Me: [Nervous laughter]
Him: How much you want for it?
Me: I'm not going to sell you my coat.
Him: You're a whore, right? You just said I could buy your coat.
Me: [pays and walks away, quickly]

I guess "buy your coat" is code for "you're a hooker and I want to hire you"?


@themegnapkin i though that johns were supposed to buy hookers "roses?" this is what i get for trusting late night HBO.


My worst wasn't actually a comment. I was in middle school at the time and attending a music festival with two of my good friends. I didn't have boobs yet, but one of the friends did.

Two guys we had been hanging out with all day asked if they could get a picture of us. This is a disposable camera, pre-zoom era. They pose us like they're taking a group shot, then run up and just take the photo of the friend who had boobs. :-/


There should be a whole bracket for strangers who tell you that you would be prettier if you smiled. "Really? Oh goodie, then I might have a prayer of earning your approval. I'll get right on that."



"Would YOU smile if you'd just been diagnosed with an haemorrhagic fever due to the ebola virus? But I can give you a huuuuugggggg...." {INITIATE ZOMBIE STAGGER TOWARD STRANGER}


@oeditrix Oooohooooooo this one always makes me so pissed.


@atipofthehat "Would YOU smile if you couldn't stop following strangers back to their cars and dismembering them? Where are you headed anyway?"


@oeditrix: "You'd be prettier if you weren't so sad."


Number 8 makes me feel a tiny bit better about my own pin head


My worst (that I can remember) was last month in an emergency room. After being rushed to the hospital for tuna poisoning, a nurse was touching my stomach to check that area. Rather than saying, "everything looks good/neutral/awful/etc," he said "that's a nice soft stomach." Thanks dude, don't think it's a compliment; that sounds more like a back-handed insult.


@CalvinBall Hoolllllld on. *Tuna* poisoning?


@CalvinBall In doc terms that means you don't have appendicitis or perotinitis. It's truly a soft vs rigid abdomen question, not a comment on your fitness status.
He didn't mean anything by it.
Also, second tuna poisoning... what is that?


I was at a Halloween party with my boyfriend last weekend that was being hosted by his English department. I didn't know very many people there, and spent a fair amount of time standing there, trying to look cool and collected and not at all socially awkward. At one point, I was listening to the music, leaning against a wall, and this girl was introduced to me by one of the few people I knew. I think they were trying to be nice. She drunkenly hugged me and then said, "Oh, you're [boyfriend's name]'s girlfriend! He's told me so much about you! I just love that you give him multiple orgasms. I think it must be pretty nice to meet someone that you have such great sexual chemistry with."
She then proceeded to talk to me all about my boyfriend's commitment issues and tried to emphasize how glowingly he spoke of me, and how she just thought I was so lucky.
By the time she finished, my hands were shaking from anger, and I didn't know whether to yell at her or my boyfriend.
Come to find out, she had been sitting at the table next to my boyfriend at the bar as he talked to his best friend about our relationship. So she inferred from an eavesdropped conversation and then decided to share it with me. Lovely lady.
The best part is that the next morning she sent me a Facebook friend request.


@heyits Ewww. Don't you love how those are always the compulsive friend adders, too?


@Polina I can only assume that they live in their own little world, with an entirely different set of social norms and manners. Upon talking to one of my boyfriend's lady friends about it, I found out that the lady is a relentless gossip and is one of those types who likes to stir up drama. Ick. Definitely not a kindred spirit.


@heyits Oh my goodness, that is a nightmare scenario. I'm sorry.


I'm a busty lady. I walked into a Victoria's Secret a few years ago, and asked an employee where I could find the strapless bras. She looked straight at my chest and snorted, "We don't have anything in YOUR size."
I walked out and never went back.


After a daytrip to the beach with my friend and a bunch of her friends I didn't really know, one of the girls turns to me and says "It's weird, you're not really fat. Just kinda big all over your body." Yeeeeah, ok thanks.


I was working at a restaurant as a hostess.

priest who I was showing to his table: Did you play basketball in high school?
me, having heard that 800 zillion times: No, I didn't *smile*
priest: oh, that's too bad
me: why?
priest: well, think of how graceful you would have become!


@insouciantlover btw, there have been WAY worse but this was coming from a priest. A priest! Also, the tall jokes have all been used up. No more, I beg of you.


@insouciantlover I have a priest one. I was one of the pallbearers at my dad's funeral. So obviously I was one of the first out of the church. Then everyone filed out and put flowers on the coffin, etc (I promise I am totally fine about this, guys! This is more fo a downer than I realised.) So I move to one side and go to stand near the Priest, who was also priest of that parish when I still went there, almost ten years ago. I am VERY lapsed.

Him: So... it's been a while since you've been to church, huh?

WHAT, EVEN, FATHER JOHN. Also, then the hearse went to pull up the steep driveway and started to sloooowly roll backwards. I swear my dad was messing with us from beyond the grave. I could practically hear the Benny Hill themesong the whole funeral.


@insouciantlover I had a college boyfriend, very tall, whose stock line to the "Do you play basketball" line was, "No. Are you a jockey?"


I read The Hairpin every day but don't comment much. Just wanted to say this feature is by far my favorite! Keep 'em coming. :)


I created an account just for this :
10 years old me, registering for summer day camp.
lady : name?
me : emjeejee
lady : age?
me : 10
lady : sex?
me : girl
lady stops and looks up and down at me : no you're not.

yes I was.


@emjeejee I went to Catholic girls' school for years, and sported a short haircut for a couple of them. This was mostly due to the fact that I was an early developer at my previous co-ed school, and developed some Issues along with pubescent breasts. One afternoon I was playing on the swings after school with my friend Holly and one of the older nuns came up to me and swatted me, saying she didn't want any boys on the playground. I was wearing my school PE uniform. As was Holly.

I also remember a field trip to the science museum, and a security guard grabbing me by the arm and saying, "you can't go in there, Sonny!" when I tried to use the restroom. I believe it was Holly who shouted, "she's a girl, stupid!" and gave him the evils. Good ol' Holly. I eventually grew my hair out.


@Tailfeather that happened to me in the ladies room at the Roman Baths in england! it was cold and rainy (in England? surely you jest) and I was wearing a military coat all buttoned up and one of those sheep farmer flat caps over my pixie cut, and when I entered this woman gave me a serious stinkeye and announed, "this is the LADIES room!" I replied, "Yeah, I know!" Only later did I realise she though I was a man. I was wearing a ton of eye makeup though so maybe she thought I was a lazy drag queen?


@emjeejee: In middle school, when I was super body conscious, this older woman stopped my (younger) brother and I on the way to school with, "Excuse me, boys, mind helping an old lady out with some groceries?" I didn't bother to correct her because ahhhhhh, just helped her with her stuff, but dammit if my brother didn't bring it up for years.

Blousey Brown

@emjeejee When I was about 8, I had a short haircut and somehow ended up in a park on the set of a gospel TV show taping. Some kids were asked to gather around the singer while he played his acoustic guitar and sang. He stopped and said to me, live on camera, "What's your name, little boy?" I whispered in his ear, "What would you say if I told you I wasn't a boy?" I have NO idea why I said it like that, but it cracks me up. Oh, that haircut.


random dude standing outside a bar: what's up double chin

:'( :'( :'(


@redheadedandcrazy I thumbs-upped that before realizing it's kind of mean to do so. I'm not endorsing him calling you double-chin! Your delivery of it is just so perfect I guffawed at my desk.


I'm a pretty tall fellow; during my freshman year of college I had a fairly psychotic dormmate who was obsessed with, among many other things, somehow getting taller in hopes of attracting a mate. One day he nonchalantly asked me how I would feel if I woke up one morning to discover that he had sawed my feet off to make us the same height. *brrr*


Woo hoo!! Made it to the final four!!!

I'm number 27.


@stinapag That one has layers! I'm sorry.

Barbara Gordon

@stinapag That would have been number one in my bracket. Oof.

Betsy Murgatroyd

I was walking at about 6:30 in the morning through Seattle to the ferry terminal from the Space Needle. Some guy standing near a bus stop says loudly, "tramp." Then as I'm walking away, "TRAMP. TRAMP. TRAAAMP."


"Do you taste as good as you look?" - super creepy guy LICKING HIS LIPS as he walked past me. I was so freaked out I almost ran into traffic and an old guy had to grab the back of my shirt and pull me to safety.

Simultaneous submission for the Worst Street Harassment and Strangers Who Saved Me brackets.


@tortietabbie One time I had some guy in a bar say to me, as I was walking in, "Girl, if your ass smells as good as the rest of you, I'll eat it all night."

Uhhhh... ?


@Katiesaurous @tortietabbie I know this is way late, but: I once had TWO ENTIRELY SEPARATE guys tell me, "Don't worry, I'm a vegetarian. I don't eat people." When I started laughing at the second one and told him someone JUST SAID THAT TO ME (I think I was like two blocks further down the street), he was so taken aback that I managed to escape without further trouble. Apparently he was really proud of his originality.


I could probably write a book about the amount of times people have (very mistakenly) assumed I was pregnant. HATE IT.

Any advice on a good response to people who assume to know the contents of your empty uterus?


@Steph I suppose it depends upon the approach you want to take. There is always, "I hope your husband has the money for child support" or there is "I know the number of a good eye doctor. It is always good to get your eyes checked."


@gfrancie I like the first! (I don't like to take the high road)


@Steph I tell them, "no, I'm just fat" with no expression on my face whatsoever, just a silent death stare until they spontaneously combust.


@Steph once on a crowded bus a woman who didn't speak much english offered me her seat and when I realized it was because I looked pregnant I loudly said "No, I'm not pregnant!" She smiled politely and everyone else around me avoided eye contact. Then I went home and ate ice cream.


@insouciantlover Thanks! I think part of my problem is a travel a lot in other cultures where maybe it's okay to assume people are prego? Happened to me a bunch in Thailand and just happened the other day here in Colombia. Never doesn't hurt my feelings :(


@cloudburst On the rare occasions when anyone offers me a seat on the subway, I'm always paranoid that it is because of this. There's always the rapid "am I wearing an empire-waist shirt?" analysis.


@Steph: Have 'morning sickness' all over their shoes.


@Steph That is one of the most uncomfortable assumptions someone can make about a stranger, I'm sorry it's happened to you on more than one occasion! :(

Although I will say, assuming that someone who is really obviously 7-8 months pregnant *isn't* pregnant and doesn't need a seat on the bus is pretty damn rude, too. (This happened to me this morning and I was Not Pleased. I wanted to yell, "FUCK YOU, INCONSIDERATE STRANGERS!" to the whole crowded bus, but I didn't really have the energy.)


I was at a friend's birthday party, being introduced to his friend who was new in town. He made the customary introductions, and before I could even finish saying, "Hey, it's nice to meet you!" this girl had given me the stereotypical, mean-girl once-over and (without acknowledging me at all) turned to my friend and simply said, "She looks annoying." I just kind of walked away, more confused than insulted, and struck by how bizarre the whole thing was.

...Though apparently, this lady is actually mentally-ill, as I found out when my friend came over later to apologize, and I drunkenly asked what, exactly, was wrong with her. ...Oops. Maybe I am annoying. :)


@h.v This sort of happened to me, but the lady wasn’t mentally ill, just rude. She interrupted a conversation I was having with my friend at a bar, because something just happened and she had to share it with him right then and there. My friend looked apologetically to me (since it was his friend, and I didn’t know her), so he stops her and introduces me. She looks me up and down, rolls her eyes, and then continues her story.


Sometime last year I was at a terrible bar--we'd been dragged there by one of our dude friends who loves going to new bars. It's his favorite thing. ever. It doesn't matter if they're awful, he still tries to make us all go. Sometimes, let's say, earlier on in the evenings, he'll propose we go somewhere and everyone's all, no that place is the worst, but uh, after a certain point in the evening, we're all easily persuaded.

So we were at this terrible bar standing outside on its noisy patio. I'm wearing a frumpy old man sweater and jeans. This guy approaches my friend and me, and starts up a friendly conversation. It goes along just fine for a while, but then he turns to me and says, "You have like, a plain sort of beauty. Like you're plain. But beautiful? If you had a lot of makeup on, you'd be smokin."

Best compliment ever, amiright?! I dunno why things didn't work out.


Um, who the fuck decided that the two worst things ever said by strangers involved being mistaken for being mentally disabled and being told off by someone who is mentally disabled?


@LoriA Yeah I don't understand the ranking at all..

captain mal

One time I was at Dunkin and I orderd a donut. The man behind me goes "Don't eat that! You will become fat and then no one will love you!" I obviously ate it anyway, and I still think I am pretty loveable(?)


@captain mal Umm yeah..and what was he there to buy? A coffee? PUHLEASE.

Nicole Cliffe

Heck, I love you just for your screen name. Eat up!


@captain mal: Yep, one donut and your entire life is ruined. A moment on the lips, a lifetime of solitude.

Actually, I picture you stuffing the entire donut in your mouth at once and grinning at him.

Chloe Zoidberg Harrison@facebook

I had a stranger in Jamaica Plain yell "hey there, thick thighs!" I think it was supposed to be a compliment?


@Chloe Zoidberg Harrison@facebook I was once at a bar in the winter with work colleagues, and wearing a chunky cable-knit sweater and a wool skirt with boots. Got to chatting with a dude at the bar who later leaned in and whispered, "It's cool, baby. I like me a thick woman."

And you know, I have never worn that skirt since, threw out the sweater the next day, and was cold the rest of the winter. Curse my vanity.


Once on the bus this guy told me I had nice lips and then asked if they were real. I told him yes, I grew them myself. My attempt to be funny/condescending was lost on him and he started talking about how with white girls like me it's usually injections and then he asked for my opinion on whether or not I thought people would want to by the tee shirts he'd designed. He had the shirts with him. I was trapped for like 4 stops!!


I was in a part convenience store, part fried chicken place in New Orleans when a man in a wheelchair asked me if I was German. I told him I wasn’t, and he said “oh, well you’re small on top but you’ve got big, stocky legs!” (That are apparently German...) He then asked if I had money and if I’d buy him some chicken.

Also, I was a miserably embarrassed early bloomer who was asked by a classmate during quiet time in class if I stuffed. I was 10 and I didn’t :(


I have someone ask me what my race was, I said "a bit of this and that." "Oh. I thought you might be a gypsy. You look like a gypsy. I hope you don't steal."

All I could say was, "ah... how interesting."

one cow.

@gfrancie Oh, man! 4 years ago, I was minding my own business eating lunch in this open courtyard & this homeless dude approached me & said, "Excuse me miss, since you're a gypsy..." & proceeded to ask me a question as I interrupted him trying to explain that I am NOT a gypsy. He refused to believe me & was like, "Trust me, you are. Anyway..." That guy was a cray cray.


@gfrancie my family did one of those dna map your ancestry type things and upon finding out that we had some gypsy blood in our ancestry way back... my grandmother: "oh. well I don't want to be related to THEM."



@redheadedandcrazy In contrast, my family is very proud that we come from a long line of horse thieves.


Long time reader, first time commenter.

As a college sophomore, I made the ginormous mistake of hiring an illegal taxi. The driver asked me if I was "the kind of dirty girl who wore thong panties." He proceeded to discuss the offending garments until we got within reasonable walking distance of my dorm, when I demanded he pull over.


@anderin gypsy cabs! last one i took, the drive smoked a cigarette the entire ride, refused to put his seatbelt on (therefore it went 'ding ding ding ding ding'), and gave me unsolicited advice as to what area north of boston i could move to in order to escape "the blacks." always a treat.


@becky@twitter The last illegal cab I took refused to let me out of the car until I gave him my number, then insisted he would take me to a club in Shoreditch the next weekend. He did that thing where he made me call his phone so he would have my number so I couldn't fake it (HAAAATE THAT).

I guess he is under the impression that terrifying women into dates is the way to go, because he did call. I declined to answer.


Variations of #22 happen to me at ALL THE FRIGGIN TIME! I'm sorry all you sparsely haired people but.. haters gonna hate. Usually I just say something like "Is that your ENTIRE ponytail?"

Oh and EVERY OTHER THING ON THIS LIST.. sweet baby jesus. It's like day in the life of a public transportation commuter.


I was 18 or 19, still living in the SFV, waiting for the Orange Line (at Reseda). I'm the only one on the platform because, duh, public transportation, LA, orange line was still pretty new, etc etc. Tattered but tough looking middle-aged guy stumbling down Reseda approaches me like he's gonna ask for a cigarette or directions or something.

I nod my head to him.
"Want me to suck your dick for 5 bucks?"
"Nah I'm straight." (as in, OK)
"You sure?"
"Yeah man, I'm good."
"Hey you got a cigarette I can buy?"
"Nah man, I don't smoke"



And then he ambles off.


@nice_belt I think this exchange seems sort of nice? Like, it's very genial. And he offered to BUY a cigarette off you! None of this 'can I borrow a fag' bullshit.


@nice_belt Train conversations are fun, aren't they?
I was on a train with my sister a few years ago - she was maybe 15. And this guy opposite us says "Are you Bosnian?" My sister politely said, "no", then resumed looking out the window. But the guy took this as an invitation to continue talking.
"Oh, you look Bosnian, have you ever had a Bosnian boyfriend?"
"Have you got a boyfriend at all? Was he a half-caste?"
"You should go out with a foreign guy, because then you'd have half-caste children, and everyone knows they're the prettiest."
"How many boyfriends have you had?"
When he was finally getting just a little bit too much in her face, I decided it was time to pretend that we had reached our stop. and said "well, nice talking to you, but we have to get off the train now" to which he replied, "I wasn't talking to you, Chubby Girl" (note. I was maybe 5kg heavier than my sister at the time)

So weird


Riding the G train home from work, I reach my stop and start to get up, but a man kind of walks in front of me, so I sit back down and wait for him to pass. He turns around, blocking the exit, and starts shouting, "WHAT? WHAT'S THE MATTER, LITTLE WHITE BITCH? AFRAID TO PASS BY A BLACK MAN? AFRAID OF THIS BLACK MAN? GO AHEAD!" (he gestures for me to walk by him) "GO AHEAD, YA LITTLE WHITE BITCH!" I declined.


"Hey, are you a virgin? Are you? I bet you aren't. You're not a virgin, are you? Hey, are you a virgin?" - random teenage boy.

I was ten years old, desperately shy, and so sheltered that I didn't even understand the question other than it was somehow dirty but also religious? And maybe a swear???

This hectoring exchange ended when I turned beet red, muttered, "I don't know," burst into tears, and ran.


Nooo! I'm so upset I missed this! I have so many! Anyone with a scar on her face (me) owns this topic. Everyone thinks they get to comment on your face! And ask what happened to it!! What happened to your face?!


@TallBrooke I had a friend who had this big pinkish (strawberry?) birthmark that covered a good amount of her face. I never asked about it because... umm.. I think it's called tact? But she told me stories, like this guy who she had dated previously asking her "what happened to your face" after they broke up (apparently he had never even noticed it before?) and a person who she had been friends with for years, asking her out of the blue one day if she had "walked into a door."


@insouciantlover Yeah, mine is from a birthmark I had removed when I was about 6, so it looks to some people like I have a black eye? People who have never seen a black eye, I guess. People are always asking some variation of "Who hit you?" The best is when dudes try to use it as a pick-up line, like they want me to know they would never hit a woman or they will beat up whoever did that to my face or, my favorite, "rough home life?" while I was stretching at the gym. It's ridiculous. Not sure why people think "What happened to your face" is an okay thing to say to someone.


@TallBrooke I used to be a self-injurer, so I think we share this topic. I'm not sure what's worse-- people asking you a question about your face they don't know the answer to and have no right to know, or people asking me a question about my arms they obviously know the answer to but just want to hear me admit.

Cat named Virtute

@insouciantlover Oh god, this just made me remember the man who came up to me while I was blissfully taking notes and drinking tea in a bookstore cafe, looking very undistressed and focused, and this man sees me from probably a good twenty feet away and comes right up to my table asking "Oh my god, did someone hit you?!" Me: "Ummmm, what?" Him: "Your eye! It looks like someone hit you!" (as I mentioned above, my cornea is blurred and distorted in one eye--forget that I had no bruising or cuts or anything). I super awkwardly tried to explain that I was fine and just had an eye condition, but he refused to leave me alone for a good five minutes.


Homeless man: "Are you a dyke?!?!"
Me: "What?"
Homeless man: "ARE YOU A DYKE?!?!?!"
Me: "What do you care?"
Me: "Thanks."


"You need a house around you, man!"


@josiah God, I wish I'd said that.




This thread is making me laughcry for all us poor people strangers have decided to accost.


Re: 15

"No, I said 'Do you want to be an organ donor', not 'Do you want to watch Re-Animator'"


So, #9. Halloween, age 11.
Drunk(?) suburban mom: "What are you supposed to be, girl?"
Lil' me: "I'm a PUNK!"
DSM: "Well, you look more like a SLUT to me. Aren't you a little old for this?"


I was at an Irish-American film festival in Somerville last year with about three friends. As we were taking our seats in the movie theater, one of my friends tripped up and ended up falling onto the floor. She was pretty embarrassed about the fall, which was made worse by a (completely respectable-looking, ordinary) woman turning around in her seat and hissing at us "Well, I guess that's what you get for DRINKING ALL DAY". It was two in the afternoon on a Saturday! I think she was just propagating xenophobic stereotypes...


10, 17 and 30 were hilarious, and 26 made me think of the Mighty Boosh.


Also, I'm sure I have lots of these but I feel like if I dug them out of wherever I've hidden them in my brain, I would probably cry.


Oh! OH! We had a crazy older neighbor who, one time, came over and wanted to kick our roommate's ass because "she could see him masturbating through the window." (She couldn't, physically. The windows didn't work that way.) She also referred to him as "that little weeny guy who looks like he jerks off all the time." Which is, to be fair, an accurate assessment. I should have made him come out, but he was hiding, so she started telling me that I was "playing dumb like all white girls" and that I was racist against her because she was Pakistani. She then threatened us that she would have her son, who "is forty but has the body of a thirty-five-year-old," come beat us up, and then told my other roommate that her glasses made her look like a hillbilly.

She later gave us a pie in apology. We threw it away.


@figwiggin This is making me laugh and laugh all alone (sans salad).


@figwiggin Ahahahahah forty but with the body of a thirty five year old.



So I was at the mall, being pushed around in a wheelchair by my mother after having been in a near-fatal car accident in which I had lost my big toe and another one next to it. A random woman helpfully points out, "You're missing some toes there!" Look at you, Sherlock!


@vanuatu This -- and, really, so much other stuff in this thread -- is exactly the sort of thing that makes me wonder if the person had the decency/self-awareness (however delayed the latter might be) to at least exhibit an "OH SHIT! I said that out loud!" face.


@Hellcat Well...to be completely fair, she may have been mentally handicapped. But I was still feeling pretty shitty about it at the time.


This one time? (in like 1995) My band played in Columbus, OH, and afterwards, we were selling t-shirts and records and generally talking to the remnants of the crowd. And these 3 dudes came up and asked us if we had a place to stay? Which we didn't, I'll grant you, but it didn't concern us much. In MY DAY, there was a good deal of traversing the continent unprepared, making last-minute arrangements to overnight it in scruffy motels with certain infestations and yet dubious cable packages. At any rate, these fine young fellows invited us to come "crash" at their frat house, and when we politely declined, they brought to bear the finest argument they could muster:

"Come on! We promise not to rape you."

Somehow, that Motel 6 with the earwhig thing won out.


OK, this is not one about a complete stranger but I hope no one minds if I share.

Back when my BF was my new BF, he had a gig at a local bar. A mutual friend and his GF were there too. I had met the GF once about a year before. She moved to the US from Russia a few years ago and there is some kind of, let's say, mystery about her motives and means for making that move. Well, during the "hello, how are you?" hugs, she put her hands under my BF's shirt and squeezed what he would label "love-handles" (I hate that term) and said, "I like this. [My boyfriend] does not have." (Her accent is surprisingly just like the cliched stuff you hear on TV shows.) Ordinarily, I might not like that so much, but that made me laugh.

Then, when my BF is playing, she says to me, very casually and matter-of-factly, but very authoritatively, "You are very pretty. You should have rich man!" (This was said as if we were simply talking about what drink to order, or where I got my bag, or something.) I said, "Thank you, but I'm OK with [Boyfriend]." Her: "But rich man can buy you everything." Me: "No, I love [Boyfriend] and I can buy my own stuff." Her (even more authoritatively): "NO. You can have both. It makes sense."

I'm still not sure what was going on there (or even if it was horrible or not) but something about the completely casual nature and her insistence on the practicality of it all makes me laugh to this day. Again, she was not a complete stranger, but certainly not someone I knew well at all.


@Hellcat But do you understand? How it just makes SENSE?


@ironhoneybee There are moments when I do wonder if she just might have had a valid point...

The irony in all of this is that, as much as I wanted to pry into her back story, I felt it was inappropriate to come right out and ask!


@Hellcat: Russians that come here after being raised in Russia or the surrounding areas are very direct like this; it wasn't just her. You can disagree with them, they won't get mad. It's just their style of socializing.


@Too Much Internet Yes, "very direct" describes her perfectly, especially in that I don't think she would necessarily have refrained from saying all of this even if my BF had still been sitting with us. And the whole matter-of-factness about it was fascinating too, like her idea was nothing more than a perfectly typical business arrangement! Oh, that night was funny.

My maintenance man at my apartment is also Russian and very direct! He'll scold you for something out of your control, then immediately adopt a softer voice and tell you, "But it's OK; Boris will fix." I love Boris and his sock-sandal combo. He doesn't, however, suggest that I find a sugar daddy.


@Too Much Internet Umm yeah. I'm one of those Russians you're talking about. We can get pretty salty when you disagree with us.


One time at a Sufjan Stevens concert he threw inflatable supermen into the crowd and I caught one. On the walk home, superman in tow, a hobo yelled at me, "Oh no! Your real mean left you again?"

Another time I was walking home from an 80s theme party wearing a horrific but awesome mustard wool shoulder-padded skirtsuit with fake black leather trimming and rhinestones a-plenty. This was paired with fishnets and heels. Someone yelled out of their car, "Yeah tranny! Work it tranny!"

Good times.


OMG you guys should just have one page devoted to FAT comments. I mean I cannot even tell you how many complete strangers give me diet tips on a regular basis--in Missouri-- where I am actually quite average sized. I've been "moo"ed at. Me: size 16-20 200-220 lbs 5'5 38-40 DDD.
A man in truck at intersection screamed "FATTIE" as I got the green arrow, most recently (counld only see my head and shoulders btw.
A nice looking middle aged couple at shopnsave parking lot as my kid and I rolled the shopping card to my car. Husband says to wife "Must be 70 pounds of cheese" pointing at my cart. Wife snickered.
Husband and wife at Schnuck's grocery store-- me checking out baby food and diapers- The husband hands me a magazine that has a thin blond on the cover with bold type that reads LOSE WEIGHT. I said why are you giving me this? Him: "umm it looks like you..." Yeah, I am a voluptuous brunette...
Any time anyone ever in my life finds out I have been a vegetarian since age 12-- "YOU are a vegetarian!? *gasp*"
I could go on and on, but I will spare you the gory details just this once...


@Epiphany!! I don't care who you are or what you weigh; if you have 70 pounds of paid-for cheese, the last thing I'd ever do is be an asshole to you.

And there is no instance in the entire world where diet tips from strangers are reasonable. Do these people assume that the tippees (A) haven't already thought of this same unsolicited advice (on the off-chance it was coming from a helpful but woefully misguided place), or (B) aren't perfectly content as is? Or... (C) look absolutely fine in the first damn place!


The uncomfortable truth is that a sizeable portion of Kiev's current government -- and the protesters who brought it to power -- are, indeed, fascists...Ukraine is home to Svoboda, arguably Europe's most influential far-right movement today. Party leader Oleh Tyahnybok is on record Six guns hack unlimited gold
complaining that his country is controlled by a "Muscovite-Jewish mafia". In Svoboda's eyes, gays are perverts and black people unfit to represent the nation at Eurovision, lest viewers come away thinking Ukraine is somewhere besides Uganda.

The far right Svoboda party, whose leader has denounced the “criminal activities of Jews" and which was condemned by the European parliament for its “racist and antisemitic views”, has five ministerial posts in the new government, including deputy prime minister and prosecutor general. The leader of the even more extreme Right Sector, at the heart of the street violence, is now Ukraine’s deputy national security chief.

Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)

#5 might actually be the worst... not that I'm inferring that any of these are less hurtful than the others.


#29 is pretty much always true. Fake blondes usually want so badly to be blonde that they don't realize it doesn't fit their face or skin color at all! I think dark hair is far prettier than light hair. Mine is poo brown but I live with it.

My own contribution: Young guy, loudly, passing me in the opposite direction on crowded street: "Your nipples are hard."

Vera Knoop

@selasphorus The "dishwater blonde" was her natural hair color.


Less horrible, more just weird:

At a Thai restaurant with a girlfriend, the older waiter became very chatty with us, stopping every time he came near the table (every 5 minutes or so) to make sure he remembered our names right and ask us random questions about ourselves. We mostly just went along with it and laughed awkwardly, and at the very end of the meal he gave us our check, looked at us both intently, then said to her: "You, your hair is shiny and blonde." After a beat, he then turned, inspected me, and informed me: "You are a brunette." He seemed extremely proud of enlightening us with this information. All in all one of the weirdest stranger experiences we've had, but also one of the most absurdly hilarious.


When I was fifteen or sixteen, I was downtown getting my passport renewed. I remember this woman coming up to me and commenting on my profile/nose. She told me that I had an amazing profile and that if I had lived in Nazi Germany, that the Nazis would have made an exception and not put me in a concentration camp. Whaaaaa!?! First of all, I know people tend to spew out a lot of verbal fuckery all the time, but who says shit like that? WHO? I'm not even Jewish! Seriously, some people are just... SOME PEOPLE.


@Blabbetyblab Oh, Jewish stereotypes! I'm not sure if this one exists outside of eastern Europe: My sister has blonde hair but when my brother and I came along with red hair, my grandma took it as confirmation that my dad's family is "a bunch of Jews." Grams isn't hip to science, which says that the red head gene needs to come from both parents. Jokes on her!


@Polina I feel like it's shooting fish in a barrel, but Amusingly Horrible Things Grandma Has Said could be a real winner, at least in my family.


@ironhoneybee My grandma gave me a photo album one Christmas -- I was about 33ish, maybe -- in front of my whole family. It had just tons of stuff from 1971 (when I was born) onward and it was a pretty cool gift. Until... the explanation.

"I usually give a photo album as part of a wedding gift. But I doubt I'll be doing that for you."

As much as I tried to spin it, I don't think there was an unsaid, "...because you're an independent one!" at the end of that remark. And, I was in a room full of twice-divorced people, and a cousin only a year older than I am, who went through with her wedding to one guy while carrying on an affair with another.

The good part? My mother took offense at her own mother's implication and, from that day on, stopped bitching about me getting married.


My grandma was asking how much to tip our (very nice!) Cracker Barrel waitress, and I suggested to air on the side of more, because it was Sunday morning and they were crazy. "Just pretend she's me!"
"Well in that case I wouldn't give her anything."


@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Ha! She sounds sassy! And maybe mean a little bit. I think my own grandma, while generally nice, just feels that she has reached an age where she can say whatever the hell she wants. (She also laughed at my recent proclamation that Ricky Ricardo was extremely handsome, and then told me that Don Draper was more her type.)


@Hellcat Not so much "sassy" as "just straight mean" and also quite a bit passive aggressive--this was a rare moment of straight-out meanness. The worst isn't one she said to me--it's one she said to my mom years before my grandpa died. Something along the lines of she only married my grandpa because he needed a green card and she wanted kids and she couldn't wait til he died so she could sell the house and travel. GUH.


@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Oh dear god, I'm sorry. Mean grandmas are far more amusing when it's only bouts of meanness surrounded by more typical grandmotherly behavior.


@Hellcat True enough. She's lived several states away for years now, and after the Cracker Barrel episode my mom decided she was no longer welcome in our house, so at least we have a buffer and the outright meanness has gone way down.


@Hellcat I got my nice grandma in the family Kris Kringle last year. I bought her a fireman calendar. She LOVES it.

Most classic grandma line (after a few champers): I don't know why I married your grandfather. I was so beautiful! (she was) I was very independent you know (she was! She worked as a seamstress in the war and wanted to join but they wouldn't let her so she stages a one-woman sit-in until they let her go be a drill sergeant)

Oh, and also 'I liked the sex I had. I would have liked more, but I had enough children' (Catholic).

My OTHER grandma, though, is not sassy at all... just mean. So I feel your pain.


@Craftastrophies Way to have a badass grandma! Respect to her and her good taste in calendars (and yours!)


@Polina the belief that red hair is related to jewishness goes back to the middle ages, and probably before, when people thought that even male jews menstruated. They thought jews and redheads had the same characteristics, as far as being "hot" and "drying" and "insatiable" sexually to the point of sapping the life out of non-jewish men. I guess the idea was that the males menstruated in order to cool off a little, ridding themselves of their excess "heat." I never got too much info on that, because I was researching the menstrual habits of nuns, and came across this tangent by accident. Weird but true.


One time a guy told me he wanted to fuck my dimple.


@blahblahbaluga: Aaaaaaaaaaaah, that is horrible but your delivery made me laugh.

Gretchen spins

A gentleman friend and I had left our cars at a bar, gone back to my house, and were getting a cab back to said bar the next morning. As soon as we sat down inside, the cab driver looked at me through the rear view mirror and exclaimed, "You hussy!"

Elvis Costello's Spectacles

@Gretchen spins Oh, I hate taxi drivers. I avoid getting in taxis as much as I can now. One tried to lock me in the car and another offered to be my pimp. :/


"Wow, you have a bigger mustache than I do!" (I was 12 and a girl.)


For my 20th birthday my parents got me a Tiffany's key necklace. I had just broken up with my boyfriend and was looking for something to replace the necklace he'd given me, so I started wearing it constantly. I guess it was only a matter of time before a drunk guy asked me if it was the key to my virginity. My response was "Wait, that's a thing?"

cashmere velvet candy cane

@LoriA I currently wear an antique skeleton key around my neck all the time and get tons of "Is that the key to your heart/chastity belt?" questions. I've taken to responding with "No, it's the key to the basement where I've hidden the bodies."

Magdalena Sins@facebook

Walked by a guy in his 50s (that in hindsight looked like Machine-sans mask- from 8mm) on my way to extra summer classes. He stopped me and asked me if I'd spit into a beaker for 20$. I was 14.


@Magdalena Sins@facebook Did you do it? It's an easy $20... though I'd get all paranoid that my DNA was going to be planted at some crime scene or something.


I should have submitted the time in high school when my boyfriend and I were holding hands walking through a park in a rich neighborhood and we passed by a group of what appeared to be 8th graders. The girls: "Awww!" The boy: "But you're white...and you're black..." The best part is that my boyfriend is Hispanic. (Actually, the real best part is that the girls immediately apologized for him.)


I don't know how I missed this one at submission time. I was probably about 8, maybe 10? And since I'm an Italian/Irish hybrid, I have an abundance of hair everywhere but my head and SUPER light skin. (Do we see where this is going?) I did have a wee wispy mustache when I was little. You could really only see it in certain lights. I didn't know to give a shit about it at the time UNTIL my mom and I were in a store and the cashier (an older dude, at least in his late 40s) leans over the counter, looks at me, and goes "You've got a little mustache there!"

My mother, to her credit, grabbed me, whirled around, and stormed out. She also still refuses to go to that store. <3 u, Mom!


I just want to give everyone on here a big hug for having to endure the craptasticness of strangers on a regular basis. Ugh, people.

Erin Thompson

#10 and #20. Priceless!! I have one. One time my dude friend was walking me home from the bar when a man on the street asked him, "How much for the girl?" in some stilted accent, and gestured at me.


#5: I was at this wedding after-party and we were all sitting around talking about astrological signs. I turn to my friend next to me "So what's your sign."
Her: "Meh, I don't put much stock in that stuff."
Me: "Me neither, it's just for fun! I bet your a cancer right? LOL."
Awkward silence.......
Yeah... she had just finished chemo a month ago. I wanted to die, right there. Damn my stupid brain for word association, it was said completely innocently. But damn.


Most of mine involve dudes yelling things from cars. Most memorable would probably be the time I was walking home from work (mid-afternoon on a weekday) and I was in my neighbourhood about a block from home. Some dude in a truck slowed wayyyy down and yelled out the window, "hey baby, want a ride?" I called back, "no thanks," and smiled politely*, which was apparently the WORST THING IN THE WORLD, because he started screaming all kinds of nasty shit at me, including but not limited to:
"fuck you, ugly whore"
"you're just a dyke anyway"
"what's wrong with bitches?"
And he continued to follow me in his truck, so I had to cut through an alley and run around an extra block to lose him so that he wouldn't find out where I lived.

*Related: when I was first learning how to deal with street harassment at a young age, I used the "be quiet and ignore them" strategy until some juicebox convinced me that I was being really rude by ignoring them and I "owed" these dudebros a polite response. Yeah, that didn't help at all. I'm back to the "ignore" tactic, although I sometimes escalate to the "FUCK YOU, MAN" if I don't feel too unsafe to do so.


@J Keems@twitter That's just terrifying. Why is yelling at women from cars okay? Has it ever, in the history of time, worked for anyone?

The correct term is babes, sir

One time I was walking my dog (a little black and white terrier mutt) down the street, when a car speeds by. Just as it passes us, someone yells out the window "fuck your dog!"

Oh! and another one: my high school graduation night, the school had a party so kids didn't go out and drink or get into other sorts of trouble. They had a fortune-teller there who I wasn't really interested in talking to, but there was really only so much to do at this party. The fortune-teller looks at my hands and says, "You will marry an alcoholic."


@The correct term is babes, sir some people really don't like terriers.

Jill Hamilton@twitter

Hmm, in the last week alone? A chiropractor as he's examining me, "You HAVE NO BUTT!"

Kinda true, but still...WTF?


Hmmm a few spring to mind (I just had to register to add):

From a female doctor when I was a little kid and being examined for a nasty chest infection: 'hmmm you've got a few rolls there.'

Half running across the street to avoid a car: "keep running love, it hasn't worked yet!'

Thankfully I grew to 5'9" and out of that puppy fat.

Oh, and I've also been mistaken for a prostitute. :-D


@Anderlie I would have been... ten maybe? Having a bath with my younger cousin. My uncle walks past the open door and says 'hmmm. You ARE a bit of a tub, aren't you?'

We, of course, retaliated by slipping a note under his bedroom door saying 'YEAH WELL YOUR A SKELINGTON', with picture of said skelington.


Random strange professional man at the bus stop: "You look just like the girl in the Exorcist!"


Oh how'd I miss this?! I used to take public transport in Los Angeles... I got plenty!


Now I'm kind of wondering if I'VE been that amusingly horrible stranger to someone... we all seem to have a few!




I was looking for a post by the red-haired young woman, who (on a dare? for laughs?) approached my boyfriend (who's 65 years old) as he waited for me to come out of a boutique on Lafayette street, and said, "Hey big boy, give you a blow-job?" He answered, "What's in it for me?"


I was working at the Coffee Shop, Union Square, and had snagged my hostess job by wearing high heels, makeup, contacts, and citing my modeling experience at my interview. Once they were dependent on me, I stopped wearing makeup, wore flats, and my glasses. So, along comes José, a manager who I'd never worked with before -- obivously someone sent him to talk to me -- and he says, after much hemming and hawing: "I think you look better when you're not wearing your glasses." The busboys all stop to see how I'll react to that. I was appalled, wondering if I could make a discrimination case out of it, wondering where he got the balls to say this to me. But what came out of my mouth was:"I think YOU look better when I'm not wearing my glasses."
I guess we both said horrible things that day! (But I kept that job till I quit, with my glasses on.)

but i'm a bird

@carolita I used to work there, too! And totally wore glittery heels to the interview. 2000

ms. lightning

Oh, wow, this pages is amazing/ horrifying/ hilarious. I had to sign up so I could contribute!

Customer: You're so pretty! With your dark hair, and your pale skin, and your blue eyes ... are you Irish?
Me: Nope
Customer: Are you sure?

(Ouch, I'm not that stupid!)

Me: *walking from the train station*
Idiot in car: GO HOME
Me: I AM

(I assume it was meant to be racist?)

Co-worker: People just look weird in glasses, you know?
Me: *wearing glasses that I always wear and have worn since I was 10*
Co-worker: Not you! Your glasses blend into your face and you can't even tell you're wearing them!
Me: *they are thick black frames in the hipster/nerd style ... damn hipsters, stealing my style ...*
Co-worker: You could get lasik though ...

Me: *just got married at 21*
Co-worker: *belly glance* So ... I guess you will be leaving soon?

("You look pregnant" + "You had a shot-gun wedding" = awesome!
Well, thankyou, kind lady. Two years on, they have stopped dropping hints. Finally.)

I know these are not nearly as horrible as the ones others have contributed, but the rest I have are not amusing, just mean. I leave you with one that I found amusing, but wasn't really.

Me: *walking in the rain, to the train station, early in the morning, to go and visit my dying grandmother*
Boxhead driving past: WHORE!

(Because my day was obviously just too darn good ...)


My (Mexican) mother came to pick up (white-looking) me from elementary school. Classmate: "Is that your maid?"


I'm checking out at the grocery store and the bag-boy asks me "did anyone ever tell you that you look like Florence Henderson?". I'm 42...I went home and cried.


Reading this bracket has cursed me! I'd never been accosted by strangers before this week, and now this week random people have shouted,

"Who cut your hair?" (Walking with my SO, so I guess it could have been either of us.)

And, I think today some guy said something really weird like,

"Marching was a hip thing to do in the 70s." Forgive me, I was trying to get home, lock up my house, and get to the airport. I will walk with more decorum in your presence in the future.

Of course, I did just move from the Midwest to Boston. People here seem to be...mouthy. I'm shy, so sticking out on the street enough to draw a comment is my worst nightmare. Make it stop!

Katharine Joann Relth

#27: My worst nightmare.


A few of my favorites.. they all have to do with me being mistaken for a man while having short hair, though I am a reasonably feminine type:

While standing on the sidewalk in South city with my boyfriend, at a time when I had very short hair, a guy yells from a car "This is NOT the Central West End!" presumably, he thought we were gay and had gotten off the bus at the wrong place. I also witnessed a "fake" drive by shooting at this same corner, where driver and homeless guy traded "pew-pews" and made their fists into guns.

I was in 4th grade and ALSO had short hair at the time. I went to visit my grandmother in a nursing home, and for a while had to wait by myself in the lobby. An elderly woman came and sat beside me and said "You're a handsome young man. I bet you have lots of girlfriends. What did you do to them? Did you drown them in the river?" I was mortified.


I was walking across a parking lot one night and there was a group of guys, maybe in their early twenties, hanging around, smoking and talking loudly and probably drinking. I saw them and, probably because I started walking faster, one followed me right behind me going, "hey, girly. hey, girly. hey, girly." I got pissed off and just stopped and stared at him. He immediately stopped, backed off and yelled, really loud, almost in my face, "Well FUCK YOU THEN!" All of his friends laughed - they left me alone, and I made it to the car. Odd and frightening.


Having a garage sale. Woman stops to shop and says "I am so glad you moved in. The people here last year were such pigs." We had lived there 20 years.


3 times when encountering Indian shopkeepers "You have big ears!" They are, but still. Finally Indian friend tells me it is a compliment. Hindu diety Ganesha has an elephant's head.


@neal Anytime I tried to buy any clothes anywhere in India I would get a variation on these responses:

"Hahahaha! You do not need small, you need LARGE. For BIG WOMAN. HAhahha!"

or, "Hahahahaha! This will not fit you! You too big there! (points to my boobs) Waaay too big!"

And probably waving over other people to watch me be stuck inside of a shirt, which I might rip and then have to buy any way. Yes, hahahahaha.

There were two young men who my friend and I walked by in their tailor shop several times a day who said that to me once. They'd always heckle us and we had sooooort of an amusing rapport, non-consensual as it was. Until one day one of them made my friend a little tote bag and had embroidered her name on it, which she accepted and thanked him profusely for. Later he found her, gestured to the bag, and said, "Now we will fuck?"


I was in my last year of law school. I was about 16 weeks pregnant with twins. A classmate (a woman) whose name I didn't know walked up to me in the lunch area and said, "You're Lisa right? Are you pregnant with twins? A friend of mine had twins. One died when she was 36 weeks pregnant. The other baby lived, though, so everything was ok."


@lawgirl After the twins were born, a few weeks old, a man stopped me in a mall food court to talk to me about the twins. He could barely speak English. Wanted to know how the boys were born, and so half asked and half mimed "vaginal delivery."

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