1) I didn’t have the best of mornings. It was uncharacteristically difficult to get out of bed (not to mention I woke up with a headache), my left ankle is acting up (from an old sprain over 8 months ago) and I’ve been battling a severe case of what I can only describe as mild burnout lately… so consequently, my motivation was just nil. In fact, I left my apartment over an hour later than usual after a long conversation with my wonderfully supportive boyfriend. I couldn’t pedal my bike very well due both to the crazy wind (all part of yet another episode of Canada’s climate-related schizophrenia during which it was FREEZING) and my crippled ankle, so I opted to leave the bike at the boyfriend’s on the way, and walked to the metro. Annoying morning at best. When I finally got to the station, because things weren’t stellar enough already, some strange man nevertheless decided to generously add his own two farts to the shit storm of this morning.
He was exiting a corner store when I crossed paths with him. I say “crossed paths”, but what I really mean is “completely fucked my personal bubble” in that once he made eye-contact with me, he moved his head forward like some sort of developmentally-challenged reptile until he was literally inches from my face, deliberately stepping into my path. I flinched backward and dodged him, and continued on (quite a bit faster, bitchy ankle be damned). Some combination of stupefied “fuck”-type words escaped me, I’m sure. It was so surreal and sudden that I thought maybe it had been a misunderstanding, somehow. It’s not like he cat-called or did anything inappropriate.. it was just plain weird. I mean, for all I knew, he was half blind and thought he knew me and was trying to get a closer look. Still, my unconscious haunches were raised and I’m one to pay attention to the more instinctive part of things, which seemed insistent on telling me “WORLD OF NO” about this guy. I kept my pace brisk because I could hear his plastic bag jangling behind me, and didn’t want him to catch up. I also kept mentally replaying all of my kickboxing lessons and safety tips… in case I needed to “SING” him a little song. (Solarplexus, Instep, Nose, Groin, for those who don’t know that “tune”.) After a few minutes I relaxed a little because his footsteps had long since disappeared from behind me… though I soon realized that this was because he had been busying himself with unlocking his bicycle, and was headed my way down the OBVIOUSLY deserted street.
He flew by me making a sort of kissing sound at me, but the way one makes at a cat or dog. Obviously, at that point, the benefit of the doubt I had allowed him shattered. He HAD been all up in my space on purpose, and creepily, had jumped on the first available woman he saw once he’d exited the store he’d been in (not literally thankfully, but still). Life’s lotto just deemed it would be me today.
Once I got over being creeped out, I just got so mad. I’m SO angry that some men think this is okay. What right does this guy have? I know I’m supposed to ignore this. I know I’m supposed to be “used to it” and not “enable” them by responding. But the older I get, the worse I feel about it. I just sat there and raged. The things I pictured doing to him… Christ, he’d have ended up paraplegic and eating his chopped up penis in a stir-fry. Of course, I’d had a shit morning, but sometimes, I just think a square punch to the jaw would set things right. But he’s a coward and pedaled away on his bike.
Anyway. I realize I get very easily upset about things like this. I’m not sure why, but it’s SUCH a trigger for like, very unreasonable anger. Some women ignore it, because they don’t want to “let them win”. But I’m not just talking about sexual harassment either. I just mean bad behavior too, in a general sense. I’m not saying we need guns… but it seems to me like if we could occasionally clock someone in the face when necessary and justified, people would be less inclined to act like complete assholes. Anyway. All I’m saying is that I’d have risked worsening my ankle to shove my foot right up his ass.
2) Another strange situation, though perhaps more amusing to some, is that I’ve been experiencing a chronic boob-starer at work. And not the kind you would expect… this particular behavior is coming from my boss; a 40-something year old Indian woman, who’s married with a child. I don’t get it. She’s super pleasant and I love working for her, but EVERY SINGLE TIME we speak, unquestionably, her eyes flicker towards my chest and back up again multiple times in the conversation. I don’t know what it is. I remember my old roomie (a straight, 20-year old med student chick) Nessa used to do that too, and we had the kind of sisterly relationship where I could call her on it, and did… and she’d just explain it by saying “I can’t help it. It’s like a fascination thing where yours are so much bigger than mine that I have to stare.” And let me clarify that this isn’t some underhanded way of talking about my chest size. I’m a meaty chick and my boobs are appropriately proportional, and she was small so… in that sense I could understand. Sort of. ……………Not.
Anyway, the point is, while it didn’t bother me so much with Nessa because it was all in good fun, it’s not like I can say “So… why are you staring at my tits?” to my boss. That’d be kind of awkward. Still, it remains that it happens, and while it doesn’t really bother me enough to do something about it, I still find it very strange. Has this ever happened to anyone, be you the starer or the staree?