Monday, August 13, 2007

the stupid things boys do…

Girls get hit on by boys they don’t like all the time. It’s a fact of life. Occasionally, I am amazed at the lengths that some boys go to in order to get a girl’s attention. They range from ridiculous to creepy.

Take yesterday for example. Jesse and I were sitting at a traffic light on Columbia Pike. As he usually does, Jesse was driving with one hand and holding my hand with the other (insert reaction of disgust or “awww” here). I looked out of the passenger side window and saw a man waiting at the bus stop. That wasn’t so odd. What was particularly interesting to me (and definitely caught my attention) was that this guy had a can of Budweiser in his hand. I had never before seen anyone drinking beer at a bus stop in the middle of the day on a busy road. Because I had my sunglasses on instead of my eyeglasses (and I’m near sighted), I squinted as I tried to make sure that the can the guy was carrying was indeed a can of Bud. While I looked intently (I’m not going to call it “staring” because that’s rude), the guy caught me looking at him. Right as the traffic light turned green, he started to blow kisses at me. Ugh. Yuck.

I was left wondering, why even bother? I’m in a vehicle with my boyfriend whose hand I was holding. Granted, he probably couldn’t see that. But what did Mr. Beer-Drinking-Bus-Rider want me to do? Get out of the car and kiss him back? How realistic is that? How successful did he expect his grand gesture would be? Maybe I brought it on myself by trying to identify the can he was holding. I was looking at the can, not him. In his drunken stupor, he assumed I was checking him out. Regardless, he was disgusting and his kisses were ridiculous.

This morning, I got on the bus like any other work day and sat in an empty seat towards the back. An older man’s gaze followed me as I made my way to the back of the bus and I made the big mistake of sitting in the seat across the aisle from him. For the entire ride while he was on the bus, he turned his body to face me and stared at me. Luckily, I was listening to my iPod so I ignored him without appearing rude. However, I thought that if I turned my head towards him even slightly, he would pounce on that opportunity to talk to me. He eventually got off of the bus before I did, turning back to look at me as he left. Ugh. It’s 8 a.m. on a Monday for chrissakes. That’s bad enough, but to add a creepy guy staring at you is more than just unpleasant.

And speaking of creepy, last weekend, I was in the city running errands. My first priority was to get my eyebrows done. The eyebrows had grown into hairy caterpillars above my eyes. It was time to tame them. So I showed up at the threading place and apparently I was early. They hadn’t even opened yet. I called them to see if I could still get access into the building. While waiting outside, a guy was there, stopped walking and just stared at me. Assuming that maybe I was in his way, I turned to look at him and he asked in Spanish, “What does your shirt mean?” I was wearing a t-shirt that said, ‘Live happy, love happy’. I explained it to him and he replied, “Oh, I know how to make you happy.” Ugh. The look on his face said that I didn't really want to know how. I wasn’t going to ask him either. I gave him a look that said, Get away from me and I told him, “I already am happy.” I walked away. Luckily for me, he was gone by the time I returned. Even creepy guy wasn’t going to stop me from getting my eyebrows done.

I’m sure some of you experience much worse on a daily basis. And if your harassment is especially bad, I encourage you to share your experience with Golden Silence at the Don’t be Silent blog. It’s a fabulous blog on a not-so-fabulous subject—street harassment in DC. And if you're a girl living in a big city, this blog is a must read.


Anonymous said...

as usual great post. So this will really date me but about 20 years ago when I was in my 20s I was volunteering at the DC Rape Crisis Center. We would periodically receive lectures etc from various care givers, first responders in the community. I'll never forget the story one cop told us: there had been nuisance reports of some jerk who was running his hand up women's skirts on the metro. I guess 20 years ago women were a little more circumspect, shy whatever, so they/we didnt speak out as much in these situations. So he was getting away with it.

Any way this one girl -she was a college student if I remember - whom he targeted yelled at the top of her lungs, 'what is your hand doing on my thigh'. The guy bolted and I think was caught by some good samitarians. ~erika
PS-when you go to New Orleans you will see PLENTY of people with open beer cans and glasses on the street.

Madame M. said...

Ah.... gotta love the people who think they have "it", when they clearly do not.

(unless "it" is a can of Budweiser)

lizzie said...

erika--thanks for the compliment! and thank you for sharing your story. i was on a metro bus yesterday on the ride home and this guy was bugging this girl. she clearly didn't want to talk to him and he clearly wanted to get into her pants. she got so frustrated with him that she finally screamed, STOP TALKING TO ME! everyone turned and stared at the guy, who was clearly embarassed. needless to say, he slumped away to a different part of the bus after she did that.

sometimes you've got to get loud to be heard.

madame--it's been my experience that it's usually the guys who don't have it that are confident that they do. silly boys!

sunchaser said...

"Jesse was driving with one hand and holding my hand with the other" that's very awww! :)

"Right as the traffic light turned green, he started to blow kisses at me. Ugh. Yuck." That's very ewwww. And you're so right, what was his point?! (and also that staring is rude!)

"I explained it to him and he replied, “Oh, I know how to make you happy.” Ugh. The look on his face said that I didn't really want to know how." That's very, very, ewww...

At the same time, I feel a little sorry for those guys. Because obviously their hormones are so out of control that they can't control their behavior enough to function in a civilized way.

I haven't been to New Orleans in so long. I need to get back there. :)

Anonymous said...

If the creepy man on the bus had tried to talk to you, you should not feel the need to talk back. That's like because a nice man in a car asked my aunt when she was young how her dad was, she didn't have to answer the stranger, get in the car with him, or even say anything at all. Next time someone you feel uncomfortable with stares at you, ask them politely if there is a problem and before they can answer "I didn't think so" or turn to them and say that they have something on their face or ask what's wrong with their hair and they will be too embarrassed to look at you again and if they do ask if he has Tourette's. As for the kissing drunkard, flick him off. And the hispanico,