NEW COLUMN: Ms. Adventures — Episode #1: Fuck Off, Please
In my early twenties I worked as a server in a restaurant. The majority of our customers were middle-aged men and our staff predominately consisted of young women. This was not a coincidence. For the most part, the customers were respectful. Occasionally, I would get compliments on my “beautiful eyes” and “charming smile.” I thanked them audibly, silently hoping my attractive irises and sparkling grill would translate into a rapper’s amount of cash, and continued on to my next table.
As I’m sure many of you do, I possess the ability to differentiate between harmless flirting and unnerving leering. One evening, I was serving a table of two men. I could not shake the distinct feeling of being visually analyzed. Upon my return to them, my suspicions were confirmed when one of them slowly looked me up and down. He brazenly moved his entire head, unabashed by his behavior. Meeting my eyes, he said, “I bet there is not even an ounce of fat on your body.” A simmering rage rose underneath my skin. I couldn’t let this slide, but I also couldn’t lose my job for stating I found him comparable to a giant mound of dinosaur shit. Without missing a beat, or looking away, I simply stated, “That is impossible, because the human body can not function without fat.” A critical science hit will always defeat a flimsy, level one lecher; you will also remain gainfully employed.
In more recent times, I was out getting my respective dance on at a club. I have always preferred to be in less populated areas, my chances of getting a stranger’s sweat on me is greatly reduced and I have enough space to deliver Tiger Uppercuts should the situation warrant deadly force. I learned a valuable, yet obnoxious, lesson that evening. Men in Affliction shirts and hair spiked to porcupine perfection can — and will — manifest in lightening speed from whatever Hell dimension they originated from. I was joyfully bouncing around to the electronic beats with no douche bags in my personal bubble, AND THEN I WAS ENGULFED IN A CLOUD OF AXE BODY SPRAY AND TESTOSTERONE. THE HORROR!
There were five of them in total, doing some shameful drunken jump infused dancing, completely fucking up my goth-elven-super villan style of movement. Let me make this abundantly clear, having a non-consensual Night at the Roxbury moment sucked an ocean of dicks. Fear not, I summoned several dark shadows of my own and slipped away unscathed from the circle of fuckery.
On a mundane mission to achieve food, a disturbance in the force caught my attention. An older, intoxicated man, who shambled like a slow moving zombie, was headed straight for me. His eyes were directly on my left bicep, which has a large tattoo on it. I knew exactly what his intent was and I accepted that I had to shut it down immediately. He reached his hand out towards my shirt sleeve without uttering a single word. I stepped back, raised my arm across my chest, and said flatly, “Do. not. touch. me.” This caught him off guard and he began to stammer, blowing stale beer breathe in my face, “I just…I , I wanted to-”. Once again, I shut it down, “I don’t care that you wanted to see my tattoo. I said do not touch me. This leaves zero room for debate.” He made himself scarce after that, and I allowed myself to be lulled into a false sense of security. I went outside to restore balance to my nicotine levels, ‘Handsy’ emerged from behind a car, and induced a heaving sigh from me.
“IT WAS A COMPLIMENT. YOU SHOULD BE FUCKING GRATEFUL SOMEONE IN THIS WORLD WANTS TO TOUCH YOU”, Handsy screamed as he walked into the road.
A sigh once again escaped my lips. I was in no mood to explain the difference between a compliment and, you know, assault. He was already playing in traffic, I figured things would sort themselves out.
It is my hope that reading about my brief collisions with Creepy Dudes has touched you. Not in your bathing suit area, but in the space behind your ears. All I desire is a basic level of respect from my fellow bipedal primates. Being leered at, jump-danced on, and grabbed does not match that criteria. All it does is put you in the running for being ridiculed on (dramatic music) THE INTERNET. Potential harassers be warned, you can and will be blogged about.