So…this happened

21 06 2013

I’m 52 years old, entering that part of life where women apparently become invisible, and I’m mostly glad of it. But this afternoon for some reason I became visible, VERY visible to a man in the parking lot outside my grocery store. I should not have EVEN turned around when I heard “Hey, mami…mami, hey” behind me.  Good girl training: when someone speaks to you, you respond.  Even if you did not invite the interaction.

And I really really OMG really should have turned right back around and headed back into the store. Because he told me he loved me (!!!!!) wanted to know if I was married (none of your business) and did I live in town (none of your business again). He followed me to my car and held on to the door until I threatened to slam his hand in it. Then he tapped on the window wanting my phone number. I told him I was leaving and he finally walked away, but then he tapped his horn as I was driving past. And I’m thinking FUCK FUCK FUCK this guy could follow me back to my house.

So I went to dinner at a local restaurant instead. Which was very nice and very delicious but I should not have to go through this. I should not have to hide in a restaurant because I’m afraid to go home. I shouldn’t be sorting through the various unpleasant what-if scenarios.

I am so out of practice at this, and he caught me so completely off guard. I’m pissed off that I let myself get that complacent. I’ve been carrying some messed up idea that a woman like me can be blissfully free of this crap, only to get slapped right in the face with it.

Upshot: boy, do I need a drink.

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One response

7 07 2013
ForFemme

We are the same generation. Sorry to tell ya this lasts practically as long as we are female. I have a cousin who is about 65 and single. She is NEVER without a boyfriend. They change but new ones always pursue. Heard about all the STD’s in retirement homes? Yep. You are definitely not invisible. Maybe in another 25 years. Sorry. Two incidents happened to me recently. I am on public transit right now and just the other day I got on the bus minding my own business and a very loud guy asked me my age. I responded, “No, I’m not answering that”. There was an exchange with another guy who told me I looked “good for my age” (which they didn’t know). I told the first guy I wasn’t answering because it was a rude question. Then later when I got off the bus he told me I was too old; he likes younger women (as if it were up to him in the first place).

Another time I got off the bus with my groceries at the stop and there was another very talkative guy who got off with me. I was polite as usual but after he talked my ear off he offered to ride on the next bus, get off at my stop (causing him to wait an hour for the next bus) and “walk me home”. I thanked him for his kindness but refused the walk home. He pressed. I refused. He pressed again. Finally he saw my annoyance and got offended and let it drop. He was drinking. I thought, what am I going to do if this guy follows me home? Keep walking in circles? Keep riding past my stop? Luckily he was offended enough not to follow me. Good riddance but it was scary how he wouldn’t take no for an answer.

Oh. And you probably know this already but it’s a cultural thing to street harass women in Mexico. I found this out on vacation one time. Apparently you’re not supposed to be offended as it is supposed to be good-natured. On the other hand this guy was rather aggressive. I never had someone approach, just comment from afar. If you were fearful he should have backed off.

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