May 10, 2005

What I said in my mind

I was walking along 24th Street to the BART station yesterday afternoon when a car slowed almost to a stop next to me. I glanced over at it, startled, and saw the driver looking out the window. Some totally average nondescript guy, in a totally average nondescript car, of totally average nondescript age (both him and the car, actually), looking at me. I looked away and kept walking. I walk pretty quickly, but certainly not quickly enough to keep pace with a car... therefore, the same car finding itself stopping right next to me again a half block later struck me as particularly creepy and inappropriate. My hand came up and flipped off the driver even before I heard what he said, which was something along the lines of, "Would you like a ride, beautiful?"

In my mind, I marched over to the passenger window of the car and leaned down assertively. I told the perfectly average driver that stopping his car next to a strange woman walking down the street and offering her a ride isn't something that an average nice guy does. It's something for creeps and rapists and that guy who followed me home from junior high with his pants off that one time. I told him that while he may have thought it was a compliment, it was actually scary and objectifying and more than a little annoying. I told him that if he wanted to compliment a woman he could get out of his car and walk over and tell her she was nice-looking and let her smile and walk away feeling flattered, or if he wanted to get pepper spray in the eyes or a punch in the face he could try what he just tried with someone else after sundown.

In reality, I gave him a shocked look and walked the rest of the way to the BART station pretending he didn't exist. My mind gives the world a lot more opportunities to see reason and clean up its act. Reality gives me a lot more opportunities to be a chicken. Too bad, huh.

Posted by dianna at May 10, 2005 02:05 PM

wow, I have that mental conversation with guys a lot too, where I explain that there are better ways to get me to smile at you than just ordering me to "Smile, beautiful!" and so on. but I never have the words at the time because I'm busy being creeped out or pissed off or both.

maybe we should carry notecards for our lecture, and then we'll be ready to deliver it at the drop of a comr-on.

Posted by: didofoot at May 10, 2005 04:14 PM

er..."come-on." not comr-on.

Posted by: didofoot at May 10, 2005 04:15 PM

Kristen, you've got a great idea there! And if we chicken out we can just hand them the notecards and run.

Now smile, girl. Don't you know how?

Posted by: Dianna at May 10, 2005 04:20 PM

huh, your imaginary conversations with inappropriate men are much nicer. for instance, after i'd walked past a man in the post office the other day who made obscene sounds at me as i passed one way, then asked me, "how are you today?" on the way back, i had an imaginary conversation with him that pretty much went:

"you know, my day would be going a whole hell of a lot better if rude-ass motherfuckers like you weren't making disgusting grunting noises at me when i'm just trying to buy some fucking stamps in the goddamned post office, you stupid-ass cockface."

of course, all i managed to get out in reality was to say "fine" in a really bitchy way. ooh, i bet that showed him. sheesh. i like the notecard idea, maybe i'll give that a try. in this case, i was also disappointed that i didn't manage to at least say something about how inappropriate his behavior was, and say it loud enough for everyone in the post office to hear. ah well, next time, next time.

Posted by: erica at May 10, 2005 04:38 PM

it's not that i don't like to be appreciated. but strike up a clever conversation or something. if you start right off talking about my breasts, what will we have left to discuss ten years from now?

Posted by: didofoot at May 10, 2005 05:03 PM