So today is apparently International Woman’s day, or whatever the hell that’s supposed to be. I found this out, not by flicking through the Metro, not from the hotmail welcome page, and not from some facebook bullshit. No.
Let me share the following example of my ego falling flat on its face, whereafter it still thought it looked shit hot.
So, I recently started going to this new bar in the morning for my coffee and a pastry. Now, the barman is this energetic, smiley and irritating guy who always tries this same crappy joke on me. It’s terrible. What he does is, whatever the price of my coffee and food comes to, he always multiplies the price by a hundred. So say my coffee and pastry comes to 3,20, he announces “That will be three hundred and twenty euros, please!” with this self-satisfied and overzealous grin on his face. I have tried to grin back and make amused sounds, but I’m bad at that. He kept at it. Every fucking day. So one day, when he tries his particular brand of humour, I try and go with it. He tells me the total is four hundred and fifty euro, and I hold out a five euro note and say “Do you have change for five hundred?” I thought this was a reasonable attempt to go along with the crumby joke, but he just takes the note in silence, eyes downcast, as if something really horrible and unnatural just took place. I was pissed off, but decided to chalk it down to differing senses of humour and never bothered to try again. I wouldn’t go back, but they make such amazing sandwiches.
Today, I go in for my coffee and decide on a brie and parma ham sandwich, and while waiting to pay, mr. Funny Guy procures from under the bar a bunch of yellow flowers which he hands me shyly, saying just “these are for you”.
Now, I get a lot of weirdos all the time, saying all sorts of weird shit, so sometimes I’m not sure how to read the situation. In this case, I held the flowers, looked at them, then started muttering “Sorry, I’m not interested… thanks anyway, but it’s just I’m not really looking for anything right now…eh…thanks anyway…” or something along those lines. I might have mentioned being in the process of getting a divorce. His response was to point to the right, and utter “happy woman’s day”. I looked, and saw a queue of other women, all holding identical bunches of yellow flowers. Apparently it’s a thing here, and the barman or the owners of the bar decided to give them out to all the women customers this morning. Oh the shame. Can’t go back… but they make such good sandwiches. I will be back.
The episode reminded me of another time my ego got the better of me. In fairness, I do get a lot of hassle from random people, most women do. I just happen to have too much hips (ie, hip fat) to wear jeans so I wear dresses all the time, and this seems to be man-code for “I’m a prostitute, say nasty shit to me”.
So one day, about three years ago, before my hip fat had bought the place and was still just renting, I was walking down the street on holidays beside the sea. I was wearing a skirt and summery top, my hair looked nice, I was walking with a bit of a swing of the hips, and to be honest, Prince was playing in my head. “You’ve got the look” to be precise. I was strutting along by the side of quite a busy road, when quite a few cars honked at me. “Damn,” I thought, “I really do got the look.” I felt shit hot. I flicked on my annoyed by all this unwanted attention face, and shook my hips a bit more as I continued to walk to the beach. One pick-up truck drove past and an unsecured back passenger yelled out “NICE ASS!” I managed a bit of an “eugh” noise, pondering how unevolved men are that the appearance of any hugely attractive human like myself could provoke such outbursts. I don’t remember exactly when it started to dawn on me, but slowly another possibility took shape in the small part of my mind not occupied with being attracted to myself. I was walking by the main road, and at one point, I reached back… just to check. And yes. The entire back of my skirt was tucked into my underwear.
And that, my friends, is why I never know what to do when weirdos approach me. Someone starts feeling my ass on the bus- am I being paranoid? Is he just checking his…what? What is he doing? He is feeling my ass. But how awful it would be to overreact if it’s just some innocent person. I do nothing. Get off the bus. Realise he was of course feeling my ass. Saw his cupped hand at ass-level as I got off the bus. Saw the fingers curled and poised. Feel disgusting. Promise myself the next time it happens, I’ll snap his hand off and fashion it into a bracelet for him to wear on his other hand.
The next time it happens, of course, it’s not a serious creep at all. It’s just some guy who whistles as I was past a building side. He gets the outrage that was meant for bus perve. He gets a string of high-pitched, teary nonsense about women’s right and how much of a disgusting pig he is. Ugh, stupid being a woman. I mean I love being a woman, but I hate the weakness and the being afraid of men raping me in an alley part of it. Well…happy motherfuckin women’s day to you all.