Street Harassment and Self Respect

Today began with a rough start. My friend and I are in Budapest and we had stopped to take a picture of a bridge when suddenly I felt a tap on my butt.  I figured it was someone passing by, tapping my with a handbag or hip by accident on the busy street. I was wrong. Glancing behind me I saw a guy driving away on a tiny little moped, accompanied by a group of guys laughing hysterically and glancing back at me. Naturally I was pissed off and ready to fight this guy. Under no circumstance was this acceptable. But, then it hit me just how hilarious and pathetic the situation was. Not only did he mostly miss my ass, he didn’t even do it for his own pleasure. Instead, this was his sad attempt to try and prove his fragile (or possibly nonexistent)  masculinity to his friends. He is so insecure about his image that he was literally willing to physically assault someone on the street. Also, if the guys who assaulted me (or any other guilty of street harassment) happens to read this, I have a special message for you. You disgust me.

I desperately wish people would understand assaulting people (verbally or physically) does nothing to enforce gender norms or masculinity. It only deteriorates any respect that people might have had for someone before the incident. As a society, its pathetic and deplorable that we allow this to continue. Admittedly, it is an easy thing to blow off. Women and men both find various ways to justify the behavior. Even subconsciously, we have a tendency to do it. When the incident occurred this morning the first thought that came to my mind was that I was standing in the middle of the sidewalk. It was “rude” of me. I thought that perhaps that he slapped my ass because I was in his way. But, then I thought about the MILLION other ways he could have told me to move. For all I care, he could have yelled at me, called me an ignorant tourist. Even that would have been better then the call he made. This behavior was simply disgusting and I was not to blame for the incident, nor is anyone who has even been harassed on the street.

The night I saw (almost) everyone

Today, I have learned two very important things.

1) You can not win a fight against the universe. You must adapt plans no matter what they may be to include this so- called “plot twist” in your day.

2) Negative people absolutely useless and simply annoying.

Waking up this morning was a struggle. Stuck somewhere between dream land and reality I faintly noticed the sound of my alarm clock. From the moment I fully awoke there was a feeling in my gut that today would be an strange one.

At school, people seemed miserable. There was something in the air which I could not explain. Every time I turned around, someone was bitching about something new or attempting to drag me into their drama. Possibly the best decision I made all day was tuning out the world and deciding to listen to chill dub step. The moment I the nagging and whining were blocked from my ears, my mood seemed to boost by a thousand percent. Little things like the sunshine pouring though the window warming my skin and the taste of my strawberry smoothie became my main focus. All the people in the room seemed so unimportant and superfluous compared to the beautiful little details in front of me. A friend of mine always says “enjoy the little things.” Perhaps I did not truly verify the truth of his advice until today. If you can manage to rid your life of negativity, even for a little while, awesome results will ensue.

Earlier on this evening, I agreed to meet up with a friend for dinner. I truly feel pity for all those people out there with good friends of the opposite gender. No matter where you go, it never fails for someone to falsely identify you as a couple. Tonight, this person happened to be my boss. But after she asked us if we were a couple we say her two more times before the night was over. Did someone say awkward?

Living in a small town, no matter where you go, you are likely to see someone you know….But, tonight was simply over the top. When we decided to skip dinner since we both weren’t very hungry, we decided to stop to grab a coffee instead. Biggest mistake of the night. There, we not only ran into my boss, but two of our mutual friends as well. At the gas station later, we ran into one of my ex-boyfriends who is still insistent we should be together. When we finally decided to hang out in a nearby empty parking lot to drink our coffee, five minuets later two acquaintances pulled up and parked next to us. Although they did not say anything, I’m sure I’ll be getting a hard time from them tomorrow.

Usually we solve this problem by completing the group that I have mentioned in posts past, but the third member of the party is off studying at her universality. Eventually we decided just to give up on our serious talk of travel plans we were originally going to arrange due to sheer number of interruptions,  and decided to make a game of how many people we could run into. Unfortunately we did not accomplish our original purpose, but we had a fun time and now a funny story to share and we likewise adapted out plans.

Aren’t migraines fun?

Around two o’clock this morning, I had the uncomfortable experience of waking up to an excruciating pain behind my left eye. My whole face had gone numb. The first thought which crossed my mind upon waking to this  pain was “Not again. Not today.” For several years now, I have the misfortune of experiencing occasional migraines. In a way, they have  become a ritualistic event for me.

Confused and disoriented, I stood up and quickly managed to stand up and walk to my bathroom cabinet, tripping over laundry, my cat, a few empty water bottles, and a desk on the way. For me it’s  a race against the clock. There is about a five minuet time span between the time I notice the pain, and when I completely lose consciousness.( When I say “lose consciousness,”  I literally mean black out on the hard cold floor. ) I use this 5 minuets to do everything in my power to minimize the pain and get into a comfortable place.

As I rummaged through my cabinet looking for my medication, my vision began to go fuzzy signaling that my time was running short. There is a certain  irony in this situation.  For those of you who have vision problems, I am sure you will be able to sympathize that it is very hard to read microscopic labels on various bottles when your world has gone completely blurry. It was at this moment when I remembered that I had stuck a large green label on the bottle for this exact reason. If I can manage to take the meds before this time frame has expired, it means that I will be spared from about five hours of extra pain.  Luckily, this time I was able to take a sigh of relief.

Waking up after getting a migraine are always some of the oddest experiences.  I feel a sense of relaxation and complete blissful calm. It is actually a very pleasant experience.

Yet on the other hand, it also feels as if any logic has completely fled my mind. It is as if my mind has been exchanged with that of a goldfish. It is like my mind has been reduced to mush. Even though all day has passed, I am still having trouble forming coherent sentences for this post. I also try to limit my social interaction in this state because  of my trouble with speech after a migraine. Once in a while I will unintentionally begin to slur my words. This is why I typically like to avoid school like the black plague when I deal with one of these monster -like headaches.

A little later on in the afternoon my day was much improved my the visit of a good friend. We managed to have a good time and slip in a few laughs despite my awkward morning. Luckily, I should be back to normal by tomorrow.

the hickey incident

Today  I was invited by one of my good friends go eat breakfast with her and her family. It seemed like a perfectly normal Saturday Morning until we sat down to eat.

My friend’s mother happens to be a successful, strong minded, honest, and a loving parent. Still, she has a very unique quality that promises your life will never be dull in her presence. To this day, I have never been disappointed by the quality of conversation.

There are two (or really three) stories that prove this to be especially true. For the sanity of my friend, I will leave the third out. All these stories have one thing in common. They all take place in the restaurant which my friend’s family happens to own.

For a couple months over the summer I had a bit of a scandalous romance. After visiting a hang out locals refer to as “the beach,” my friends  and I went to go grab a bite to eat at her restaurant.  Upon arriving, the first thing out of her mothers mouth is about meeting my friend’s new body guard. Shortly after that, a large college student who was probably around six foot five inches walks up to us. He was quiet and definitely not the kind of person you wanted to piss off. Her mother then sat down with us at lunch and decided to have a very loud and very passionate conversation about random  terms I haven’t even heard of. Although I am used to the randomness that occurs in the lives of my close friends and I, I forgot that my  man lover may not be accustomed to such unique conversation. The look on his face turned from happy complacency into horrified confusion about what me might be getting himself into by associating with me.

Before parting ways that day, he whipped out a guitar and started to serenade me right there, in my friends driveway. Up until that point, it was possibly the most romantic and honestly awkward moment of my life. To make it more awkward for me, he didn’t stop with the romance after playing. He then proceeded to kiss me on the lips, right there and then. He did not even give me the chance to lean in. He just went for it all the way. You have no idea the shock which came over me. My friend hasn’t stopped giving me an extremely hard time about that ever since, and is likely never going to stop. She was just standing there… watching all this take place.

Last night, I was up late talking with my friend and her brother about our individual love lives. After being thoroughly questioned about my recent lack of activity in this subject, my friend’s brother went on to suggest that there was a very cute guy that worked at their restaurant. According to her brother he, was a ” bad ass, so he would be just my type.” He also proceeded to tease me about my summer fling. If you can’t tell, my love life can be a bit of a popular roller coaster. Unfortunately this guy had a serious girl friend, as we were about to find out the next day.

So, back to the 2nd story. As we were ordering food, my friend pointed out a waiter to me. In fact, this was the very same waiter which her brother had wanted me to get together with. I turned slightly pink as my friend’s mother ( and owner of the restaurant)  called him over. On the side of his neck was a giant purple hickey. Turns out I wasn’t the only person to spot it. My friends mother, upon seeing the hickey, had a burst of  laughter before she started to drill him about his recent relationships. He admitted that he was dating the girl who had originally came to serve us juice. It has quickly became apparent who had given him the hickey.  What happened next was a scene out of your favorite comedy show.

I felt so bad for the poor fellow who was standing before us at that very moment.  Before any one else knew it, my friend’s mother had also called his girlfriend over and not-so- politely informed them that it was against company policy to date co-workers. Therefore, she was starting to decide which one she would fire upon their break up.  Both their faces seemed to drain of color upon hearing those words

.He came up with a lame attempt to pass off the hickey as a scruple marker stain. She then proceeded to try and convince him that she would have to give the guy a make over in order to hide that hickey with a little concealer.  The teasing was endless. No matter how much I wanted to look away at the train wreck happening right before my eyes,  it was just too funny. What she did was not uncalled for, but it was certainly mean. Before you knew it, people from other tables were going quiet in order to listen to the show. The rising laughter in the room was accompanied by an increase of volume in the conversation at my table. Soon, the whole conversation was being broadcast to the entire restaurant.

Although I may be single as a Pringle at the moment, I luckily get to enjoy the relationship drama of others while reflecting on my own past situations.