I have been in a funk for writing since a few days ago, dwelling on something that happened while I was on my way to my place of employment. I wasn’t dressed in anything special. Simple black top, black capri pants and these cute socks with butterflies on them. I was in a good mood even if I still had an hour bus ride ahead of me. As I crossed the street, I was keeping an eye out for said bus when I heard someone saying something.
“Oh don’t worry honey, you are gonna make it on time.”
It was coming from the man sitting at the bus stop that I was headed for, I thought nothing of it at that moment. I have noticed in Houston people can be fairly friendly, so I just gave a smile and moved to sit down. I started to fuss with my phone just a little, it is a habit for me. However he started to strike up a conversation. Asking me how I was doing, if I was going to work…I gave non-committal answers, not trying to seem rude. Then out of the blue…
“So are you married?”
“No. I have a boyfriend.”
“Well how about I give you my number…”
I will admit, I snapped a just a bit with my answer. Even if I did add a no thank you to the end of it. My fussing with my phone leading me to calling The Boy, pretending to have needed to make the call either way. Trying to just keep him on the phone with me, even though he was still half asleep so that I could just avoid the man I noticed now glaring daggers at me. I have had to do this before, when I am feeling unsafe on my bus rides to and from work. Keep someone on the phone or pretend I am on it to hope that people assume I am not to be bothered. It worked, I got on the bus heading to my first stop so I could transfer.
Unfortunately, the man who I had spurned got off at the same stop. And as soon as that happened, he started calling me some extremely hateful things. Fat bitch, ugly slut, making claims that I didn’t have a boyfriend cause no one would want to fuck me, and my personal favorite as I attempted to ignore him…racist dyke. I was nearly in tears over it, fumbling with my phone more trying to get my music to play. Just to drowned him out as he yelled it while I moved to where I would transfer and he headed for the rail. I could feel people’s eyes on me as I tried to avoid it in some way.
The sad thing is, this isn’t the first time it has happened. For some reason I have come to find that men think that woman just want very much to be hit on when they are trying to get to and from work. That I want you to call me plethora of names baby, darling’, sugar, girl…because you don’t know my name. Or my personal favorite, assuming that I still want your phone number even though I clearly just told you that I have someone in my life. It doesn’t seem to matter what I am wearing or what I am covered in from work, for some reason it seems to happen at least once a week.
I was once told by an older woman who was riding on the bus with me after she witnessed it happen, say that I should be flattered and not agitated like I clearly was after it happened. Her reasoning? He was wearing scrubs, that meant he was working in the medical center, and of course that meant he would have a good job to take care of me. It didn’t matter to her that she heard him tell me to call him if I ever deiced to ‘ditch my man’ or that he also made a joke that he ‘had a girlfriend too’. It just mattered that he had been she viewed as a ‘good job’ and that made him a ‘good man’. So I am just supposed to accept his harassing me.
I am refusing to accept it any longer. Perhaps it is going to make me seem like a cold standoff bitch, but I would rather have people keep their distance from me at this point than suffer any more of it. If that makes me a bad person, then so be it.