Don’t Hit on Strangers in Elevators

8 04 2014

So, to the guy who works in my building (possibly as a custodian or maintenance man), I only told you my name because I couldn’t think of a way not to.

And no, I don’t want to model for you. I don’t care if you think my hair is amazing.

I’m sure there are plenty of aspiring models who will respond to a Craigslist posting. I’m pretty sure photos for a portfolio aren’t cheap.

But you’re not a photographer. Real photographers don’t have to stop random women in elevators and ask to model for them, they don’t ambush them.

Real photographers don’t complain that girls are ‘taking selfies in their underwear in their bathrooms’ and aren’t letting you take pictures of them in ‘regular clothes.’

Maybe someone else might have been flattered. But I doubt it. Your approach wasn’t subtle, and you approached in an enclosed space, which doesn’t leave a way for me to exit gracefully. Or at all. I’m stuck with you until I get to my floor. I don’t know you, you’re talking about a situation where I would be alone with you after complaining about women who don’t want to let you take their picture. It’s creepy.

And I’m not saying that because you’re a man, or because I don’t find you attractive. I’m saying that because you’re a stranger with a lack of boundary awareness, and that’s the best case scenario. If that is the case, educate yourself and quick, because you are going to cross the wrong person’s boundaries one day, and they might not just want to run away from you, like I did.

Because come on.

You know what I’m thinking? And I may not be right, but I think there’s a good chance that I am.

You don’t want to take my picture. Maybe that’s how you’d start it, but again, there are legitimate ways to acquire photography models.

You want to get me alone and vulnerable, and you want to see how far you can push. You think you can trick or convince me into having sex with you.

And you clearly didn’t care about the fact that I was uncomfortable, or wasn’t interested in talking to you.

So I’m saying this: Cut it out. Don’t stop random women and ask to take their picture or ask their name when they’re clearly not interested.

I’m not saying you can’t have a sex life, or make your interest in a woman clear.

Just have some respect while you do it. That’s all.

Sincerely yours,

J.J

 

 

 





Socially Awkwardly Speaking

27 03 2014

 

I read this today, Socially Awkward isn’t an excuse. Go read it, it’s a good article.

It’s awesome. And I’m saying that as someone who is, in fact, socially awkward.

My entire adolescence, counting the beginning of my college career, I was really socially awkward.

Not to put too fine a point on it, there were a lot of times I came off as creepy.

And as the article points out, people who are actually socially awkward? Care that they don’t know where the lines are. I had no idea, I only knew when I had crossed the line. When I had upset someone. When I’d got it wrong. And it upset me every time.

It took a lot of therapy and people pushing me away for me to learn. Even now, it’s not innate. I have to be aware of what I say and how I say it, how I carry myself. I know where the lines are, for the most part. And I’m a woman; I come off as less creepy by default. But all the same, sometimes I was really creepy, and I know I upset people. I’m sorry for that.

I could say that I had issues. I did, and pretty serious ones. I still do. But it’s not an excuse. I can’t apologize for my behavior, I’m pretty sure the person in question never wants to hear from me again. All I can say is that I had no ill intent. Not once.

Creepers? The ones who know where the boundaries are, and don’t care? They should stop making excuses that make people with real social problems look worse than they already do, and get over themselves. As someone who is socially awkward and reformed from creepy behavior, I ask them to cut it out.

***

I have been trying not to say or use the word ‘retarded’. It’s ableist, and I don’t want to be that. Or hurt anyone’s feelings. (I mean, I would never use it to refer to someone with a mental disability.) But sometimes I just use it casually, like ‘Oh, that’s retarded.’ And I’m not saying everyone has to stop using it, or that I’ve stopped doing it entirely, ’cause I haven’t. But everyone, just try to be aware. I think we’d be better off.

***

Magpie and I are still together and happy. It’ll be a year this summer. We’re so comfortable together.

It’s not that I don’t have issues with our relationship. I mean, we have a little friction here and there, but that’s not what I’m talking about.

I hate my past sometimes. It interferes.

Sometimes when he’s holding me I want to squirm away from him. But it’s not really him I want to get away from. I have nightmares more often now. I don’t sleep as well when he’s next to me, even though I love when he’s there.

And as much as he proves every day that he’s in love with me and cares for me, that he wouldn’t change me…something in the back of my head tells me, every day:

Be careful. He could hurt you. He might change. He might pin you down and take everything from you.

This isn’t something you want lurking in your mind, about your boyfriend. About anyone.

I’ve told him about this.

And you know what?

He still wants to be with me. He loves me enough to work with me.

Aren’t I lucky?

For the first time in my life, I really think I am.

Sincerely yours,

J.J