My maintenance man, the one you may remember me talking about in They Outran the Rain just kissed me, and I don’t mean in a sweet, British, double cheek way. I mean in a flirtatious, is he going to throw me back in my apartment and have his way with me way.
He bear hugged me, squeezed me in tight, and kissed me in that awkward, high cheek area near the ear. Let me rephrase that – his sloppy lips were on my ear and he kissed repetitively until the shock from the awkward encounter finally left my body and my limbs found the strength to push him off of me.
If you’re like Todd Akin, you may be wondering what I did to entice the maintenance man to kiss me. So here’s the low down:
I was leaving my apartment for pure barre. I was gross with no make-up on and was wearing a wool coat that fell right above my knees, an infinity scarf that ensured no skin on my décolleté was bare, and snow boots that came to my knees. You know, obviously begging for attention.
It looked something like this…
The fact that I’m justifying how much I was not “asking for it” genuinely frustrates me. Because, let’s be real – even if I was dressed like Princess Di and had a little Kim K cleavage showing, I still have the right to go outside without feeling like some rando is going to find it his right to claim me as his perverted exhibition for the day.
But I guess in 2016 women still have no say in who they actually want to touch them.
I don’t know this man more than a quick “hi” and nod in the halls. We are not friends. We are barely acquaintances. Initially, I thought he was a nice guy (I say that in the most passive aggressive way possible), but now I am creeped to my core.
He violated my sense of self. He made me suddenly question what I’d done wrong. Had I led him on? Had I dressed in a manner that suggested I was “that type of girl”? Did I secretly want the creepy 50 year old man to kiss me?
Which only adds more frustration to the whole thing.
I knew the situation was sketch when he first approached me, but when he wished me a good day and started walking in for a hug, I was left dumbfounded. I did an awkward side hug to politely suggest that I wasn’t cool with this level of intimacy, but he obviously didn’t pick up on my vibe.
Side note: I barely even touch my loved ones and I have a weird, unrealistic fear of people touching my face.
When he pulled me in for the main show, I was almost too naïve to pick up on what was going on. I was running through the list of ways I could escape in my mind all the while thinking – I don’t want to make him feel awkward or embarrassed.
Then it hit me, I don’t know this man well enough to give a shit about hurting his feelings.
So I used my only move, the reverse and duck, and got the hell out of the building – intent on never returning.
[insert the importance of taking a self defense class here]
I did eventually return… mostly because I pay too much in rent to afford a hideout home, but also because I always gain major girl power after I’m removed from a situation and get a chance to reflect on how I could have been more badass.
The fact that some stranger made me feel that low made my blood boil like Kanye’s does when you bring up #buttstuff.
I don’t know how to promote girl power without being labeled as some crazy feminist, but I know I don’t feel an obligation to be polite or ladylike to anyone making gross remarks or advances towards me.
My grandmother has a story that I wish I could tell. It’s made her the strongest, bravest, most perfect person in this world. Her experiences were constantly being whispered in my ear as a young girl. She would remind me to know my worth, know what I’m okay with, and never be afraid of any man – no matter how burley they are. #thankscorrine
What I’m trying to get across is that all of these weird advances from strangers I’ve been experiencing in NYC are uncomfortable and frustrating on so many levels. No one should have the power to make you fear your safety, question your sense of worth, or diminish who you are as an intelligent human.
I like feeling fierce AF, but I hate feeling as though that’s where my value lies.
Even more than that – I hate feeling like someone has the right to assume some sort of claim or power over me as a female.
Now, some girl power for your soul…