I Believe in You

Just a few random things I’ve been holding onto, Happy Friday…

  1. A close guy friend and I had an interesting back-and-forth the other day and I think its worth mentioning because I hear this argument a lot. We were in a group having a drink or two and hanging out and were casually talking about weird stuff that happens to women/men and cat calling came up. He remarked “Damn, I would LOVE IT if a girl tried to hit on me on the street. You should be glad that happens to you!” For the sake of the happy and fun atmosphere we were in, I decided not to get into it… BUT I will now. So males, you think you’d like for a female to approach you on the street and say something flirty and sexy and maybe even a little forward? That’s fine. What if shes not your type, maybe shes really old, maybe shes not very attractive to you, how about now? No? still want the attention? OK try this one on for size because this is how it feels: You’re a confident man comfortable in their environment while walking to your car after a nice dinner with friends in the city. As you come around the corner a large burly man with at least a foot on you is leaning against the building and as you walk by he says “Hey sexy man, sweet ass, I’d wreck that, what? You don’t wanna talk to me? Come on sweet cheeks, give me a chance!” You immediately become very confused because you are not gay, you don’t like men, you don’t want this attention, its very uncomfortable and you might even become angry and want to say something to him for this unwanted advance, but you don’t because he could probably lay you out or maybe he has weapon, or bigger burlier friends.
  2. ALWAYS GOOGLE ONLINE DATING PEOPLE. I almost went on a date with a guy from OKCupid last week… Seemed nice enough, normal, funny, mostly respectful… no kids, his own place, job, car, etc. or so I thought. Found him on google after he told me where he worked so then I found him on Facebook. Turns out he is married, way older than he said, and a father of a beautiful little girl. When I asked him point blank if he had kids he said “negative” (which should have been a red flag in itself). So then I told him I didn’t have time for liars or cheaters and that he had a beautiful family and wished him the best of luck. He tried the “Wait, wait, wait, let me explain…” but I didn’t let him explain, even after he sent me a book about his life and why he’s seeking something else outside of his current life, and that I seemed like I would understand…really? I look like a homewrecker? Cool, thanks, you’re sweet, lets fuck! Seriously? I deleted the app off my phone and have sworn off dating for a while.
  3. Donald Trump is literally the worst. I can’t even imagine a country run by him. Please get out and vote for ANYONE but him. Literally, ANYONE. Please?
  4. A close friend who I also work closely with on a music project, told me today that she was proud of me and the person I have become over the last year. She said that she believes in me. Let me tell you how many feels I have right now: So many, possibly, all of the feels. Someone believes in me. Someone noticed how hard I have been working. Someone cared enough to tell me. Do it today. Tell someone that you care. Tell them you noticed something they have been working hard on. it means more than you know.

 

The weekend is here and I am so ready.

Enjoy.

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Hey, Sexy!

My friends just left the bar for the next and I hadn’t closed my tab… so I was about 5 minutes behind them, heading out solo. Its cold. Its dark. I pause just outside the door to look at my phone and I can feel the looks and smiles being directed at from the cigarette-smoking guys just outside the club.  It feels kind of flirty but also makes me feel uneasy, I’m not looking for a guy tonight (or ever, really) I start up the sidewalk to the next destination that was just texted to me by my drunk boyfriend-clad friends. I’m away from the loud club in a quiet stretch of darkened windows and closed businesses and… alleys.

“Hey Sexy!” this phrase is shouted at me, and I am suddenly very aware of what I’m wearing. Wondering if it is really me this man is shouting at. I’m feeling naked now in my not-too-short sequined skirt with black tights and ankle boots. My hair is curled. My hands are deep in the pockets of my Pea coat, and I’m looking straight ahead trying not to make eye contact with this group of men standing against the outside wall of a sketchy little downtown drinking establishment.

“Hey SEXY! I’m talking to you!” I pick up my pace a bit and become frightfully aware that this is noticeable by the sound of my heels against the cobblestone. My heart feels like it is now keeping time with my quickened walking pace. I’ve noted now, that I’m afraid.

“SEXY! Why won’t you at least come talk to me? COME ON, SEXY!?” He’s yelling, offended now, and leans out from his wall in disbelief that I’m not acknowledging him. I ignore him with every fiber of my being. His bros are laughing and whistling. I am now walking passed these men and I am nearing the safety zone of a well lit establishment with a bouncer and other people who would hopefully defend me if these guys decided to do anything.

“Whatever, fucking BITCH…Go home and just be a lonely cunt forever!”

That is the last thing I hear before locking eyes with a couple walking towards me, I’m desperate to be engaged with anyone other than those men shouting at me, but they show no interest in my existence. I’m alone, on the street, and I feel like I have been undressed, degraded, and personally singled out and attacked… for being a woman? Wearing a skirt? Walking alone? I feel guilty, and angry, and confused.

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This weekend was the first time that has ever happened to me in IRL. I have had the misfortune of being completely degraded and harassed on dating website message services, but never in person.  I have heard the stories of friends and other people living in bigger more diverse cities, and on other people’s blogs and articles, so I thought I would be intrigued when this finally happened, I thought it would be interesting, maybe I might even like it… I never knew that this is how it would feel to be “cat-called”. This weekend was an interesting learning experience. When it happened, it was not welcomed. It was not a compliment. It was not friendly.  Even now, just typing this, I feel the heat creeping up my neck to my cheeks. I’m so angry that I feel helpless and victimized. In that moment I wanted to turn around and yell something like “Does your mother know you talk to women like that!? Do you ever get girls like that!? Is your dick really that small!?” But I didn’t. I didn’t, because I was afraid, afraid that I would get harassed further, that he and his bros might threaten me or hurt me, or worse… rape me.

I was afraid of being raped.

When I got to the next bar I casually told my friends what had just happened, someone replied “Well that’s what you get for walking alone.” (That’s what I get for… existing?) Later that weekend, someone else I told immediately inquired about what I was wearing. I described my classy winter going-out style and got: “Well, yeah! What did you think would happen!?” (So I shouldn’t wear skirts or exist?) Only ONE of my friends immediately replied with disgust saying, “Wow, what a bunch of douchebags, I’m glad you’re ok, that must have been scary.” (THANK YOU!)

No one wanted to really talk further about this, it was uncomfortable for them, some of them admitting that they actually wished that it would happen to them, because it would be nice to be “noticed.” Some of them (men) didn’t seem to care that this happened at all and just said “Huh, weird.” Yeah, REALLY WEIRD, and by weird, I mean unacceptable, disgusting, degrading, and perverted.

Why are people not appalled by this? Do I really live in a world where a person (woman) can’t walk down the street alone without expecting to be harassed? Do I live in a world where people shame others for being surprised that this happened, and try to make them feel guilty and somehow responsible for their own harassment because they chose to wear a skirt in public? Is it really accepted that being called “sexy” (or mami, baby, big-tits etc) as a “greeting” by strangers is OK and should be welcomed as a compliment? Should I be obligated to stop and talk to every sexually-driven male who calls out to me in the street? Do I deserve to be called a lonely cunt when I don’t reciprocate?

  1. NO. NO.

But no one thinks twice about this usually because “it’s just the way it is.”

Why?

Because we live in a society where women are told their whole lives:

“Dress modestly so you don’t draw unwanted attention.”

“Don’t walk alone at night.”

“Just ignore them, and don’t provoke them.”

“Don’t get raped.”

Men live in a society where they aren’t told to do anything… they hear what women are told and they assume:

“If a woman is showing her legs or shoulders, ‘she is asking for it’.”

“If a girl is walking alone, she is a weak target.”

“A woman knows better than to say anything or fight back to a man.”

“Women are responsible for not getting raped.”

Am I mad at men?

No.

It’s not anyone’s fault. But it is EVERYONE’s problem… and it is a problem which is part of a very large crazy-scarier problem: Women are still oppressed. We are still the “lesser sex”. We are still viewed as objects existing in a Man’s world.

You’re thinking…. “No, that’s bullshit, women get to vote, and work, and wear whatever they want! They get to hold public office, and are allowed to do everything men can do!!  You’re just a crazy whining feminist on her period.” It’s ok, I’m used to that response, no offense taken, you’re not there yet and its ok, you can’t change your mind overnight.

But here is what I have to say: Women shouldn’t have to “get” to do anything or be “allowed” to do anything. We just are, We just do. We are people and no one should be in charge of what we “get” to do.

See? It is subtle, it is ingrained, it is taught and it is perpetuated DAILY and goes unnoticed by people who don’t realize they are oppressing or being oppressed. No need to be defensive, or guilty, or angry that you’re being “called out” because everyone does it. I do it. But does that mean its OK? NO.

Can we all try and see it and fix it and change it? YES.

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An hour after this incident, I decided to walk a few blocks (by myself) to meet my brother at another place. I was feeling confident that this stretch of city was a little safer than the last, so off I went. A block from my destination, I saw a man coming towards me. His stance seemed confident and he was tall and strong-looking, and I began to feel the fight or flight mechanism gearing up. I replayed the earlier events and words in my head and I felt a sudden urge to run across the street so as to avoid him and any possible harassment he may offer. Was this how I was always going to feel from now on when encountering men alone? Should I?

Now only feet away, my heart was racing, I’m feeling afraid and regretting not taking a cab. I look up trying to stare right through him as if he does not exist.

“Ma’am, be careful up that way, it’s really icy…have a good night.” He says, never slowing down, with a polite nod and genuine smile.

“Thank you… you too.”

“Oh, Sweetie…”

“What did they mean by that?” ever find yourself asking this question?

the answer? “Probably not what you think they meant.”

ready?

So here’s the scenario: You’re talking to your mom about your recent online-dating streak and you rant a little about the beard-obsessed dude, and the guy that never texted you back after a charming first date, and if you’re like me and my mom, you tell her about the guy who asked for tit-pics and called you a bitch for ignoring him (more about this another time). After you cynically and sarcastically finish cursing the dating pool, your mom sighs heavily and says something along the lines of: “You know, you’ve always been a handful, that might be why you’re single.”

Ouch. That stings.

But you laugh it off and say something like “yeah, I know, but the right guy will be able to handle me!” (which is true) and then you change the subject or if you’re me, you’d make a joke about your double-Ds being more than a handful, and any guy’d be lucky to have you. But there is that search party for truth gearing up in the back of your mind, nagging, “Why’d she say that? Am I THAT bad? I told the guy I liked his beard, and I didn’t even get drunk or opinionated on that charming first date.”

Sucks, right?

You know those little digs, or “tips” or “oh hunny”s. You’ve heard them, and I bet it hurt worse than when you realized you were never going meet and marry Leo DiCaprio or Tom Brady. We all say them sometimes with out thinking, sometimes they are said out of concern, and meant to be a tip, or helpful hint, but they are oh, so misplaced so I have learned.

So here is another one… if you’ve ever been rejected, this one is going to bring back some terrible memories of college boyfriends and stupid crushes, so if your current mental state has been weakened lately from an endless winter and unrequited OKC likes, you might want to sit this one out….

back in college I started talking again to a guy I used to know and had a crush on in my high school days, we were always friendly and in the same circles, and after high school we just sort of didn’t ever see each other until one day something came along that changed the world forever: AIM and Facebook. So we reconnected through the interwebz and it went on for a few months and one night he had said that he was attracted to me and I was always attracted to him so I then casually told him I had been enjoying our talks and suggested that maybe we should go on a date sometime when I was back in town if he felt the same. He did not respond with “That’s nice of you to ask, but I’m not looking to date right now” or “Sorry if I gave the wrong impression, but I really just like being friends.” Hell, I would have preferred: “I can’t, I have to help my friend move, and then I have to take my dog to the vet, and my mom says I can’t date until I’m 40, also I’m moving to Australia and the time difference might be a problem.” but instead I got this:

“Heather, don’t be one of those girls who thinks too much, guys don’t like that.”

Should he have dated me? No, it’s ok to say you don’t want to date someone and I respect that, and I have even got quite good at it myself. I know now (after getting a better understanding of what college age guys want) that he was never looking for a relationship, only someone to flirt with and talk with and…other-things with. He never meant to hurt me with saying that but he did whether he knew it or not. That little sentence fucked me up worse than the 3 Twisted Teas and shot of Schnapps I used to drown that college-age misery.

Is rejection a part of life? Absolutely, and I can handle that and understand that it is inevitable and you get over it. However, his words made me feel ashamed. I was sure that I must be a crazy person and had done something wrong, that maybe he was right. Was asking someone to go on a date because we enjoyed talking and laughing together “thinking too much”? It made me feel like I was discrediting my gender. It made me feel like I was not worthy of his, or any dude’s attention. It made me feel silly for ever thinking “a guy like him would ever want a girl like me”. fucked up, right? Shit, where’s the schnapps?

I have long since then, ditched the naive, low self-esteem, no-one-will-ever-love-me mindset, and I know now that I’m fucking awesome. I don’t need a guy to tell me what I should change about myself to be more appealing to them. I know now that not everyone is looking for the same things in relationships, sex, life, love, and that is ok, heck, I even celebrate differences like that!

using that revelation to look back at that interaction, He was just disappointed that I wasn’t just DTF and had feelings that he didn’t understand and I misread his “advances” for something more romantic. That is all. nothing more, nothing less. I’m at peace with stuff like that now, and I wish I could go back and slap my hopeless-romantic self out of clouds.

I think sometimes those little sayings, and “tips” are a reflection of someone’s own insecurities and skewed perception of beauty or what is acceptable in society. (or maybe they are just jealous of your dashing good looks.)

Ladies, ever go to Char Russe or H&M and find that perfect dress or body-hugging sweater, or jeans that make you shake-it shake-it in the dressing room? Yeah you do it, don’t lie. Feels good right? Made a decision, looking good, feeling sassy, so you wear it to a family function or to your best friend’s dinner party and they say something prefaced by “oh, hunny/sweetie/guuuurl…” and it usually goes something like this: “Isn’t that kind of tight? what size did you get?… I bet it would look better in the next size up.”  I bet, instead, you heard: “Just because you lost 15 lbs doesn’t mean you’re ready for a swimsuit modeling career, damn bitch, cover yo’ shit up, you’re giving yourself too much credit!”

Damn.

now, now…before you slap a bitch, you have to believe me when I say they were really trying to protect you and make you aware of how people might perceive you based on how they perceive the world.  They assume that, like themselves, you care what other people think. Your mom/sister/friend is saying that they don’t want people thinking you look “fat” or don’t respect yourself or that you have bad fashion sense (god-forbid). They said it to help. They said it hoping that you would consider SOMEONE ELSE’S opinion because that is what society tells us to do. “Be skinny, be tan, do your makeup, buy the newest clothes, dress to impress!”

It took me FOREVER to learn that most people (especially the ones you care about) don’t mean to say things in a way that leaves you mentally crumbled on the floor sobbing and looking around desperately for any remaining shards of your shattered dignity.

Is it hard not to take things personally? So hard. But is it freeing when you finally grasp the concept? 100%, life changing-ly, YES.

What is the best way to change your attitude? think before YOU speak and then see how hard it is to not say something snotty, rude, or downright assuming. We are all guilty. I’m a bitch, (really!). Sometimes its because I’m so caught up in my own feelings I forget others have feeling too.

Here it is:

The next time you feel the need to offer unsolicited fashion advice about what your friend is wearing, don’t. Or try, “Hey, I love that color on you, where’d you get it?” and the next time you want to tell your sister that she is freaking crazy and that she will die alone if she doesn’t knock off half of her 58 point checklist of the perfect husband, (even if you’re probably right, because lets face it, she’s looking for no kids, nice car, own house, good job, 6’2″, funny, smart, AND good looking and we single ladies know that he’s already married.) JUST DON’T. Instead say “It must be so hard for you to wait for the right one to come along… lets drink wine.” Then… you drink all of the wine and drunkenly Tinder.

Then maybe, just maybe, the next time your mom/sister/friend says something that makes you want to wear an over-sized burlap sack for the rest of your miserable existence as to hide any flaws you’ve been made to believe that you have, rewind, find your shake-it-shake-it place, be there, stay there. Maybe you’ll even have the courage someday to say “I like the way I look in these jeans, and sweetie, that is all that really matters to me!”

What do I know?

I’m Heather.

I’m a single, 28 year old, woman, working as a full time secretary. I am a taxpaying renter in a one person household living in NH. Those are my stats according to the US government.

According to me: I’m a sassy, cynical, educated realist, who can find the humor in any situation. I am emotional but aware. I give great advice but can’t seem to apply it in my own life. I love wine, my cat, the sound of crickets, and stupid TV dramas. I don’t like being told what to do, unless it is someone’s job to do so. I argue and love with the same level of passion. I’m inappropriate, not “lady-like”, and blunt. I don’t care if you don’t like me. I like me enough for the both of us, and if you think that is conceited or bitchy, go back to the part where I don’t care.

So without further ado, lets get into the nitty gritty here: I’m entitled to my opinions here, because I believe that out in the career and social world, you should keep most of your opinions at bay, unless someone’s opinions are also being directed at you in an offensive manner, but lets be serious here: No one likes a hostile work environment or a ruined dinner party. But this is the internet… it’s all fair game, right?

I often find myself needing to write, or hypothesize, or at least record what I see or hear on a daily basis. So, I decided to do what every “crazy bitch who has an opinion” does…

I’m writing a blog.

This is for me mostly, and, if along the way, someone finds it (somehow) and it makes them laugh, think, or click [x] with a disgusted look on their face, then that is fine too.

You will find here anecdotes, ideas, thoughts, opinions, and jokes from and about daily life that may or may not include: Dating adventures and the single world, feminist humor and insight, things people say to me, current topics and pictures I find funny, entertaining, enthralling, disgusting, terrible, or annoying. I swear sometimes, because sometimes “fuck” is the only thing appropriate to convey my feelings… I have feelings, and I will occasionally talk about my cat, the weather, and what wine I’m currently obsessed with…because I can, because ‘Murica and freedom and girl power!

But, I’m just a secretary, what do I know?