I was working just outside the gym today, and someone was sitting across from me. He stared a little, but I mostly wasn’t paying him any attention. Then I went to work out for an hour. When I finished, it turned out that he had been waiting for me. He wanted to know my department. He wanted to know if he could talk with me. I said sorry, no. He said just tonight. I said sorry. He said just tomorrow. I said sorry, no, and hurried up with the bike-unlocking procedure. He asked if I had a special someone. I said no, but I’m not looking to date. He said you’re just so beautiful, please. I said sorry, no. He said he’d probably ask me next time. I said no, and it will always be no. I was walking to the road by this point, and he was following me. He said are you going in my direction. I said no, probably no, and finally was able to get on my bike and take off. He yelled “Please” after me.
Goddamnit. I hate stalkers. They make me so upset, because there’s nothing you can do with them. You have zero control, because they’re crazy enough to wait out for you for an hour anyway, and they know where you are. He almost knows my department, because I only barely lied (yes, I know, I am at fault for this part, I should get better at lying, ug, but I don’t want to shouldn’t need to), but because he doesn’t have my exact department name he can’t look me up in the directory and email me, which I have a reasonable expectation that he will do. He knows I go to the gym now, too, which means that I get to worry about him being there, and look out for him. Last time I gave someone my first name, and that was bad, because you only need my first name and my school to find me given the blog. You just can’t do anything with stalker types.
Bad news about him was he was desperate, good news about him was he wasn’t orally aggressive. Very much points for being not aggressive. Someday I’ll pick up an aggressive one and then I’ll be in trouble, since you can’t—you can’t DO ANYTHING WITH THESE PEOPLE. You can’t be like—don’t visit me here, because obviously they aren’t listening, and you can’t ask for people to protect you or stop them or anything, because I move around, and go to different places. I’ve been lucky so far, and I have some hope for this one, because he wasn’t aggressive and maybe he got the message. Hopefully I won’t see him again—he was pretty restrained, all considered, didn’t try to touch me or anything, and I didn’t even know he had attached himself to me until he came up to me at the end, versus the people who I’m aware of.
Speaking of, I was told I was beautiful and secured a promise to be followed around yesterday as well. I told him I was sure he had better things to do with his time. That one was a young, eager-to-please kid though, and he said it in a harmless trying-to-be-sweet way, not in a I’m-actually-going-to-do-it way. I didn’t think about it for more than a block afterwards, just got myself on my bike and left quickly.
There are many benefits to being attractive. (An attractive woman, though, relevantly. People treat attractive women different than they treat attractive men.) But anyway, when a stranger opens with “You’re beautiful”, and has that look on his face, it has never been a good situation for me, and almost always ends with me being uncomfortable, slightly guilty, angry, and/or upset, depending on the specifics. I have a relative who always sort of wants to believe me when I say that there’s sexism, but always asks me for examples so he can decide if they’re bad enough to justify the blanket statement. I think this one would qualify, but it seems rude to send him a text out of the blue. I’ll save it up for later—try to remember the details—and attempt to recall it next time I see him.
(That is one of my main reasons why I feel like it’s all right to post these things. I get it— if you don’t see examples, you don’t know, and people often have a hard time coming up with examples—the general feeling of it—on the spot. I find it’s helpful, when I hear these sorts of stories from other people, to try to imagine what the next steps are, if the situation had happened to you, and what it means you have to look out for concretely in the future. That often lends the unhappiness and helplessness feel to the imagining. Huh. Maybe that’s a good technique for the next time I feel like it’d be good to talk to someone about this. Also, blanket-believing people around this general topic is a good thing in my book, but the people who I feel I should talk to are not doing that.)
(Eh, preaching to the choir, I imagine anyone who sits through reading this blog is pretty good to go :). I texted a friend though when it happened an hour or so ago, and I felt much better from that. This seems nice for me too. Thank you for reading :)).