What is up with all the douchebags lately? First there was the woman who sidled up to me at the bus stop and told me that I should wear makeup because I'm "not naturally very pretty". Sweet of her, right? And then there was the maybe-homeless guy who approached me, asked about sauces, and then spit on my foot. And then of course there were the jerks who called me fat and told me not to wear colored denim. But this morning, well, that just takes the cake.
Let me set the scene for you: every morning I take the same bus. When I arrive early to the bus stop I sit on the bench and wait for said bus. People line up against the fence and wrap around the corner if need be and the benches are closer to where the doors open. So, if I'm sitting on the benches technically I could be in "front" of someone who's been waiting at the bus stop longer. Our stop is the FIRST on the bus route, which means there's never an issue to get a seat. Okay, now that you have that information..
A few weeks ago, I plopped down on the bench and pulled out my Kindle. All of sudden I hear someone sigh, loudly, and say, also loudly, "Are you fucking kidding me?". I look up, and he is looking directly at me. I think I said something along the lines of "Seriously?" and continued reading. It agitated me, I tweeted about it, and then promptly forgot that it had happened. Everyone's entitled to a bad day, right?
Well, this morning I did the same. I walked up to the bus stop and sat down on the bench and then I hear it.. the sigh. I recognize the voice when I hear the words "Are you fucking kidding me?" once again. I look up, and he is glaring at me. I was really unsettled but managed to reply, "Do you have a problem with me sitting on the bench?". He looked at me in the eye and said "You are such a fucking cunt".
I'm sorry. Is this real life?
I looked around and EVERYONE at the bus stop was staring at the ground or the sky, anywhere to avoid making eye contact with me. I wish I'd had my wits about me so I could have formulated a witty response, but I had nothing. I sat there on the bench for another ten minutes waiting for the bus. The entire time he was glaring at me. At this point the bus was late and I felt too uncomfortable to sit there so I got up and walked to my car and drove myself to work, crying the whole way. I really try to let things roll off of my back, but this cut me to the core. I was hurt to be singled out and embarrassed that I was called such an awful name in front of a group of people.
When did calling a woman a cunt in the middle of a rush hour crowd become acceptable? I guess I must have missed that memo. Perhaps I wouldn't have felt so awful if someone had been brave enough to step in. I can't imagine that I would sit idly by if I'd heard someone talk to a young woman that way. I wish I could say that I'm no longer upset about it, since it happened this morning. I mean, I grew up in New York and have lived in Boston for over ten years. I have experienced a LOT of disgusting and awful things on public transportation. But this, this just cut me to the core.
I've decided if I see him again I will do what I usually do, which is sit on that damn bench. And if he dares to open up his mouth to me I will stand up, walk over to him and let him know that if he says another word to me that I will be calling the police and filing charges for harassment. Next time, I won't need anyone to stand up for me because I'll stand up for myself.
So, that was my Monday morning.