Saturday was the season opener for kickball. YAY! Hadn’t played league ball since the incident last year. I’ve missed it. So when one of my gal friends recruited me recently, was eager to get back in the game.
To celebrate opening day, league organizers decided to mix and match teams. This way people on different teams could mingle. (Never mind that most of us have known each other through kickball, for years.) It was sunny and hot, even though it wasn’t yet noon. Lots of people were shirtless.
As I was jogging off the field, a guy shouted, “Hey Audrey, are you cold?” He was looking at my chest.
Still focused on my breasts, he persisted, “You SURE you aren’t cold?”
“You look pretty cold to me.”
At this point someone else chimed in, letting him know he should stop talking. Ticked off, I started having a visceral reaction that took great concentration to control. I would be so embarrassed to cry over this. Crossing my arms to cover my nipples, wondered if I should put my fucking sweater on because even though it’s approaching 80 degrees, I might be more comfortable covered up.
About one full minute passed before I heard him approaching. This is not some scrubby dude, by the way. He works in banking.
“Audrey, I am sorry. I can be such an asshole. I shouldn’t have said that.”
“Thanks, I appreciate it.”
A short while later, there was a break between games. Another guy (we’ll call him #2) told a lady he’d be happy to chop her moles off. This was 100% unsolicited; witnessing it gave me a sick feeling. From the look on the woman’s face, she felt it too. Then #2 turned his focus onto me, with a couple rude accusations about my sex life. Granted, these “men” have been acquaintances of mine for awhile, but we are by no means close enough to play “lets see who can publicly humiliate the other in the most phenomenal way.” I just came to play kickball.
Now #2 was stating with an absurd amount of self-assurance, that I’ve had sex with a couple of his friends. Told him, I do not recall having sex with either of those people. But #2 would simply not let it go.
Didn’t have much patience for this. It’s what my dad calls a Chicken Fucking Argument. Because once you find yourself in a conversation with the kind of person who thinks it’s okay to fuck chickens, you’ve already lost. This guy’s line of attack was not worthy of response. He should know better. I should have known better! But by this time I was flustered, uncomfortable and increasingly pissed-off.
“I’m going home.”
Hard to believe, some people have to be reminded of this. When someone says they did not have sex with your friend, there are one of three probable explanations:
- THEY DID NOT HAVE SEX WITH YOUR FRIEND.
- They don’t remember having sex with your friend because they were asleep/blacked-out drunk/unconscious. (In which case, your friend is a rapist.)
- They may have had sex with your friend but prefer to forget because of any number of unfortunate factors, including rape, STD transmission, and/or deep-seeded regret.
No matter which reason, IT’S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.
Hopped on my bike and rode home as fast as I could, trying to focus on the busy road through the tears. The emotions were almost overwhelming. These guys didn’t know about the aggressive monster I had to put up with at work this week. Or what it was like as a sexually objectified kid who looked a bit too much like a grownup for her age. Or how many times I’ve endured sexual violence over the years. But none of that matters. The bottom line: A good person treats others with dignity and respect.
The next morning (probably because I mentioned the incident to league organizers), received a message from #2:
“I am sorry. I really thought it was just funny and hilarious. But it wasn’t. It didn’t deliver correctly. And I am really sorry.”
(Is there anything less pleasant to discuss on Mothers’ Day?)
“You’re a disrespectful prick. I may have made a mistake or two. BUT IT’S NONE OF YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS.”
“Sorry again. I am a jerk.”
My daughter wanted me to point out, he’s obviously desperate for attention… But I felt there was nothing left to say to this guy. Ever.
Later in the day, he sent one more message, “I am really sorry. I see how I came off as slut shaming. That wasn’t the goal and I was very [off] base. My sincerest apologies.”
At least it was a learning moment. And I’m grateful for people who can admit when they’re wrong and apologize. It’s the closest they can get to doing the right thing (i.e. keeping their mouth shut) in the first place.
PS. Hey #2! Our friend with the moles deserves an apology too.