nothing like a little harassment to make you prioritize…

*DISCLAIMER*

This blog post deals with (fairly) crazy subject matter. Reader’s discretion is advised. Chances are, if you are my friend or if you frequent this site, you are probably big enough to handle it; just thought I’d be accomodating.

I’d like to think that I’m not a vain young lady; I’d like to think I’m a fairly modest one too. I like to look pretty, but I don’t set my alarm hours in advance just so I can apply my make-up perfectly and choose an outfit that accentuates my best assets. (Oh look, a hidden pun.)
In fact, I rarely wear make-up at all these days, and if I manage to coordinate an outfit that isn’t mixing patterns  or strange colours, I feel pretty slammin’.

Yesterday, however, I spent just under an hour at the hairdresser’s for my tri-annual haircut and I feel that I paid for it pretty dearly. I came into contact with someone so disturbing, and confusing, it took me an entire evening plus today to get over it. (but, hey, at least my hair is pretty cute!)

Here’s a snippet of our conversation:

[Carly exits Sears, walks towards the bus stop]

“So, I see they let you out occasionally, eh?”

[Carly was not aware someone was walking beside her. She turns, sees a man in his late 40’s, large-ish, carrying a bag full of KFC chicken. She chuckles.]

“Yeah, they occasionally set me free. They’re pretty good about it, actually.”

“You’re the boss’s wife, aren’t you? Probably raking in all the dough.”

“No, I’m just an employee like everyone else. Have I served you fries before?”

“Nope, I’ve just seen you working there.”

[Weird. Right off the bat, Woman’s Intuition is saying, “Creeper Alert!”]

[Carly and unknown creeper happen to be waiting at the same bus stop. She hopes his bus comes soon, as it appears that he’s not interested in ending the conversation quite yet.]

“Where are you going?”
“Home.”
“Where is that?”
[I would be stupid to tell you where I live. (Yes, I have switched from third person to first without warning. Deal with it.) Stop talking to me. (He notices my pause.)]
“I’m only asking because I know the bus routes better than anyone here and I can tell you which one to get on.”
“Near Tabor.”
“Well! That’s near where I live too. I’m starting a community garden just outside of my apartment building. You should come check it out when it’s all set up. Here’s my card.” [I take it and toss it into my purse, never intending to use it…almost. A community garden is a cool thing to take part in.]
“I’ll be sure to tell my roommates. We’re all about getting vegetables locally.”
“What’s this ‘we’ stuff? I just want you.”
[My look is not impressed. He backpedals.]
“Just kidding. I’m not a pervert. [he touches–TOUCHES!!!!–the yellow bruise on my cheek.] Is there, uh, anybody’s ass I need to be kicking for doing this to you?”
[Shocked at being touched.] “No, that’s just from my wisdom teeth getting pulled. It’s taken awhile to heal.”
“Well, if you have any problems with any guys, you let me know because I still have a rented backhoe for making the community garden, and I’m not opposed to burying anybody, if you catch my drift. So tell me, does your boyfriend mind you having conversations with strangers?”
“We have a policy that we don’t have to be rude to strangers.” [Yes, I outright lied about my relationship status. I think God will cover this one.]
“Good, because seeing your beautiful face smile is the best thing that’s happened to me all day. Wanna come over to my house for dinner?”
[This request for dinner was repeated multiple times. As were comments regarding my beauty. I was still in my work uniform. Come on, buddy.]
“Also, I’m used to the police arriving at my door and asking me questions. Apparently, my sisters way across the country report me with false accusations on a regular basis. I’m good at fielding the police.” [Uhh, thanks for telling me that? It relieves me greatly.]
[The bus finally arrives. To my horror, I realize we are going on the same one. Of course, doofus. According to him, he lives in the same neighborhood as you.]
“Ladies first. Of course this works out well for me, as I get to check you out from all angles.”
[My skin, which already feels like it’s been decreased to something snake-like, retreats in on itself a little bit further. We sit down; I choose a seat that almost completely prevents him being able to sit next to me. However, he is not deterred.]
“Have you ever gone to a bar or a club where a guy just won’t leave you alone and you’re trying to think of a way to get rid of him politely? I know a great trick for that.”
[You mean, a guy like you? Yes, please tell me how to get rid of you.]
“Here’s the tip: be polite, accept the drink [yeah, right. I’m old enough to know about the date rape drug, thank you very much] and then promptly say, ‘Do you have AIDS by any chance? Cause I’d sure hate to catch it twice.’ Guaranteed the guy will find an excuse to leave as soon as possible. Are you sure you don’t wanna come to my place for dinner tonight?”
[I smile sardonically.] “Don’t make me use the AIDS joke on you now.”
[He. Still. Does. Not. Catch. On.  How. Old. Is. This. Man? I decided to add a further comment. I felt the timing was right.]
“I’ve never had problems in a bar or a club, but I also have a friend who has a black belt in karate.”
[I don’t need to tell you that this statement caused him to a.) make more statements about my looks and how it couldn’t be possible that I’ve never been bothered before and b.) still not get the hint.]

Needless to say, I escaped the bus. I am not buried in the ground somewhere via backhoe after being taken advantage of. Now, reading back on this, I wonder if I overreacted a bit. In writing, it looks so juvenile and innocent, albeit slightly weird. But when I experienced it in person, I felt so violated and afraid. I wish I could remember everything gross he said to convey through writing how it made me feel. Even though I was surrounded by people who wouldn’t have let anything happen to me, I felt so vulnerable and exposed. Maybe it’s just the memory of previous bad experiences resurfacing, or maybe my spirit really was picking up on a lustful, dark nature in him. All I know is that I was constantly looking over my shoulder as I walked the rest of the way home, and I almost didn’t want to get on the bus today in the fear that I would run into him again. 

I don’t like living that way. So I have resolved that one day I will have my friend Natalie teach me Karate. And then if I’m ever faced with a stranger with no boundaries…I will promptly forget everything I’ve learned and kick them in the gonads. With Jesus’ help, anything is possible. =)

well, toothfully…

I am not a good druggie.

Exactly 8 days ago, I underwent surgery to the mouth as my wisdom teeth were not willing to come out with the simple procedure of pliers. I am not complaining; I would much rather be knocked out than be able to hear my teeth cracking into shards as they are yanked back and forth like a pendulum.

Don’t get me wrong: I was scared. I had never taken Penicillin; what if I was allergic and my throat started to close without warning? I had never had an IV or an oxygen tube or experienced anesthaesia; what if it hurt? What if I never woke up at all? I mean, it’s highly unlikely, but headlines are made of those “rare cases.” No one goes into their day expecting to be one of those.
This was an opportunity for me to trust. Trust that God had not brought me this far only to fall victim to dental surgery; trust that the certificates of education on the dentist’s walls actually did mean something; trust that even if something bad did happen, there would be a reason for it and I could always get rich from a malpractice lawsuit. (Kidding. I think.)

I woke up minus 2 teeth plus many secret thoughts flowing through my wounded crevasse of a mouth. I don’t remember much, but I believe my first words were: “Did I do a good job?”
“Yes, sweetie pie, you did a great job.”
Warmth filled me. That’s my mommy’s voice. I must tell her everything. During the 3 hours she spent with me, she heard everything about everything, from the young man I adore to her ugly shoes. And then I promptly threw up into a cracked styrofoam container that happened to be sitting in her car.  Empty stomach + medication + blood + Booster Juice + moving vehicle do not a good combo make.

The next 2 days are a blur that I don’t care to recall. I will say that they were filled with rain, drugs, soft food, a fat face, depression, Ingrid Michaelson and Modern Family. My roommates were taking such good care of me and I was hounded by guilt that I wasn’t carrying my own weight. My boss needed to give me more time off work than originally planned and I was hounded by guilt that I wasn’t making money or anything for that matter. I felt like I was possibly drowning in a pool of sadness; I might even venture say it was an Anne of Green Gables-esque depth of despair.

And then Kimberley pulled into my driveway all the way from Victoria and taught me how to play the ukulele. I discovered I could eat pizza again, albeit with a knife and fork. Each one of my roommates and friends assured me (with some passionate yelling) that I wasn’t worthless sack of pus bogging down their existence and challenged me that if it was them in my place, I would be bending over backwards to take care of them. It’s true. Somehow I had gotten tricked into thinking (again) that everyone else deserves more than I do and if I needed help, it was not important.
Christina joined our party, Joanna came home from Vancouver and the sun started to shine again. I think these are the only reasons I survived a 4 1/2 hour shift at work on Saturday. By the time Sunday rolled around, I was ready to enjoy life and do battle for my friends and their hard times once again.

I’m not sure what else to say other than, in the past 8 days, I have learned a LOT. Namely, that drugs are a menace to your system and no one should ever choose them; frozen vegetables make excellent swelling reducers; ukulele is super fun to play; and though I may not need my wisdom teeth, I sure need everything else in my life and have been super blessed. Thanks, everyone. Thanks, God. I think I’ll keep you.