Thursday, January 20, 2011

How's the Weather?

(We're just going to pretend like the last 5 weeks of my life didn't happen at all, mmmkay? Thanks to everyone for your comments of support.)

Yesterday I was sitting at the reference desk and a middle-aged man and his teenage son walked up to me. The father asked for books on getting your GED, so I walked him over, showed him what we had, pointed out the newer copies, explained some have CDs, and he seemed polite and grateful for the help.

A few minutes later he walked by me with his son and thanked me again. As they were leaving, he did another walk-by and said, "I was going to ask you if you were cold, but it's pretty warm in here."

I cocked my head and said, "Yeah, I'm comfortable. Why? Is it too warm to you?" I noted he had on his heavy, winter coat and thought maybe that explained it.

He said, "No, it's fine." He smiled and walked away.

It still didn't dawn on me what he meant.

I got up from the desk to use the washroom, and when I was done and went to the sink to wash my hands, I saw a startling pair of erect nipples in my reflection. Instinctively, I tried to poke them in and mumbled something about it not being the right time or place and they needed to go away. However, my hands were still wet from washing them and then I had two big wet spots on my top. Of course. Some days I really shouldn't be allowed out without a caretaker.

That's when it hit me. The comment made by that seemingly polite, grateful father was about my smuggled raisins (thanks Leelu, I'm spreading the joy that is that phrase), and suddenly I wanted to go back out and find that guy so I could punch him square in head.

First of all, what kind of man walks up to a woman he doesn't even know and makes a comment like that?

Second, to do that with your teenage son in tow is even worse, so whatever body part or animal you deemed him to be in the first question, downgrade it further to an even lower version.

When I asked someone last night if he would do that, and under what circumstances, he said on a really bad day (though I'm not sure if he meant "bad" as if he were having a shitty day, or feeling particularly naughty) he could say something about her having on her high-beams, which made me laugh.

He then asked what I'd do if someone had said that to me instead.

Good question. I think high-beams is somewhat comical, and while I probably would've been more apt to laugh that one off, I'd still be offended deep down that a stranger would cross that line with me.

He agreed and said that's probably a borderline sexual harassment issue.

As I've said numerous times before, I think most sexual harassment issues are ridiculous and not something you take to a boss and file a complaint about, but I understood how someone might be really bent out of shape about this particular type of comment.

Now, if a friend or coworker had said it, I'd have had no problem with it. Why is that? It was the fact that he was a total stranger that bugged me so much.

Is that the oddest part of all?


saintseester said...

I can understand why you'd laugh if it were someone you know, because generally we know their intentions and are comfortable with them.

The fact that this guy was a stranger to you is really very creepy. Especially in that setting.

Edward Shaddow said...

Happy Villain is posting again. All is right with the world :)

Speaking as a gentleman I would only say that to my wife, and even then I'd expect a much deserved chiding.

Check your library's charter, it should have a clause enabling you to hit such clients over the head with a reference book!

Romana1 said...

I'm glad to see you're back!! :) *hugs* (and I should comment more! That's my New Years resolution. ;) )

I don't think it's odd at all. With someone you know, you know they are kidding and just joking with you-you sort of know where they are coming from. With strangers you just don't know what's going on in their head-you could be dealing with someone who just doesn't know any better, or you could be dealing with Mr. Creepy.

Jason said...

Glad you're back.
Yeah, it's totally inappropriate to tell a stranger that she's packin' Tic-Tacs.

Zube said...

Good grief, I'd want to punch him in the head, too.

ChiLibrarian said...

Too bad you didn't catch on when he said it - you could have retaliated by asking him if it was so cold he was experiencing "shrinkage." Or NOT. Ewwww.

Welcome back!!

Kate P said...

Totally creepy stranger with no filter, apparently. Ewwww.

Welcome back, HV!