Five thirty am, the sound of my phone alarm buzzes in my ear, without thought, as I do every morning, I reach over to the bedside table click it off and drag myself out of my warm welcoming bed. My room has a chill, the days are becoming cooler, frost covered roofs and biting cold air prove winter is on its way.
With sleep in my eyes, I grab my warmest yoga pants slip them on while looking for an undershirt that will keep me warm as I prepare for my morning jog. I braid my hair in pigtails, throw on a toque and head downstairs to find my running shoes.
Dear Men, not one time in my morning routine, was I thinking about you.
The house is chilly and quiet, the rest of my family sleeps while I wipe at my eyes, trying desperately to wake up. Opening the closet door has me perturbed as the mess of teenagers falls upon my feet, I grumble to myself as I try to find my sneakers buried among my kid’s shoes.
Setting my phone in my pocket, and initiating my run keeper app, I place my ear buds in, tie my laces and head out the door for my morning jog. A quick look in the mirror as I pass by it has me giggle; I haven’t even washed my face, what a sight. Although I care little about my appearance as I head out at six am for a jog.
As I step out the door, I notice neighbors scraping frost off their windshields and warming their cars to head out to work. With a quick pep talk to myself I place one foot in front of the other and begin my morning workout.
This morning was no different from any other, or so I thought. I run the same track, purposefully place the GPS on my phone, mainly to keep my time, but as a woman, for safety reasons as well.
As I headed around a corner, the same corner I always do, there you stood, having to stop at the street light, I stretched as you stood there gawking at me. The weight of your stare was cumbersome and uncomfortable. Purposefully I scanned your profile, in case I would have to re-select the memory of you from my mind. All Women do this, sad really. The air seemed to thicken as I waited for the amber light to turn red, and that is when you said it “Cute, pigtails.” What?!?!, I thought to myself. Not interested in engaging in a conversation at six am, or with a man on the sidewalk gawking at me, I meekly and carefully replied, “Uh, thanks.”
Dear Men, I didn’t put these pigtails in for you, there was some forethought and practical reasons for this. For example; TO KEEP THE HAIR OUT OF MY EYES.
Now more than ever I wished the light would change, yet you sir, you wanted to flirt with me. “I like a woman who wants to take care of her body, and damn girl, mmm mmmm.” These are the words you chose to speak, these are the words you thought would make me drop all I was doing, and I don’t know, make mad passionate love to you right there, on the street?
Growing more uncomfortable by the millisecond, as I watched you cock your head, and stare directly at my ass, you opened your greasy mouth again, “So, those pants fit you pretty good. I’m jealous; I’d like to be your pants.”
REALLY!!!!!!! Fuck dude, I just want to run in peace, I didn’t put yoga pants on for you to want to be them. I put them on because it’s cold outside.
You noticed me not engaging; I could tell as you stepped closer to me that it annoyed you that I wasn’t responding. It made my skin crawl, and just when I thought you were done speaking so charming and eloquently to me, you spoke several words that bit at my core. “You don’t have to be a bitch; you knew what you were doing when you put those pigtails in and wore those pants.”
As the light changed, the pace of my jog quickened. Grateful I was no longer in this remarkably uncomfortable situation, I started my route back home. All the time I was thinking about you, and not because of the charm that dripped off your silver tongue, because you thought I outfitted myself for you.
No, I didn’t, at one-time ‘know what I was doing’ when I put on these yoga pants, and I certainly did not wear them for you. And let me make it quite clear to you, your aggressive flirting and name calling put me in an uncomfortable predicament. I didn’t want to be rude, or for that matter cause you to become angry. I just wanted to run.
Minding my business, at six am, might I add. Running, not because I wish to take care of my body for you, but for me.
So … Dear (some) Men,
Please stop thinking I wake up every morning thinking about what you might find attractive, I don’t.
Please stop becoming angry when a woman feels uncomfortable with your aggressive flirting. We aren’t trying to be rude; we are uncomfortable.
Please understand that at no time is it okay to insult a woman for not engaging in lewd comments or your greasy stares at her ass.
Please know that I am not insulted by a Man that respectfully hit’s on me, nor am I offended by a gaze or smile flashed as I walk by you. I, of course, am flattered if you find me attractive. But to be insulted or put in an uncomfortable situation because I don’t want to engage in a conversation with you, is unfair and frankly, it can be frightening.