I made a promise to myself not to write so much about men, because I’m kinda sick of how much of womens’ writing seems to be devoted to Persons Who Pee Whilst Standing. Also, I’m interviewing, and I don’t want prospective employers to think I’m shallow and narcissistic and obsessed with the opposite sex. Then I figured, eh, what the hell. They might as well know what they’re getting into, right? So, without further ado, my latest story about men behaving badly at bars:
Last weekend, my pal Meredith and I went out to couple bars, as you do. At one bar, I went outside to have a cigarette, and a guy came up to me — as they do. This particular guy was maybe 45, well-dressed and well-coiffed, and either a little drunk or a little looney or both.
“Excuse me,” he said. “Can I ask you a question?”
The other girls standing nearby scattered discretely. I, however, love a story and don’t know what’s good for me, and so I said, “Sure thing.”
“Don’t you think it’s just awful that you have to stand out here to smoke?”
“Well, honestly, no,” I said. “I only smoke when I’m drinking, and I can understand why a waitress wouldn’t want to breathe my smoke.”
He looked flummoxed for a minute, posed with his finger in the air, ready to make a point in an argument I was clearly not going to go along with. Give him credit, though, for recovering quickly.
“Can I ask you another question?” he asked. “Where’s your man tonight?”
Here’s how naive I am: I really didn’t see that coming. I had no answer prepared. So I hemmed and hawed.
“No man? Is there a woman?”
“How can you not have a man?” he asked. By this time, he was definitely breaching my personal space. I ground out my cigarette and hitched my purse up on my shoulder, in preparation for flight. “How can YOU not have a man? With those knee socks on.”
Knee socks. KNEE SOCKS. Now, I’m not a big proponent of blaming women for encouraging harassment by dressing in a certain way, but even if I were, I don’t think I’d put knee socks on the hot list. Not unless they’re paired with a Catholic school girl uniform, anyway.
“They’re-just-knee-socks-cuz-I-didn’t-want-to-be-cold-and-I’m-tired-of-tights-cuz-they-make-my-legs-itch. Also, I wanted to wear sneakers, and these just went better. Will you excuse me?” I said, very coherently. And then I ran back into the bar. I don’t think I needed to worry about him following me, though. My friend Rod once told me that crazy is all the self-defense he needs, and he’s probably right.
So be forewarned, children. No knee socks. You’re only asking for trouble.