Thursday, September 13, 2007

Does It LOOK Like I'm Wearing The Easy Button?

Can we talk about inappropriate touching for a minute? Okay, not show-me-on-the-doll-where-he-touched-you Law and Order SVU inappropriate touching.

I was at Staples looking for a globe for my classroom and made the mistake of soliciting the help of one of the employees, one of those sad little men who try to offset their disturbingly tiny upper body by having a ginormously annoying personality. "I'd be THRILLED to help you! A globe? Hmmm! Are you going to be using it for traveling, because a GPS might come in more handy! HAHAHA!" And then? Hand around my waist for about three seconds as he guides me in the direction of the (overpriced) globe.

Now, okay. Shouldn't be that big a deal, right? Except why isn't it? It's one of those things that I walk away from going, What. The. Crap? Since when is it okay for a five foot four red shirted assistant manager to touch me? And since when do I not even squirm away because I don't want to be impolite? A stranger has his hand on my body and I DON'T WANT TO BE IMPOLITE? I'm a battered woman waiting to happen. He really loves me, I swear! I can't just LEAVE, don't you understand, I LOVE HIM!

On the plus side, when I finally wrangle myself away and change my identity, I'll get my own Lifetime movie.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, letting the short man at Staples get handsy. Would there have been any way to say "Please don't touch me" without sounding hysterical? Moreover, why do I care how I'd sound to him or anyone else around me?

There are other incidents in this vein: Letting some first date fucknut kiss you even though it was the longest caesar salad you've ever suffered through but you just don't know how to sidestep the moment. Because, what, you don't want this guy you'll never see again to feel rejected for the next four seconds? Or how you never call out your perpetually cheap friend whose wallet seems to mysteriously vaporize from time to time and everyone just smiles politely like they don't notice that it's happening. Again. Why do we ever let people mess with us, however slightly, especially strangers? Or maybe especially friends?

I'm not sure where I'm going with this. In any case, I still need a globe. Why are they so expensive? Are they still trying to convince us that the world is flat? Because I'm just pointing out that wall maps are much cheaper. Political propaganda? You decide.

In other news, I decided after watching approximately three minutes of the new Real World on MTV that I'm never going to have children. I'm a little concerned that my unconceived child is already drunk and screaming crying into a phone at a bar because some guy who looks like every other guy on the planet did her wrong. Seriously, what the hell is happening to teenagers? I know, it's like I'm a member of the Greatest Generation. But for reals, people. Do babies just come out with bad highlights and sideways trucker hats now?

If I do have kids, they're pre-emptively grounded. Go to your womb, sassypants.


Jess said...

Maybe it's political propaganda, not designed to convince us that the world is flat but instead to convince us that the US is the center of the world. You can put the US smack-dab in the middle of a wall map but by definition, a globe doesn't have that kind of middle. So it almost looks like all countries are equal or something. And we can't have that.

stefanie said...

Red, you crack me up. Lifetime movie... Staples guy gettin' handsy... back to the womb, sassypants... All priceless. :-)

I've never been groped by a Staples employee (maybe because I never go to Staples), but I sort of hate it when guys in bars think it's OK to slide their hand across my back and side while trying to get past me. You know, a brief tap on the arm to announce I'm there usually works for me, but whatever, guys.

Also, I saw globes at Target for about $20 last year. Is that more or less than Staples?

The Teller said...

Ok, so we're at Bass Pro Shop and my husband asks some guy where something is and all he gets is "Asle 12" and a wave of the hand in the general direction. Minutes later I come around the corner and ask the same guy who gently takes my arm and leads me to the very product.

I have long hair (middle of my back) and people (men and women) think its ok to touch it... without permission, warning, or anything. Just kinda caress it.

Then there's the whole "complete strangers that will touch a pregnant women's belly without invite" thing.

d said...

meanwhile, in guyville...

Wavemancali said...

FFS a hand around the waist is not a grope.

And to answer your question with honestly it became ok to invade people's personal space when studies found people buy more when you do it.

People crave human contact because the world has turned into a cold hostile place, and they'll buy more crap from people who touch them.

Why? Because of people calling a hand around the waist a damn grope.

Next time you are in a restaurant, watch the servers and look at the tips left. Servers who touch an arm or a shoulder you will find can upsell the customer more easily and will get a larger tip.

If you don't like it tell the person politely, if you don't want a kiss attempt, stick out your hand for a handshake.

3carnations said...

I have been in a similar situation. Not with a Staples employee, but with a neighbor who made me uncomfortable. I actually stepped out of the touch. It was obvious. But it got the point across. I do not like being touched by people who have no reason to touch me.

abbersnail said...

I am the WORST at the "boundaries" thing. We know this. This isn't news.

And also? I can't even watch reality tv. I feel like such a fogey! I don't understand "kids today."

Red said...

Jess, ha, totally.

Stefanie, yes! I also hate the needless rubdown when someone's passing behind you.

Teller, ew, the pregnant thing just seems wrong.

3c, yeah, good for you, I'd probably still be somewhere making out with him.

Wavemancali, maybe you crave human contact from an office store employee, but I don't, and neither does Stefanie. Might be time to find an outlet for those creepy feelings of yours, my friend.

Wavemancali said...

Lol, I don't crave the contact but I hate to see the poor office store employee treated like a sexual predator when he's probably being coached by his manager on how he might sell more.

Red said...

Well, you kinda proved my point. It's not that I think Staples Guy is Pervy McGropington. I just think it's a bummer that you can't ask a stranger to please not touch you without coming off as hysterical or getting comments in your blog from eye-rolling boys such as yourself.

Put it to you this way: Would you mind if your mailman gave your balls a little tug now and then? I mean, jeez, he's just trying to be friendly.

Matthew said...

Hey, know who says things like you? A rapist and/or woman beater who is in complete denial. Get some help, buddy.

Still legally Married Jen said...

Love the "for reals" reference!

Have a great weekend! Holla.

don't call me MA'AM said...

I hate the touchy-feely servers at restaurants! I don't give a rat's ass if it's what people are 'craving.' Keep your freaking hands to yourselves: males and females. Even more annoying: female servers who come to a table, scoot in next to my husband, and get all flirty. Guess what, bitch?! I'M paying the tab, and you just lost 10% of your tip.

*ahem* Yes, I'm a little bitchy about this subject, but I'm tired of people invading my space.

Good post, red.

Wavemancali said...

I don't condone the touch, I just don't consider it a grope. I blogged about it today if you'd care to discuss it on my blog. I'm not going to pollute Red's comment section with an argument.

Anonymous said...

I loved this blog! It makes me crazy when people stand so close to me in line ups, buses or subways that some part of their body is touching mine. Can't kill them. That would be over-reacting. Can't say would you mind not touching me. That gets me the crazy lady stare. I move away, they move too. Usually I just put my purse between me and them or step firmly on their foot and then apologize profusely. But poor Staples McGropington? I would probably cut him a bit of slack (while moving away and preparing myself to step firmly on his foot).

Killer said...

WAIT...tell me more about this mailman of yours.