Worry not, faithful readers: The incident above did not — nor will it ever — happen to me. I simply had the discomfort of witnessing it on my way home from the office last night.
At 6:30 p.m. or so, I shut down my laptop and made a pit stop at Duane Reede for a new toothbrush, which I’d been meaning to purchase for about a week. That morning, one of my roommates said she’d accidentally tipped my Martha Stewart toothbrush holder onto the bathroom floor, causing the overpriced Macy’s item to smash into several pieces, and as you may have guessed, my toothbrush went down right with it. She offered to replace both, but I was so groggy and ready for something new that I took them as losses. I’m not really a “things” person, and even though I adored the toothbrush holder because it’s covered in all the different words pertaining to water and wetness, I decided it would be best to start fresh with a new toothbrush and case. A clean slate of any kind is only fitting because I’m moving in a week.
Anyway, I picked up an electronic toothbrush at Duane Reede, and just before heading to the cash register, I scanned the magazine rack and leafed through the latest issue of Marie Claire, which has “Gossip Girl” femme fatale Leighton Meester on the front cover right now. Before reading the story on her tough childhood, I made brief eye contact with a female employee who was walking towards me. Just as I smiled, one of her male coworkers came up to her and said, “Thanks, Luscious.”
I jerked my head away, embarrassed even to have heard that unusual and inappropriate exchange. Perhaps they were a couple, but no man has any business talking to a woman like that regardless of his connection to her.
“Why are you calling me that?” she said to him, looking over at me again.
It was too uncomfortable to maintain eye contact after that or even display a sign of sympathy, though. I was humiliated on this woman’s behalf, and all I wanted her to do was tell him off for objectifying her at work. Maybe it wasn’t the end of the world to her, but I wish I hadn’t witnessed that. I honestly desired a shower immediately afterwards.
As I learned on the ride back to Brooklyn, that unusual situation wouldn’t be the most sexist thing I’d encounter all day. After a few stops on the G train, I heard yelling over my iPod music. Lowering the volume of my song, I bobbed my head around the train car to find where the shouting was coming from. Just a few feet away from my seat stood a guy and a girl in a heated discussion. The man had been screaming, but the woman in tiger print jeggings was in tears and clutched one of the subway poles for support.
“I think it’s time for you to find another f—ing boyfriend,” the man yelled repeatedly. “I’m not f—ing putting up with your bull sh-t anymore. I can do better than you.”
He spoke louder and louder with each sentence, but her tone decreased and she seemed to want a more private break-up. Who wouldn’t? When she asked him to reconsider his very public decision and have her back, he threatened to call the police on file for a restraining order. Granted I know nothing about their lives, and maybe she’s nuts after all, but no one deserves to be treated like that in front of a bunch of strangers. The guy seemed to want to make a show out of it though. The shouting match intensified, and I had the unique misfortune of getting off at the same station as the two of them.
They thought it would be a good idea to continue with their discussion on the edge of the subway tracks, and for a second, I suspected one of them would fall into the gross abyss of garbage remnants, contaminated water, and train rails. Neither of them tipped over, but they seemed to think hopping off the train meant they were free to yell as loud as they wanted at each other. As you can imagine, I scurried away and thanked God that I’ve never been shamed in public like that.
The moment I arrived home, I logged onto Twitter to find that a random male follower had said my new avatar picture is much more flattering than the previous photo I’d had up. No matter how much or little game you may have, you’re a moron if you think a comment like that is going to flatter a girl. That line will never work, and I’m not going to tolerate being addressed in that manner. Focus on issues, not a person’s appearance, especially to say that the individual is better looking now than he/she was at an earlier date. Glad to have the expert opinion and review of a modeling agent. Now excuse me while I go hide in Jessica Valenti’s closet for a couple of days as I try to erase yesterday’s nonsense from my memory.