June 10 - Sunday
There was a big flood Friday night and Saturday day.
That's not the bayou -- it's the freeway. Isn't that frightening? Two people were stranded at my apartment overnight and then most of the next day. Well, eventually we did go to Subway for sandwiches, but still. They were stranded on my side of town. I felt sort of bad that my apartment was boring. After they looked at all the cute Japanese merchandise and both sketchbooks, there wasn't anything to do but drive around and take pictures of the flood. I had already forced Letty to look at the new shirts in my closet and tell me if they looked okay. (Most of them did. One of them went into the donation basket, though. I have a laundry basket on my bedroom floor that is full of clothes I pretend I'm going to donate to the women's shelter some day.)
The flood day, as we called it, was bizarre because it was forced recreation. Most of the stores and workplaces were closed. A lot of people in my neighborhood decided to ride their bikes. Lots of others drove their cars and trucks to the various flooded streets and then gawked. I told Letty and Andrea that we should have gone back to my place and got a box of popsicles I had in the freezer so that we could sell them to the onlookers. Andrea said we should have gone to Fiesta and bought corn to roast and sell. Instead, we kept taking pictures and driving around. (Yes, I waved hi to people. You know I did.)
I was sexually harassed at the flood yesterday. Some guy purposely leered at my breasts and then at the rest of me, and then at my breasts again. Then he looked at my face and smirked. I had my camera and my keys in my hand, and I was walking on mud in platform slides. I wished that I had been wearing tennis shoes and carrying a baseball bat. I rolled my eyes and said, "Whatever" to the guy. (I know -- it could have been something more cutting, but that's what came out of my mouth.) He responded by mocking me, saying whatever in a girly voice. We did all of this while walking past each other. I turned and glared at his back as he walked towards my friends. "Watch out for the pervert, y'all!" I yelled. Letty said later that she hadn't heard me, though. She didn't think the guy heard, either, because he had headphones. I like to imagine that he did hear me, though. Actually, I like imagining that he died even better. I get really tired of assholes.
The day before that, some guy (who actually looked a lot like the guy who harassed me -- big and white) felt compelled to remark on Letty at a Mexican restaurant. She was going into the restroom. He was behind her. He said, "Beautiful lady," in a stereotypical Spanish accent. Later we considered harassing him back at his own table, but he was with his children. I felt sorry for them.
I wonder how it must feel to be raised to believe that your sexual attraction is something worth foisting on others. Does it make you feel powerful when you can tell a woman either, "You are so hot" or "No fat chicks" and rest assured that she won't do anything because she can't run the risk of you adding a physical attack to your verbal one? Is looking at the women and judging them in your mind not enough? Is your judgment worth nothing if you can't force it on the woman you've judged?
Does it feel better than waving hi to someone on the street and having them return your wave? I can't imagine that it would but, then again, I wasn't raised like you were. There's a lot of stuff I can't imagine about you and the way your mind works.
Which feels better -- to read a magazine ad with a naked woman and a caption that says, "I want to have sex with you", or to read a magazine ad with a naked woman that says, "I'm a dirty slut! Give me what I deserve!"? You're imagining the whole thing anyway -- is it more pleasurable to imagine that a woman actually wants to be with you, or that you're forcing yourself on her? Is it that you simply can't imagine a woman wanting to be with you, so it's less mentally taxing to picture yourself punishing someone with no self-esteem?
Do you only do it to women, or do you do it to anyone smaller than you? Anyone weaker than you? Anyone with less power? Anyone with whom you can get away with it?
Do you do it because other people do it to you? Do other people abuse you? Is your abuse of me the only thing that gets you through the day? Does it really help -- staring at my breasts in order to humiliate me? Does it help you forget? Or do you just like humiliating me? Is it simply so enjoyable that you can't resist? Is it more exciting and more efficient to humiliate me and watch my face than it is to be witty or intelligent and watch my face as I realize that you are someone interesting and attractive?
Are you just lazy?
You remind me of people in positions of power at their work who believe that their egos are more important than any of the work being done. You know -- those people who will slow down a project by bossing around their underlings unnecessarily. Or who are compelled to demean. I've met several people like that recently. Something has to be done for the company and these people can't just let a skilled underling do it. First of all, they have to be the ones to order the peon to do it. Then they have to mete out the pertinent information slowly, forcing the peon to ask for what she needs. Then they demand the right to criticize what the peon has done and tell the peon that it's not good enough. Tiny, unimportant changes need to be made, and they need to be made right now, even if the project was due yesterday. Even if it's midnight and the peon is asleep at her apartment. All along, they need to be the ones getting credit for the peon's work.
It's not enough that these people are getting paid more than the peon, or that they have more power than the peon, or that they go to fancy lunches while the peon does work, or that the peon's boss yells at her if she so much as rolls her eyes at the powerful people. It's not enough that the peon's work is good or that she's accomplishing the mission. No... they have to have all that and degrade her, too. They can't be happy until they've shown everyone that they are the cool kids, and she is the loser. She is the slave. She is the dog. She's not even human.
Maybe I'm the fool. Maybe I'm just stupid for trying to work for my gratification -- sex-related or work-related. I guess if I weren't so stupid, I would quit learning new skills, turning out good products, and trying to seem witty and attractive. If I were as smart as the people who have the power, I would get through my day by humiliating others in order to make myself feel better. Is that the fast track to success? Let me follow the men who yell at me on the street and see how quickly they get promoted. Let me yell at the janitor and see if I get a raise.
It's difficult for me. I guess I just wasn't raised right.
It's not difficult, however, for me to make fun of TV characters for money. As some of y'all may know, I write for MBTV. The other day, I got the following email, entitled "Just Curious":
Because I am a bitter, defensive person who tries to be witty and sarcastic in order to make money, I wrote back:
So this person writes back to me and says:
And, you know what? The woman who wrote that was absolutely correct. Yes, I am often surprised at how good I feel when I wave hi to people on the street, or when I tell a coworker that her earrings are pretty, or when I spend hours working on my own website and then hear that it makes people laugh or forget their problems for a while. It's true! And, at the same time, it's true that writing about an annoying television show helps me release my bottled up anger. Even my negative bottled up anger! It really is true!
Lady, I'm sorry that I wasted your time with my sarcastic little web site. Please -- by all means -- go on to do far more important things. I realize that you probably have an agenda full of saying nice things to people and helpfully pointing out the flaws of "those" people (of which I am one) in your gently ironic way. Please don't let me stop you. I see now that when I try to amuse others by making fun of a fictional program about a selfish character who hits strangers, about coworkers who hate and humiliate each other in order to improve their opinions of themselves, that I am wasting the time of good, nice, un-angry people like you. Please forgive me. I will try to stop being such a fucking jerk, okay?
Gotta go, peeps. I should have been working instead of typing this. I have a lot of stuff due on Monday, and I wouldn't want to displease all the people who are spending their precious time to make sure that my work gets done right.
Hey, here's a song quote: