Sometimes I think I should be a stand up comedian. I’ve got several funny things I could talk about, but my delivery could be off. I’m going to term the following situation that I experienced today as funny, in fact, it’s really not and is actually harassment. (But if I don’t laugh at it, I’m going to be furious.)
I went down to Main St. today during Biketoberfest to pass out some flyers to try and promote my book. This is a big deal for me. I’m an introvert and my health isn’t always the greatest. Getting out is difficult because of it. But I wanted to do this, I wanted to try. I kicked myself out the door and onto the only bus running downtown from where I live because it’s a freaking Sunday.
I find a corner in front of a closed store to stand with my flyers and a smile on my face. My picture in my profile is how I look. I’m petite and I guess I’m pretty. I was simply standing with my flyers and smiling at passerby and trying to make eye contact. The street was filled with motorcycles, so speaking was next to impossible to hear so I didn’t bother. I wasn’t trying to harass anyone. I know the rules. Public property. No harassing.
I’d handed a few flyers out, mixed reactions when people actually look at it. Mostly positive. Made it feel worth it. When this guy stops and strikes up a conversation with me and opens with, “Why is a pretty girl like you alone here at biketoberfest?”
Do I need a fucking entourage to hand out flyers? Can you not see that I have a stack of papers in my hands?
Obviously, the next question out of his mouth was. “Are you single?”
My response is and always is “None of your business.”
He then proceeds to tell me that he just moved her from Puerto Rico and doesn’t believe girls are that interested in him because he doesn’t speak English very well. Say what? Girls aren’t interested in him because he doesn’t talk good? Logic is obviously not his strong suit.
I ask him if he’s done things and gone to places not expressly to pick up girls but to do things he’s interested in and meet girls. I don’t think he got what I was driving at, because his response was “Yes, but no one seemed that interested in me.” Well, that explains everything. See Rule 1 here. So, my next question is always important to me because it really tells me if this random stranger and I are going to get along or not. “Well, do you like baseball?” Yes, of course he likes baseball. “You should go to a baseball game and meet girls there. Me. I don’t like baseball.” “Oh, do you like football?” “No.” “Do you like sports?” “No.” This isn’t going very well for him. “Well, what do you like? Don’t you know?” Yes, I do know. I do not feel obligated to tell a random stranger my likes when I’m trying to work.
At this point, I’m out of patience. “Look, I’m just trying to promote my book here.” And you’d think, that would be a clue to ask things like, “Oh, you wrote a book? What is it about? You’re a writer. What is that like?”
But remember earlier he said that no one was interested in him. It’s not at all about me. It’s all about him. Repeat after me, EGO.
Instead I get, “Oh, I like petite girls. And you’re a petite girl. You’re very beautiful.” See, now we know why he stopped. Look. I get it. Sexual attraction is great, but I’m standing here with a stack of flyers in my hands. Obviously, I’m promoting something, which could be anything from Bikers for Jesus to Heavy Metal Rock but you don’t know because you haven’t asked even when I gave you an opening.
I thanked him several times. He finally apologized if he was bothering me and finally went on his way. I made an “Oh my God, you are such an ass.” face.
Fortunately, ten seconds after that, a lady asked what I had, and when I said a werewolf biker novel, she said awesome and took off with a flyer.
See how easy that was.