My mother had a saying. “Creating your own bad luck.” It was when something really shitty happened to someone, but that someone had set the scene perfectly for that shitty thing to destroy them. Like drinking 3-4 cocktails and knowing you’re “sober enough” to drive, but you take the main roads home at 10 miles over the speed limit while texting and swerving and curse your bad luck for getting pulled over.
I believe that this saying is only applicable to situations where there isn’t malicious intent. Like, you COULD say it to someone who was walking home alone in a city in the middle of the night and they got mugged… but honestly that’s the fucking mugger’s fault, they’re a dick. Sure, the person could have (and arguably should have) taken some smart precautions, but lets not blame the victim. There’s a difference between “creating your own bad luck,” and just plain risky behavior where you’re hoping people won’t be dicks.
I took a break from writing for several reasons. I’ve been very busy with work and school, sprinkled with a bit of dating. I’ve also had some negative encounters that I was mulling over, wondering how I should handle things and what precautions I should take.
Someone at work approached me and mentioned this blog and how entertaining it was. They were curious if I was the writer for all the entries. It was a slightly awkward conversation, but for the most part it was positive. It did, however, bring home that people who don’t normally talk to me- who aren’t really my friends, but more friendly acquaintances- are reading about my sex life.
A coworker who I am not friendly with and have never hung out with outside of work propositioned me while he was a passenger in my cab because, presumably, he figured I’d be open to the idea since I’m so open with writing about my sex life online. I could have gone straight to HR with this and gotten him fired, but instead I had a manager speak with him about how it was not okay. Even if we had a playboy bunny or porn star as one of our employees, it’s not okay to ask them to have sex with you, especially while in a work environment. Now I have to walk into work most days and rage about the situation while dodging eye contact and avoiding conversation with them. If I continue to write, I’ll be hyper-aware that this person will still be reading.
Beyond this blog, as a side note, there are 3 other people at work that I have this same awkward shit with. Men who went way beyond the line and who have sexually harassed me (one of which resulted in a lengthy sexual harassment investigation). It’s like jogging through a mine field some days, avoiding them to get my keys and paperwork and get to my cab, and half the time completely unavoidable. I guess it’s what comes with being a woman at a company so long that men just feel comfortable enough with you to cross lines, and then being too committed to the company to cause too much of a fuss about it or leave. Sometimes I feel like if I told anyone, they would just tell me to get over it and deal with it. I don’t want to get over it, I want to leave. I want them to stop trying to meet my eye and say hello. I want them to stop trying to get me to join their conversations with others. I want them to never talk to me again, ever.
This past weekend I had a woman get into my cab and then immediately proceed to tell me all about me, before the door was even closed. She told me about the friends we had in common and how we’re so similar. She told me about how I’m going to school. She was manic and up. I had no context to what was going on until more than five minutes into this conversation. She was seeing someone that I had seen a couple-few times in previous months (whom I met on Tinder). The understanding from my end was that no one was exclusive and the connection I had with this man was light, easy, and open-ended. I had come up in conversation between the two of them, she saw me reply on something of his on Facebook, then she “internet stalked” me (her words). I made sure the rest of the ride was super-friendly, but when she got out I was a bit shell-shocked. This was certainly a first for me, and I was very uncomfortable. Did she call my company knowing that I worked there, hoping it would be me to pick her up? Did she know about this blog? The laser-focus from someone I didn’t even know existed was intense and made me squirm.
My job is unique in that it’s an environment that is ripe for bizarre things to happen. People get weird late at night with a little alcohol, and I’m exposed to a lot of it. This is not me creating my own bad luck, I am aware of the pitfalls and take precautions. I can see dicks coming from a mile away and am good at dealing with them. My mother taught me to be aware of shit so that I don’t create my own bad luck on purpose.
Writing this blog, however, is a different animal. I’m creating a new environment for myself that brings out dicks in different ways. For the most part, I’ve gotten amazing and positive feedback- even from men- in healthy and non-creepy ways. I need to acknowledge that it’s good and fun and healing for me to write what’s going on in my life without censoring myself, while at the same time dicks with bad judgement might take it as invitation to shit on me. If I transfer my skills in dealing with dicks from cab driving, it would translate like this: not being surprised by the dicks, rolling my eyes at the dicks, and then not taking them seriously or giving them much thought while I move on in a more positive direction. However, it is more personal, so this will take a bit of practice.
At the moment I’m balancing what I’m comfortable dealing with. I’m in a little bit of a weak spot, due to stress with being busy with school, a sinus infection, and working as much as I can. I have several topics written down that I want to flesh out on both the taxi side and the dating side of this blog. For the past month I haven’t had the energy to deal with any more possible fallout that those entries would have brought, but very soon I will have more social energy and won’t give a fuck who reads this or how they decide to come at me.
A little bit of celebrity is weird. I got a bizarre fan letter when I took a little air time during The Hour of Slack/Psychoacoustics 20+ years ago. (By my voice and name, the gentleman was certain I was some Norse goddess into cross-country snow kayaking or some shit. Hah.) But if you think about it, EVERYBODY thinks they know you, celebrity or no. It’s easier to build a snap-judgement, idealized or villianized, about someone than to actually get to know them, or, horror of horrors, figure out that they don’t want to know you. Keep writing. Hell with the douchebags. You’ve seen men think they can grope bartenders who have smiled at them and served them drinks because said douchebags firmly believe there’s a “connection” there. It’s an entitlement thing.
It’s not bad luck, but you can take the time to educate. Like, just because you have a sex life, and you write about it, it’s NOT OKAY to assume you want to have a private conversation with an acquaintance about it. It’s still YOUR personal life, and even what you write is filtered.
And maybe a comeback, if a zealous acquaintance wants to talk sexytiems with you is, “You’ve apparently read what I care to share with you. Discussion over, drop it.”