I traveled to and from Alabama last week and spent about 14 hours in the car. Because of that, I encountered lots of less-than-savory male behavior as a solo female traveler, all of which I would like to address right now. This kind of stuff happens to women all the time, PS - not just me. So hear me roar!
As usual, all credit for "DNR - JTI" goes to the fabulous and hilarious Mollie Erickson. Though she is too kind to ever write a nasty post like this one.
Dear Sketchy Looking Ford Pickup Driver,
Why are you flashing your brights at me? Maybe it was an accident. Nope, you just did it again. And now you've pulled up next to me on the interstate. Ugh, I made the mistake of glancing over at you. Stupid. Why are you tailgating me now? Here come the brights again. And...now you're exiting and waving your arm out the window.
I'm sorry WERE YOU TRYING TO GET ME TO EXIT WITH YOU?? Did you think we were going to have some sort of romantic tryst in a gas station bathroom?? Dude, I barely use gas station bathrooms for their intended purpose. Also, you are a disgusting creep. DNR - JTI.
Dear Man Leering at Me While I Fill Up My Car,
I think you think I can't tell that you're staring at me from the other side of the pump. Every time I turn around or lean into my car to grab something to throw away, your little pin-head has appeared from the other side of the gas pump wall. "How ya doin'?" I ask, making unwavering eye contact (and a New Jersey accent, for a reason that is still a mystery to me). I see you. You are not subtle. Get outta here. DNR - JTI.
Dear Teenage Boy at Sonic,
This has nothing to do with behaving inappropriately and everything to do with the fact that you gave me an M&M Blast with STYROFOAM IN IT. Come on, man!! I mean, yes, I picked the first piece out and gave you the benefit of the doubt. But I was a 1/3 of the way into devouring that bad boy and I had to pull a piece of non-biodegradable, half-chewed styrofoam out of my mouth. I know you can do better than this, my friend. DNR - JTI.
Dear Man Driving a Budweiser 18-Wheeler,
I'm in this lane. I'm in this lane. HEY I'M IN THIS LANE. I'M IN THIS LANE. STOP GETTING OVER. I'M IN THIS FREAKIN' LANE. I AM HONKING MANIACALLY. I am mad at you. I am FUMING at you. I get off onto the shoulder of the road to avoid being killed. After it's safe, the car around me know that I'm on a mission and allow me to get back up to you on the interstate so I'm driving parallel to the cab of your truck. I roll down my window and honk like an insane person. "You almost killed me!" I shout at you. You look down at me, shrug, and mime sending a text on your air phone. I'M SORRY DID YOU THINK I WAS TEXTING?? It's an audiobook, my friend. I'm tying to listen to Carrie Fisher tell me about her affair with Harrison Ford on the set of Star Wars. Also are you trying to communicate that you were teaching me a lesson by running me off the road because you thought I was texting?! WOW. WOWWW. Yeah, you better exit. I have half a mind to follow you, you paternalistic piece of -- DNR - JTI.
Dear Men in General,
Listen. Traveling alone as a woman shouldn't be scary but it is. Do you know why? Because of you guys. Not all of you, of course. But the ones of you that go out of their way to make us uncomfortable. The ones of you who think it's fun to antagonize and frighten women, like some sort of weird game -- in the same way you see little kids torture ants with magnifying glasses. It is mean, it is sexist, and more than anything, it's unkind and disrespectful. Does it make you feel strong? Does it make you feel cool? Let me assure you - if you're doing these things, you are neither. I hope it also makes you feel unemployed, because, while we may not be bigger than you, we sure as hell can take a picture of your license plate and call it in to Budweiser. Ants move in colonies and can lift three times their body weight. So, respectfully, suck it.
Do Not Respond. Just Freakin' Take It.