This shit again? Seriously?

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It has taken me a week to be able to write about this.  Not sure why.  I’m really getting too old for this shit to be happening, but true-to-form, here we go again.  I shouldn’t care about this anymore.  Why should I?  My life is pretty fantastic overall.  But the truth is, I am still affected by it.  I’m super sensitive to this, almost to an irrational level.

Last weekend I went to Target with Julia to pick up a few boring household items.  Laundry soap, check.  A few cleaning supplies, check.  Napkins, check.  Couple of college-aged jackasses commenting on my appearance, check and check!

For fucking real?  Still?  This shit still?  It hadn’t happened in quite some time.  I really truly thought I had progressed beyond the point of being that bad that people actually felt the need to comment on it.

Here’s what happened, in exact detail so you get the full and honest story.

I had just arrived and was near the front of the store still.  Shopping cart and Julia in tow.  It is a Saturday so I’m dressed in very casual clothes – gray cargos, a hoody, all stars.  Well-fitting clothes but nothing fancy or “sexy.”  It is just Target, after all.  My cart contained a box of Gain laundry detergent, a couple bottles of shampoo, and a box of tampons.  Julia and I were exiting the cosmetics row and turning left into the main aisle.  I spot a couple of younger guys walking towards us.  I don’t make eye contact.  This is my natural response to groups of males – look down and get the hell out of there as inconspicuously as possible because guys in groups are brutal.

When I saw them walking towards us, I was just chatting with Julia about school and things like that.  I tried to focus on her more and looked at her rather than ahead, and started veering towards the left to enter another aisle so as to not have to pass them directly.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see them looking at us.  They start laughing.  They get closer and the redhead says to the other “EWW dude, I just had the worst visual.”  Both are laughing and talking about visuals.  They’ve each glanced in my direction a few times by now, laughing to each other.

I turn down an aisle as quickly as possible but I guess it was too late to avoid having to be laughed at.  So here I am dwelling on this for the rest of the day.  The rest of the week.  Wondering why, how can I possibly look so hideous that it solicits actual comments and attention. Isn’t being invisible and overlooked enough?  Didn’t think it could be worse than that but at least I sort of accepted it, only to have this happen now as it has happened countless times in my life.

The best part is these guys had maybe 30 seconds of laughter at my expense and went about their lives, probably forgetting the events entirely by the time they exited the store.  And here I am still thinking about it – replaying this in my head – an entire week later.  Sadly, I’ll replay it in my head forever, because that’s what I do.  Why do I allow people to have this kind of power over me?  People I don’t even know, will never see again, don’t care about.  How can this affect me as much as it does?  I guess the bigger question too is, am I seriously that bad visually?  Because I cannot fathom what I’d have to walk by in a public venue to feel compelled to comment on it to others.  I mean yeah I see unattractive people all the time but…that’s pretty much it.  You walk by and that’s literally it.  No commenting, nothing.  So why me?

Posted on October 11th 2014 in Journal

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