So, for starters, feel free to judge me for my shocking lack of commitment to keeping this blog up to date. The first part of my year has been unusually uproarious, and, as one might expect, my personal pet projects were the first to fall off the list of priorities. I’ve also been honing my ability to view the world through a lens of more nuanced emotion, which has required a certain degree of inward focus rather than the unapologetic, chunky brashness with which I usually live my life and express my thoughts. All the same, I’m baaaaaack! Mostly because I’ve had an outrageous experience that I’d like to share.
Last night was girls’ night with my kickboxing friends, and while the original intention was to stay in and eat garbage and do makeovers, that’s not where it ended. There was more interest in makeovers than garbage, and since we all looked so good, my friend Elysia was feeling herself, so we decided to go out. We went to O’Malleys, and had a very normal time there. We talked to some people, danced with some others, and stayed until closing, which means that when we exited the bar, the streets were bursting at the seams with moronic drunken frat boys.
That’s all well and good, and things would have been fine, until you factor in a hot-headed Mexican boyfriend, drunken stupidity, and a misogynistic comment. All of those things being very real factors indeed, things blew up pretty quickly. As we were crossing the street to the parking lot where my friend’s boyfriend (henceforth referred to as The Boyfriend) had parked the car, a herd of five of the aforementioned frat boys pulled down their pants, leaned over one by one, so far we could see their assholes, and mooned the whole street, but mostly our group.
One of the boys (henceforth referred to as The Buttcrackers) asked if he needed asshole bleach. I responded that that wouldn’t begin to be enough for his issues. My friend Natali said something even bitchier, and then we continued onward. We had passed them by about ten feet when one the barely post-pubescent rapists-in-training made the very unfortunate choice to run his mouth, saying “At least one of us is going to fuck those girls.” This is exactly the kind of off-hand comment that I am happy to ignore for my own personal convenience and safety. Nothing I could say or do is going to magically transform some disrespectful cum-stain of a male human into someone with more acceptable views of female humans, so the smart money is to flip them the bird over your shrugging shoulder as you keep walking. Apparently, however, The Boyfriend disagrees with this.
I could practically see his ears prick, as he froze, and then pivoted on one foot and marched over to the group of boys like a flesh and blood angel of death. The biggest of the other guys was basically a puppy in a sweater, but with attitude. Very soft in a pretty-boy kind of way, quite young, and not experienced enough to know that you really should stop running your mouth when approached by an enraged, tatted-up Latino with cauliflower ear. This poor idiot hadn’t actually been the one to say the comment that had spiked our boy’s temper (that honor goes to his skinny, preppy, hatchet-faced friend, who looked like a product of incest dressed as the lead singer of a British boy-band), but since he was by far the loudest, he took on the role of Whipping Boy Number 1, being the first to become intimately acquainted with The Boyfriend’s brown-skinned knuckles.
The Boyfriend cracked a few more heads, laying out at least three of the five Buttcrackers, and, rather un-sportingly, loaded up a kick and drove his shin into the ribs of one who had already fallen over. Notice, of course, that The Boyfriend is a trained martial artist with boxing and MMA fights in his past, so even though The Buttcrackers had numbers on their side, The Boyfriend was able to do some damage before our group could contain him. Once disentangled, Natali and our other friend hurried him back to the car. It was looking promising for a clean getaway, except, once again, as we were trying to leave, one of the squashy, mentally deficient man-children that hadn’t run to their car in fear during initial blow-up had the courage and poor sense to yell out “Ha! Yeah, take that!” like their group had won, apparently not understanding that it was The Boyfriend’s desire to remain a free man, rather than a lack of ability to murder the entire group with bare hands, that had resulted in his early departure.
The Boyfriend was far enough away to have missed this comment, but the very buzzed Elysia was still close enough to hear, and, in what was not one of her best-thought-out moments, she ran back to the Buttcrackers and began giving them a tongue lashing on everything from feminism to sportsmanship and basic human decency. A timely lesson, to be sure, but also completely useless. Meanwhile, while I was occupied trying to rein in Elysia and get her to the car, which took probably no more than two minutes but felt much longer due to the time-warp of poor choices in which I found myself, The Boyfriend and our other two friends fled the scene, so by the time Elysia wound down and started looking for the car, they were long gone.
Seeing us wandering around the parking lot, wondering where the fuck our friends had gone, the Buttcrackers trotted over to try to convince us to share The Boyfriend’s contact information. Once again, the big puppy served as spokesman, with the product of incest right behind him, as well as what looked, to all appearances, like a very sunburnt albino. To the puppy’s credit, he actually was quite polite, describing The Boyfriend’s onslaught as “rude.” The generosity of the understatement made me slightly less irritated with the Buttcrackers, albeit just as desirous to leave and never speak to them again.
One would think that this had all been quite enough excitement for one night, but one would be wrong. Naturally, the Buttcrackers’ renewed presence had resulted in a return of Elysia’s lecture, which provided plenty of time for some rando to wander over to inject himself into the situation, under the guise of concern. Unfortunately, when we did finally begin to leave, the aforementioned rando followed us. Elysia had called an Uber, which I had assumed was going to be a rescue chariot with room for two, but you know what they say—to assume is to make an ass of u and me. Elysia opened the door of the Prius, got in, and then, rather than scoot over and make room, said “Night! I’ll see you later!” shut the door firmly, and left me standing on a Street Corner with the Creepy Savior, who would not go away, and who kept repeating “I just want to make sure you get home safe” while continually negating the expressed sentiment by trying to put his hand on my ass as he followed me down State Street.
In an extension of his unwanted “chivalry” he naturally offered to let me go home with him. You know, in case I was so upset I needed comfort. I stopped dead in the middle of the sidewalk, shoved his shoulder so that he was facing me and said, “Look around, asshole. There isn’t anyone else bothering me right now. The only thing upsetting me is you! Go away.” He didn’t, of course. I saw a cab half a block away and made my way to it, with the Creepy Savior following along, occasionally snaking his hand out for a grope. Needless to say, I do have a very long fuse, and I was more irritated than afraid, so I handled the situation with some vigorous swatting.
When I got to the door of the cab, I opened it and began to get in. Right about that time, the Creepy Savior pushed me off the curb so I was off balance, wrapped his arms around me, forcing an awkward hug, and then smacked my ass with some force as I pulled away. I told him to fuck off, with attitude, and then scrambled into the cab, and shut the door. He was holding the door. I think he got his fingers out, but I don’t know, and I also don’t care. I’m sure in the Creepy Savior’s memory, he’ll remember only the parts where he was vocalizing concern for my safety and that I was a bitch about it, conveniently glossing over the parts where he was a creepy, predatory asshole, who was, in fact, the bad-news guy he was concerned I might run into.
I bet when he’s sober, he’s a “nice guy.” And that’s the problem with “nice guys”—forced chivalry is just as disrespectful and unpleasant as overt misogyny, especially when that chivalry comes with an expectation, as it so often does. To illustrate how weird this is, think of a situation where you expressly tell someone not to get you ice cream when they go to the store, but they do anyway, and you’re like, “Thanks, but no thanks,” so they get pissed and then send you a Venmo request anyway. It’s like that, except ice cream is the unwanted protection, and the currency requested is booty. Fuck that. And fuck that guy.
Predictably, on the ride home, I had some time to reflect on the events as they had transpired, and I have decided that I would have been better off alone last night. So much for safety in numbers. I mean, for one thing, as much as I appreciate that The Boyfriend cares about the women in his life being disrespected, it’s his escalation of the situation that caused me to be standing in a parking lot with four strange, drunk, pissed off men at three o’clock in the morning. As much as I don’t enjoy disrespectful comments, I care far more about the safety of my actual physical person than I do about my “honor.” If a guy’s parents did a shitty job conveying to him that women are, in fact, people, I don’t consider it my responsibility to take him back to school on that subject at the risk of my own personal well-being. I’ll just walk away and let him be a dick by himself, and I don’t really appreciate being robbed of the opportunity.
Secondly, we all could have left together if Elysia hadn’t gone back for seconds. I, of course, wasn’t going to leave her alone, which meant both of us ended up stranded. I take a lot of responsibility for the fact that I ended up being the last man standing, because in my commitment to ensure Elysia was taken care of, I didn’t take care of myself. I failed to realize that I was taking care of Elysia, and Elysia was taking care of Elysia, and no one was taking care of me. Had I been alone, there would never have been a “who’s on first?” moment that resulted in me stranded with a creeper.
So, in summary, if The Boyfriend hadn’t exploded, there never would have been an unsafe situation to escape from, and if Elysia hadn’t decided to go another round, my ability to safely exit the situation without feeling like a huge asshole never would have been impacted. Next time someone creates an unnecessary three-ring circus, I think I’ll just Irish exit and let them pick up the pieces on their own.