A night in the thoughts of a woman.
Living in Los Angeles, you grow accustomed to driving with the windows rolled down to feel the June summer air hit the palm of your hand while sticking one or the other out the window. We were on our way to my apartment in Korea Town (K-town) just on the west outskirt of downtown LA, coming from a party in Echo Park. Although the night went well, the anxiety of any potential moment to come kept me from speaking much even when he asked if I’d had a good time. Reason being that I couldn’t help but re-cap moments in my mind of seeing a number of Tyler’s friends nudge his elbow. He’d smiled each time, happy to have had received some kind of secret code representing approval. In efforts to keep my sanity, I pegged the thoughts as paranoia and pushed them out of my mind. I said to him, “Yeah sorry, I had a good time. I’m just a bit tired, but it was fun”. He reached over to grab my hand, which had been resting in my lap. I looked up at him to realize just how handsome he was with his brown eyes and quarter of an inch beard. Tyler had a face that could make most women look twice, although he was also the kind of guy very aware of his own charm. At least that’s what I’d perceived of him while observing his socializing at the party. Anyway, he smiled at me and I remembered being 18 and how at that age I was submissive to guys that looked like him, giving my body to guys like him in hopes of receiving love in return. And as the summer breeze continued to touch my right palm, which still stuck out the window, it amazed me how far removed from the 18 year old me I’d become. Gone were the days I’d had skewed ideas about love, and gone were the days I’d had failed to love myself enough to not become just an object in the eyes of a guy.
Finally getting to the apartment building, Tyler parked the car. He took the hand he’d been holding of mine and proceeded to move it toward the belt of his black jeans. At that moment the person I’d decided to take a chance on became a person I despised. When I flinched my hand back he became angry, and you can imagine the goodbye. After slamming the car door having refused his intentions with me, I walked up the stairs to my apartment thinking I was a fool. I thought, “How could I have been so stupid?” and “What could I have done or said differently for him not to have thought being his object is all I’m good for”.
I decided to ride out the feelings of disappointment until I was ready for bed. Because as I tucked myself under the sheets, I realized the problem was a bigger one and I began to ask myself questions.
When I was in high school, why did the guys call out to me when I walked home from school and when I ignored them, why did they chant names like “bitch” or “hoe”?
Why did those guys at the shop try and charge me $300 dollars more than what they’d charged my father for some new tires?
Why did a man pull up in his car fondling himself when I was waiting at a bus stop? (I ran of course)
Why did I get paid less than my male co-workers at a pharmacy for doing the same job? And why when I confronted the manager about it, was I only given the option to quit?
Why after high school and having started to experience new things, did my own decision to date become others perceptions of me as being promiscuous?
Why the hell did I immediately think I should’ve done something different with Tyler, when the problem was how society raised Tyler to think of me?
The list of questions went on and I must have stayed up until 3am consumed by them and my thoughts, on top of my disappointment about Tyler. I just knew at that moment I couldn’t just ask myself these kinds of questions, I’d have to ask others too and get them to think. And that’s when I fell asleep.
(I’m not a man hater. I’m also not an angry person. I’m a woman who will gladly empower, encourage, and be nice to other women and no, that doesn’t mean I’m a lesbian. I’m just a woman who has been through a lot and wants others to really think about societies views about women, even if I have to open up about certain things in the form of short story. This is a true story and the incidents I mentioned really happened to me, but the name of the guy was changed. Change can happen if we each speak up, tell our stories, and ask others lots of questions. Feel free to elaborate on your own experiences if you decide to re-blog this. Just as long as you take from this some encouragement to speak up, and spread awareness of some kind for women. )
Sending good vibes.