More reactions to everyday sexism

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I just returned from an interview as part of my job as a reporter, to which I’d decided to walk, because it was only a 10-minute walk and it’s spring. But of course, I experienced what I was raised to expect and tolerate; assholes.

In a short 10-minute walk, I experienced an entire list of things that are way too common for anyone to have asked for it.

1.When you feel like you HAVE to say hi to a guy when they say hi to you, even when they definitely aren’t making eye contact.

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2. When you can feel your skin crawl while some old guy who probably has children stares at you.

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3. When you start to question your definitely-not-come-hither outfit just because some pervert hooted at you.

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4. When you Google Maps directions to walk somewhere, and rethink going because the directions take you off heavily-trafficked streets.

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5. When you make the conscious decision not to make eye contact with anyone, because that may be too inviting.

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6. When you’re walking down the street alone, in broad daylight, but still feel the need to walk  closer to another person so you aren’t singled out… again.

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7. When you’re relieved to see other women.

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8. When you have to clench your fist not to flip a cat caller off because you’re alone, and he’s a man.

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9. When you realize part of the reason you loved this haircut was because you thought it wouldn’t attract pigs, and you were wrong.

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10. When you realize the moment you get back to work/home/a familiar place that you were clenching your teeth the entire time you were outside.

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I’m a changed woman… Kind of

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I apologize for the lag between posts, it’s just that I’ve been so busy figuring out this “real person” thing, and getting used to having to tuck in every shirt. But I’ve also learned that I’m a changed woman since moving to the west coast… And then there are some points I cannot budge on.

Things I will not change:

1.The correct pronunciation of Lancaster (LANC-ist-er). I hear Lancaster thrown around a lot because of being closer to Lancaster, Calif., but they don’t say it right (LAN-cast-er). It’s just not natural. If I came over here and just went all Chandler and said, “Oh, I SO want to to go to CAL-if-orni-A” I would be shunned faster than you could say tsunami. Which also happens here.

It’s cool, east coast. No need to prepare me for the most terrifying weather disaster the world has ever known. When Alaska was at risk for a tsunami a couple weeks ago, everyone in my office was asking whether or not we would get one in Oregon. My reaction? I went on weather.com, looked at the 10-day forecast and said, “Well, it doesn’t look like it’ll affect us.” I was thinking about a hurricane. A hurricane, east coast. That’s what you’ve done to me. What happens when Alaska gets a tsunami? Oregon gets a tsunami. Not rain. If one state gets a natural disaster, it ruins it for the entire coast.

So, yeah, I’ll keep Lancaster in my way, west coast. You keep your tsunamis.

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2. My snobbish taste in farmers’ markets. In Pa., we have Amish pastries and strong coffee. In Oregon, we have flowers and organic vegetables. Do I fully grasp the meaning of organic after living here for almost two months? Not even close. Do I want to? Offer me a large cup of coffee at a ridiculously low price and we can talk.

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3. Saying Pa. when referring to Pennsylvania. It’s all I have left of home. I’ve also realized that Pa. is the only state I’m aware of in which its natives refer to it by it’s postal abbreviation. No one out here says OR, or CA, and I think they think we’re weird for thinking so highly of ourselves to use our state’s postal abbreviation like the whole world should know it. I mean, they should, but still.

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Things I have begun to change:

1. Coincidentally, I gave up coffee. I don’t know if it was the lack of a good strong coffee that didn’t cost $5 that got me off of it, but ever since I stopped drinking it I’ve never fallen asleep earlier in my life.

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2. I no longer desperately need to go five over the speed limit at all times. Maybe the reason everyone on the east coast needs to drive so fast is because it’s not as pretty as the west coast. All I know is that now, before I simultaneously honk my horn and give whomever the bird, I look out at the bay/ocean/field/mountains/port/flowers and think, I’m only five minutes away from a McDonald’s breakfast burrito.

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3. I’ve stopped expecting people to be nice. Yes, I brought some of that east coast cynicism with me, but it’s been helpful. When you expect either no response to your “thank you” or “nice to meet you,” a rude response or an opinion you did not, in any way, shape or form invite, you’re actually surprised and that much more grateful for the nice people you come across. Albeit, a little suspicious, but yeah.

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And that is what two months in Oregon has taught me.

 

Thanks, boyfriend

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The past two weeks, since my boyfriend and I have moved in together, he has loved me despite the following:

1. How genuinely angry I get when something keeps me from eating at the exact time I’d planned upon learning that there was food in the vicinity. Today, he picked up Pizza Hut, and because I was expecting to eat the moment I stepped through the door, I was immediately hangry (hungry + angry) when I not only found out that I had to wash a dish to eat the pizza on (“Well, can’t we just eat it out of the box?”), but that the pizza was also too hot for me to put it on my plate with my fingers.

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2. That I finish a conversation I was having in my head by asking him a question without context

(Me: Do you think Eric ever got married?

Him: Eric who?

Me:  From ‘Boy Meets World.’).

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3. That I clean things despite his hatred for the smell of “bleach.” Which is really just ammonia. Which is really the way clean things smell. Which is unavoidable, unless you don’t clean.

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4. That I wake up an hour-and-a-half early to get ready for work when it only takes me half-an-hour to get ready, and I spend the next hour nagging him to wake up, and he acts like he has no idea where he is.

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5. That I make him go on walks on the beach after Sunday night wrestling, when he’s ready to be a blob on the couch.

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6. That I say I’m not tired and that I don’t want to go to bed after I’ve already fallen asleep on the couch to “Golden Girls.”

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7. That I kiss him a million times when he finally wakes up, that I tell him I love him five times before we leave for work in the morning, that I thank him about 16,890,982,543 times every day for doing this with me and being so patient and sweet. He’s everything anyone could ever want in a partner, and I am so ridiculously lucky.

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I’m Going to Miss My Posse

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The most disconcerting thing about moving far, far away is something that really only hit me about 20 minutes ago. I’m not going to have anyone to relate to as a female all the way out there until I find someone who has my weird sense of humor and who doesn’t have a problem fielding my random texts about food, bodily functions and the ongoing battle with my thighs. I don’t know what I’m going to do without my girls to turn to in the middle of dinner and be able to say without restraint, “My butt’s sweating.”

There are a couple other things, too.

1. Being a complete secret-jerk out in public when people walk by.

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2. Not having to hold back anything, and trusting that you ladies feel the same way around me. I’m going to miss being able to admit out loud, “I’m totally crop-dusting right now.” Now I just have to do it with a straight face. Try it. It’s the worst.

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3. You girls are always on my level, and are always down to get drunk and tell each other, “I love you guys.” When am I going to get to do that again? Not for a long, long time.

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4. I’ll never just randomly run into you ladies and have my whole day brightened up again. I’m going to have to look at my phone background when I’m having a bad day and need an unexpected surprise. You seriously have no idea how excited I was every time I saw you just in time to have dinner together.

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5. I used to just have to wait until ladies nights to vent. Now, I have to try to put it all in a text. Do you know how hard that is? Especially when half of our emotions are expressed through stupid looks to each other.

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6. Our super-cool support system will now be long distance, so I can’t just look at you and be like, “Your boobs look great today, I’m jealous.”

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7. But more than anything, I’m going to miss our honesty policy. Without you, my ass would have hung out of every skirt, and it most definitely would have been six sizes bigger than it currently is.

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Ladies, you’ve been everything a weirdo could want in a wolf pack. I’m honored to have been associated with you, and will miss you so incredibly much. Thank you for everything, and for only judging me a little bit.

We Need to Talk…

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I’m leaving this institution and this state in a couple weeks, so I’m going to get several things off my chest. Are they a little dorky and borderline neurotic? Sure. But you don’t have to read them if you don’t want to, OK?

1. Do NOT show up 15 minutes late to a class that only lasts 45 minutes. Just stay home and pretend you have respect for the professor. I realize you’re simply late to class, and not a fascist dictator, so you shouldn’t be chastised. But actually, you should. What would your mother say? I want to record you strolling in and looking at people like, “What?” and email it to your mother with the subject “LOOK WHAT THEY DID.”

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2. Do your work! Just do it! Don’t come to a class (probably late) in which you have to turn in work, or contribute in some manner, and say, “I didn’t do it” when asked to ante up. You are a grown-ass person who’s made it–SOMEHOW–to college. Just do your work, and then it’ll be done, and then you will no longer be an idiot.

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3. When someone holds the door open for you, say thank you! In this country, it’s considered polite to hold a door open for someone behind you, and the polite response to such an act is bleeping gratitude. Don’t just look at the person who waited for your ass to mosey over to the door as if it was their duty to God and their country to hold the door open specifically for you. Jerk.

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4. Be nice to the lady making your food. Seriously. The attitudes I see toward the people in charge of feeding college students who should know better is embarrassing. Use “yes ma’am,” “no ma’am,” “yes, please,” “no, thank you” and just plain “thank you” throughout that entire interaction, or so help me God, I will lose it. You deserve every long black hair or missing piece of your order you get.

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5. DO NOT go on a social networking rant if you cannot use proper grammar. I mean it. If you don’t know how to use there/their/they’re, to/too, effect/affect, commas or punctuation, just keep to yourself and let the big kids take care of things. You must have thought you were a real cool S.O.B. in school with your faux-hawk, frosted tips or racist clothing brand, but in this day and age the nerds are in charge, and you’re just a dummy with too much gel in his hair and incorrect tattoos.

I’m done.

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I’m Moving in with a Man

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MeanGirls1In a month, I’ll be across the country, in a place where no one knows who I am… except for the man I’m moving there with. Some days this is a comfort. Some days, I think about my drawer of chocolate and how angry I get when it’s empty, and panic that another human being will be susceptible to the Hulk-like outrage.

I just need to wrap my head around a few things:

1. When we fight, I won’t be able to stomp out and go back to my place. I can stomp out, but at some point I’ll have to saunter back, because now my place will be “our place.”

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2. As an extension of No. 1, I’ll have to share the TV fairly. Sports will be inescapable. “Extreme Cheapskates” will make its way into my home, because now it’s “our home.”

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3. I have to find friends other than him in order to maintain my sanity, and to make sure he and I will have something to talk about during commercials when “Extreme Cheapskates” is on.

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4. This man will rely on my cooking skills to survive. So I need to master something other than omelets, boxed mashed potatoes, sautéed mushrooms and blender-less milkshakes.

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It’ll work out somehow. It’s just going to take some getting used to… and a white-board calendar to map out our TV schedules.

 

3 Things My Boyfriend’s Neighbors Taught Me

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He has a beautiful new apartment that he is so incredibly proud of, and of which he is more than deserving. After about seven years of working hard and voluntarily living like the kid who crawls out of the toilet in “Slumdog Millionaire,” my boyfriend now single-handedly composes his own print sports section and is the co-owner of a growing sports news site. Which means, in short, he can live like a quasi-human now.

His neighbors, apparently, cannot.

Five demons live in the apartment next door; three small ones (I guess, I’ve only seen the tiny light-up shoes stomp past the front door) and two big ones.

And here’s what I’ve learned from them so far…

1. Patience is a must, not only as a parent, but as the neighbor of one. No matter how many bodies you hear throwing themselves at the other side of your wall at all hours of the day and night, no matter how much fake-crying, war cries, sacrificial ceremonies or exorcisms you hide under the covers from– breathe. At least you only have to experience it second-hand. Being the one who spawned the clan of devil-clowns means your patience has to be prescribed or bought from a Russian nanny named Hilda. Considering all that, I’m perfectly fine remaining on the other side of the wall, in terror.

Image2. I am not having children until I can house them properly… or in the middle of Siberia. An apartment complex is basically a cheaper dorm room, with thinner walls. And storing your offspring in one is like putting a cocker spaniel in a closet with a dead body. I want my future children to be normal, rowdy kids. That means giving them the environment to finger-paint on the walls out of your field of vision, or plot your demise while making shivs in their tree house.

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3. My babysitting format WILL NOT WORK as my parenting format. “Let’s play ‘Movie Theater!’ Okay, make your movie ticket on this piece of paper, take your tiny bowl of popcorn and watch ‘Finding Nemo’ quietly.” No. After hearing what goes on next door to my boyfriend, I’m going to need a Wii Fit and a bouncy house to get my spawn into bed at a decent time each night. My children will be praying for nap time, and I’ll be the most toned, hottest mom on the block.

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Thank you, awful, terrifying neighbors! Not only am I waiting ten more years to reproduce, but I also have a new appreciation for my own chaotic living quarters!

And honey, thank you for making me more patient at your house by being patient yourself and making me grilled cheeses.