Wow. I would have thought having a 9 month old baby strapped to my chest and a rock on my finger would be enough to ward off all creeps, all the time. Sadly... NOT TRUE! Maybe twins would have done the trick.
In an earlier post I mentioned that practicing law (specifically, litigation) causes one to become generally suspicious of others. "That's a lie," you think automatically, as soon as something sounds implausible and works to the benefit of the sayer (like people using the hit list... for "family emergencies" spanning extended periods of time ... right around Memorial Day weekend...). But as I wrote that post I also had in the back of my mind the countless passes made at me (and other female associates) at one of the law firms I worked for. Talk about a lesson against naivete. Having attended the dry campus of St. Olaf College - where I only one time had alcohol on campus and it was with girlfriends over fine cheese and bread - and then following that with marriage to a super-wholesome guy (who insists on remaining nameless in this blog) and three years of burying myself in legal books, I was not prepared for the "frat boy" environment I was thrown into a week after I sat for the bar exam.
Two months into my first year we had a "retreat" - it amounted to two full nights of binge drinking. By the way, this was the top practice group of a very reputable, larger firm. When a newly minted junior partner threw his keys at me and announced that I was driving him home, I thought he meant because I was the only sober person left and the brilliant organizer had stuck me in a house with him and another male associate. Ten minutes later his hand was on my leg and he was sweetly whispering the obvious: "You're not wearing your seatbelt" (I always do... but our cabin was like a block away). When I nervously put my seatbelt on - which necessarily moved his hand away - he sat back, annoyed, and said "Fine. If that's how you want to play it." Welcome to the legal world, where nobody is under the illusion that million-dollar sexual harassment lawsuits are common or successful.
Anyway, you'd think I'd have learned: The wholesome Olaf boys with their sweet natures and churchy Minnesotan niceness are not, in fact, the norm. But no, sadly, I needed another reminder: Many men are creeps.
So the pickup line even worse than "You're not wearing your seat belt is" is this:
"Well [referring to the baby] ... he didn't get your beautiful eyes."
I'm sorry... excuse me? Are you blind as a bat?? My baby's eyes are the most beautiful I have EVER looked into and implying otherwise is downright offensive.
|The Most Beautiful Eyes in the World. Obviously!|
He was about 40 years old, and used Matthew as a way to open conversation with me (before implying his eyes weren't beautiful...). He showed me pictures of his twin 11 year old daughters and seemed polite, married, and a doting dad. A self-described "conservative" from Michigan. He started talking about the business he owned and his employee and his employee's wife sitting in front of us, who also liked the baby. But that's when the creepiness started. The comment about my eyes. Talking nonstop, which was *literally* painful and my neck is still hurting two days later from having to have it turned to the side while he spoke on (and on and on and on). I started noticing he was dropping a little too much information about how successful his company is and his wealthy lifestyle. Ugh. Then he asked me how old I was... ugh. One problem flying with a baby (just one out of at least twenty): You can't pull a book out and read it, or put in your ipod earbuds. Nope. If you've got a baby on your lap, you have no way of isolating yourself from others without looking like a bad, inattentive parent - unless the baby naps, which M did not.
Towards the end he whispered something in my ear. Shocked, and unable to believe he said what I thought he did, I looked at him confused and said "What?" He whispered it again - ewwww. It was "You're very beautiful." "Uh, thanks," I said awkwardly. Then, to my horror, he put his business card on the chair arm between us. After a few agonizing seconds wondering whether it would be rude not to take it, M saved me by picking up the card and eating it. Apparently, he wasn't much impressed with Creepo.