After work yesterday, I ran a few errands. One of them was at the Office Depot. My goal was to get ink and get it fast, but I was held up by a woman who couldn't make up her mind about which flash drive to get—the 514 MB or the 2 G. The cashier and another guy were both competing with whom could explain the differences in layman terms the best.
After a few moments passed, a young couple got in line behind me. Their deep passionate kissing was hard to ignore. I smiled a bit because I've had uncontrollable displays of affection in the past but not as down and dirty as this kiss was getting. When they broke apart the guy said in a very deep boom, “I love how you taste in my mouth.”
This comment broke the contest up and all three of the flash drive squadron turned to stare at them. I didn't. But I could feel the girl's embarrassment. In a tight voice, she said, “I wish you wouldn't say stuff like that in public. You know I hate it.”
I waited for his apology and I think the others did too but instead he gave a satisfied laugh. He knew that this got under her skin and he liked it. With a whisper I said to myself, “Please don't let him get away with this...say ...say ...something.”
But she didn't. She stood in an uncomfortable silence that amplified with each breath. I was reminded of something or rather two things that happened years ago. The first was during my college reign. I was briefly dating a cute fun guy who never tried to go beyond first base. My roommate would leave us alone when he visited, winking as she left as if to say “Get laid.” But the only laying that was done was unopened text books on the bed.
After about two weeks, I decided to end the 'friendship'. So the next time he visited, we hung out in my dorm room but this time when we made out he had Roman hands. But he was a little too late. I had lost interest in finding out how endowed he was and if he could use it. When the time came to leave, I tried to think of how to break it to him that this was our last tango of tongues. We got on the elevator with two other girls. They stood in the corner by the button panel. We were in the opposite corner. Total silence accompanied us until he said in a loud voice, “Babe, the next time I visit you I'm gonna eat you really good.”
The girls gasped then giggled. I turned red and stared at him. But he wasn't looking at me, he was watching the reaction of the girls with a happy face. His goal with that statement wasn't to turn me on or to get me excited about a possible oral sex feast, it was to shock the girls in the elevator. And I wasn't going to have that...no way would I face them every day and wonder if they were thinking of me and him, wondering if he ever ate me.
So I said, “Come on Tim, we both know that if you had the choice to eat me or tacos, the tacos would win—hands down.” His shocked expression was priceless. The girls laughter was too. He departed from the elevator in two shades of red.
Every time I saw those girls (they seemed to be everywhere together), one or the other would say “Tacos or you?” and they would both laugh really hard at the joke. I was proud of myself for taking control of the situation and I bet he's never done that again.
The next time such an incident happened was in late 2000. I was on one of the blind dates from hell that those of us who are brave enough to face the blind date demon encounter. He was a nice guy but a bit boring. We had little in common and I was glad to get out of there after the meal was finished. I had parked my car in front of the entrance. On a bench by it, sat a couple of teenage boys smoking. They were either waiting for seating or waiting for dates. My date and I stood outside my car. I had opened the door and it was between us. I kept saying, “Well, that was nice” and looking at my watch as a covert means of saying I had to go.
He said in a booming voice (why do embarrassing moments like these have to be amplified?), “My penis will miss you.”
His... his what?
The teens laughed so hard they almost fell off the bench. I saw my date give them a sideways glance without turning his head. He didn't mean that statement as a compliment or a come on. He meant it to get some laughs from those kids. I felt a flash of anger but controlled it—barely. Instead I said, “Really? Wow! What a predicament your penis is in! Missing something it never had. Wow!”
This sent the boys into another spasm of laughter. My date's forehead became another shade of embarrassment. He turned away without another word and I never heard from him again.
Experiences like these aren't created for the pleasure of the recipient of the statement. They are made to exploit embarrassment and discomfort. If you let someone create this atmosphere around you, then you let them gain control of your discomfort. The only way to stop this is to take control and turn the tables.
I wanted to tell that girl at the Office Depot this, but I don't think she would have listened. Not everyone is able to turn the tables around in their favor. Which is really a pity.