I am 50
This one - this one I don't even think of as any kind of assault. It's just kind of disgusting.
I wasn't hurt. I wasn't scared. I was more - shocked. And then offended.
It didn't occur to me to think of this as anything other than, "Well, that guy was gross."
It's the middle of the afternoon. I am running on the tree-lined streets in my quiet, middle-class neighborhood.
I notice a car parked and a young man sitting inside it. Odd, I think. It's the middle of the day on a work day (I am working from home). Why isn't that guy at work? Why is he just sitting there?
I continue to trot along. Whatever.
A few minutes later, I notice the same guy parked on the next street.
That's really odd.
Do I notice him a third time? Or is the second time enough for me to be nosy and want to give him a Hey if you're casing the neighborhood, I am watching you. You have been seen.
I try to memorize his car and plates. I'm not good at that kind of thing. I would make a horrible detective.
I approach him.
"Hi there!" I say. "I keep seeing you around."
That's a coded, "Dude. What are you doing? This is not common behavior."
He greets me.
"So - what are you doing?"
He tells me that he wants to start an online real-estate business so he is looking at houses for sale in my neighborhood.
Fine. Whatever. I don't really care what you're doing - I just want you to know that you have been seen because your behavior is not the behavior one expects in the middle of a workday.
And this is where I get really stupid and why I'm kind of embarrassed - no, not kind of - completely embarrassed to tell this story and I almost didn't tell it because I feel like I kind of asked for it.
I joke. I joke to dispel the awkward of, "I approached you because I am suspicious hahahaha but really I'm sure there's a perfectly good explanation and this is none of my business anyhow."
I say, "Yeah, I'm pretty sure you're not just following a chubby middle-aged woman out for a run."
It's embarrassing even typing these words.
I should not have said that.
Why did I say that?
Why didn't I just go along on my way?
I am an idiot.
Because apparently,, my comment opens the door for him.
"Oh you got some nice jiggle!" he says.
This is not where I saw things going. I expected him to laugh and be on his way.
But - I stupidly said it.
I laugh nervously.
And he says something about how he likes thick women and is my husband thick --
"We are not having this conversation," I say. I back away.
"No, no, no! Come here!" he says.
And - I see his arm moving up and down.
And. I run.
I am an idiot.