I Can’t Hair You

Hello my dears!

This last weekend, my brother was in the process of buying a new car and came across the most cartoonishly bad car salesmen this side of my own car selling days. He’d spent two days working through the deal only to have a wave of attempted swindling bring it all crashing down. If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a shitty sales pitch, you know how frustrating it can all be.

If you’re a nice, quiet lad my like brother, you might also discover yourself being run around in circles and finding it really hard to get anyone to listen to your “No.”

So, I was called in as the muscle. Or the mouth. Either way, I was recruited to go with him and make sure these dudes understood NO MEANS NO and could he please just have the keys to his car back, please.

I’m super good at being tough for other people, while still firmly unable to stand up for myself. I’m an enigma. Or something.

Anyway, while we were standing in the dealership waiting for the sales dude to secretly fetch another manager to woo my bro, someone wrapped their arm around my waist. My first thought was someone I knew was in the room and had come over to say hi.

I turned and saw a dude I have never seen in my life. And his arm was around my waist. With his hand curled right around my ribs the way my husband holds me when we walk in a cuddly mood.

The dude I don’t know but is still holding me gives me this leery smile and says, “I just really love your hair.”

I wriggled away, said, “Uh, thanks.” and then whipped around to hiss, “That. Dude. Just. Grabbed. My. Waist.” to my brother. Who hadn’t noticed as he was standing, gripped by terror as the car sales guy made his way back.

I’ve debated for the last 24 hours whether or not to call and report the guy, but honestly, he was there, he groped, and he was gone. That was it. I don’t know who he was and I didn’t see him again.

I shuddered all the way home. Seriously. That wasn’t okay. Who the fuck goes up to a person they don’t know and touches them in a way that I’d consider fairly intimate.

If my now husband had tried that upon our first meeting, he’d be less my husband and more “that guy I got a restraining order against that one time.”

Now, here’s the thing; this isn’t even the first time a male creature has come up to me, fascinated by my hair, and decided said hair was an open invitation to touch me.

Last year, while waiting in line at a gas station, I was mindlessly listening to music when someone started running their fingers through my goddamn hair.

If you’ve never had fingers run through your hair unexpectedly, I can assure you, the sensation is creepy as fuck.

I yanked out my headphones and wheeled around. “What they hell are you doing!?’

There stood a guy, smiling, not at all aware I was two seconds from punching him or reaching for a rape whistle. “I wanted to see if your hair is real.”

That was his whole reasoning. That was it. He wondered if my dyed blue hair was real, he felt this entitled him to run his fingers through my hair to check.

A few months later, again in line at a gas station, but this time without headphones because it makes me nervous now to not hear what’s happening around me in gas stations, with no warning at all, a guy walks up to me, reaches out, grabs a chunk of blue hair, and yanks on it.

HE PULLED MY FUCKING HAIR.

This time, thanks to the fucking OW of it all, I reflexively smacked his hand away and screamed at him.

“I wanted to see if it was attached.”

ASKLDHFKJDSHKJAGSDKJGADSAJKGKAJDGSAHGKASGLHSGDLJSGDLAJSGDL

Again. A random dude. A different random dude, no less, had a curiosity about my hair and felt entitled to touch me.

Side note: I think back to this often. What if it hadn’t been attached? What if it was just clipped in there and a clump of blue fucking hair fell off into his hand? What was the potential endgame here? Either it was real and he is yanking hair growing from my actual scalp, or he is yanking on fake hair that is going to be pulled off. There is no winning in that situation, for anyone. WHAT WAS HE GOING FOR!?

 

*mutters zen like phrases*

I get that my hair is kind of kooky and is an invitation to others to be curious, but how hard is it to just say, ‘Oh, hey, your hair. Is it real/attached/made of Muppet?’ without touching a stranger!?

The thing is, I’m actually very nonchalant about interacting with strangers, so if one of them had come up and said something about my hair, and then asked me if they could touch it, I probably would let them.

Whenever I chaperone my daughter’s field trips through school, the first thing that happens when I walk into the class are about a dozen kids come running up asking questions about my hair. And damn near everyone of those tykes asks if they can touch it.

That’s right, small children have better social manners than these men.

In case anyone is curious or uninformed, let me lay this out: Don’t ever touch people without their consent. Not ever. Do not ever walk up to a stranger you have never seen or spoken to in your life and put your hands on them for any reason other than maybe they are on fire and your hands are made of water and even then YOU SHOULD PROBABLY ASK FIRST JUST TO BE SAFE.

Or at least let them know they are on fire.

Seriously, don’t touch strangers. Don’t do it.

And I don’t care if they have brightly colored hair or the fabric of their dress looks soft, or they look friendly and like they won’t care.

DO. NOT. TOUCH. PEOPLE. WITHOUT. THEIR. CONSENT.

Feel free to compliment folks. People love that. Genuinely makes a person’s day to hear you dig something about them.

When people stop me in the store or on a street to compliment my hair? I beam like I’m about to burst into flames. It makes my whole day.

When people touch me inappropriately to compliment my hair? It makes me feel scared and small and vulnerable.

I am still shuddering over the way that guy’s hand felt on my waist yesterday. Seriously. I’ve had weird things happen in my life, but that was just so out of fucking nowhere it has me chilled.

I’m tired of being nervous when I go out in public of what creepy ass people are going to do that day. I hate that I’m scared to death of gas stations now because seriously what the fuck is my luck at gas stations? It makes my heart hurt that my husband genuinely worries extra hard when I go places on my own because who the hell am I going to run into this time?

Just because someone looks “different” doesn’t erase their right to give consent and not be man-handled by strangers. There is exactly nothing that justifies overlooking someone’s right to NOT BE FREAKING GROPED BY STRANGERS.

That’s it. The end. Full stop.

*deep breath*

Okay. Now that we’ve got this sorted.

I hope you all are having the most fantastic of weeks!

Until next time,

Peace, Love, and Pay-at-the-Pump 4-LYFE

4 Comments

  1. I gained 50# when I was pregnant with my first child.
    No, not on purpose.
    But thanks for asking.
    I had complete strangers come up and run my big, Buddha belly when I was pumping gas.
    Yes. Gas stations are apparently places where one must be careful.
    🙂

  2. You seem to get the strange people! I hate car buying and my experience the past couple of months sucked! But going back to your story…some men are disquieting. No touching!!!

  3. Funny you should post this. I met a fellow female in a public restroom (museum, not gas station) this past weekend. She had some of the cutest hair to ever grace a woman’s head. Rainbow colors, curls, flowers in her hair.

    What did I do?

    I said, “I love your hair. And those flowers are rockin’.”

    I then proceed into a stall to complete my business while she returned the compliment. No feely-feels were exchanged.

    That’s how it should be done, people.

  4. OMG! Where the f*ck do you live? The sixth circle of Hell? Oh wait, maybe these are the signs of the impending apocalypse… O-o

    I would NEVER go up to a stranger and start touching them. Such an invasion of space.

    Sending a squad of bodyguards for Fizzygrrl STAT!

    🙂 MRS N

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