I feel like sharing a personal anecdote. I enjoyed the 3 part series on eating disorders & delving a little deeper than just a one blog rant. I intended with this blog to steer away from anything personal (Just the facts ma’am) but it was fun to weave some story into it as well. This isn’t too deep, dark or personal so don’t worry. Its more of a cautionary tale. Or a “It Could Have Been Me” moment.
For people who question a woman who ask “what was she doing drinking?” “…going home with him?” “…flirting with him?” and all the questions that some women who experience acquaintance rape deal with, I can tell you, people sometimes just don’t know or think something could happen to them because they “know” the person. And no means no right?
So okay, many years ago, I was 22 years old, newly single having just ended a 2+year relationship. I wasn’t looking to date, just people to have fun with. I’m not a one night stand person & have always been upfront about that with guys. Some people of course think if THEY are getting hot, maybe a girl will be getting hot too…yeah, not me, I can put the brakes on just fine. I mean what I say. I say what I mean. So anyways..yes, newly single, still navigating the single world. I’d just lost a good friend in a car accident as well, so “fun” was definitely something I was aiming to do in effort to keep myself occupied.Being 22, this involved clubbing, bars & parties…. Typical for anyone of that age. One night, I was working the closing shift at my job at a bookstore, when this guy I casually knew walked in. I did not know “Jack” that well but he was a friend of my friend who’d just passed away & he was cute and kind of flirty… so I was slightly flirty in return. I was off at 11p and “Jack” invited me to meet up at a nearby bar so at 11pm – for me back then, the night was still young!- I met up with Jack. He had a friend with him. It was relaxed and chill, I drank a few things and probably was a bit buzzed by the end of the night, not fall down sloppy drunk but definitely good & happy. Jack told me he lived downtown and was within walking distance. He asked if I wanted to go over to his place to “hang out.” Now, okay I get it. It was probably not the best idea to go to his place at 1:30-2am after drinking a few solid drinks, but we had been having a good time just chatting , hanging out, etc. I felt safe b/c he had a friend with him and frankly, other than being a little flirty-flirty earlier he didn’t seem overly interested in me. And remember, I was newly single. I was 20 when I met my previous boyfriend and had almost excursively gone to any drinking type engagements with him and never had to worry about safety issues.
So off we trotted to “Jack’s” house. It was a quiet building which was odd for a complex downtown on a Saturday night, but he assured me there were neighbors. He did not have roommates & his friend had not gone with us. I was feeling a little unsure of the situation but he had been perfectly nice so I felt I had nothing to worry about. Anyways we go in, he pulls out some pretzels or whatever, and we sat and chit=chat, very chill right? We were chatting & mid-conversation he just started kissing me. Maybe I should have expected that, but I was honestly surprised, but not entirely put off. I kissed him back, we had a little fun but nothing beyond PG. At some point he did imply he wanted sex & expected me to stay and provide that for him. I told him it’d been fun but I didn’t do the one night stand thing. At which point nice “Jack” turned into not so nice “Jack” (Jerk?) He got up and locked his front door. I’m not sure what he thought he was doing other than trying to intimidate me, but honesty at that point I had had to deal with a few stupid guys in the past month or two and had just about enough of the single life. What’d I do? I got up, unlocked the door & walked (stumbled, staggered…) out. I lived about a mile and half from downtown which I found was very empty by 3am. I proceeded to walk (stumble…stagger..) home cursing myself along the way. “Jack” caught up with me in his car & offered me a ride home. At that point I took the ride cause I was already debating the merits of walking home at 3am half drunk. So we get to my house, I thank him & get out. I go up to my front door, unlock it …and “Jack”s walking right on up with me. I thank him again and start going in. “Jack” stands in my doorway and proceeds to yell at me about being “overly moral” or something like that. He essentially implied I’m obligated to sleep w/ him since I turned him on (um, sorry? thanks?) and took up his Saturday night. He proceeded to rant and rave some more before I told him I wasn’t going to be lectured into sex, it was in no way a turn on for me, that his rantings might wake up other people I lived with & if he didn’t leave I was calling the police. He stood in my doorway a few moments longer & said a few more choice words before finally leaving. In retrospect, I’m glad he wasn’t aggressive and backed off when I threatened him because I had been worried about what he’d do if he called me on my bluff. Because no one else was home. And my phone was in the next room.
Thankfully this story ends more or less well, but it might not have if “Jack” had been more aggressive or truly angry over hearing the word “no.” Sure it wasn’t smart of me to drink with him or go to his house, I’m sure he thought something would come of it but you know what? He didn’t have the right to harass me and yell at be and guilt me for saying no, either. I seriously went to bed and cried. And I never talked to “Jack” again. (PS I plead naivete here. Hindsight is 20/20 as they say….)
I give you this story not because I really feel like getting deep and dark but b/c people see the statistics 1 in 4 and wonder if they are true and how these things happen. In a short survey (a mental tally) of my friends, I’d say those statistics are true. As to “how this can happen”? Sigh. All too easily. I’m just glad in my case, “Jack” took my “no” and went home.
. Stay tuned for part 4 …how to teach people to respect boundaries, the word no and other fine things you shouldn’t do. “How Not to Be a Potential Rapist 101” (Answer: “Dont be a rapist” The End)