Today I had an encounter that left me feeling icky.
Jason worked from home to handle our flat tire scenario (last night as I jumped in the good ol’ Blazer after a friend’s jewelry show across town and attempted to pull away I knew something was terrible wrong and it was confirmed when I realized my tire was completely flat). After a friend husband volunteered to put my spare on for me I made it home safe. As an aside I usually tend to think of myself as an independent strong woman but anything involving cars breaking down (or electronics) I seem to revert to the dumb blondie stereotype and “need” a man to help me with my automobile woes- why is that? Perhaps this is a deeper serious, perhaps even systemic issue I need to address at a later date but for now back to my story….
Since we need to drive to Cedar Rapids on Friday we knew the tire had to be fixed asap and since I am babysitting for the next few days Jason volunteered to work from home today and thus be able to steal away to get the tire fixed so that I would not have to haul Anni with me and wait the hour while it was repaired. This act secured his ranks among the Awesome Hubbies of the Universe.
So before he left I made Annikah lunch and quick darted out to run an errand close by. As I was returning home I was stopped at a red light on Sheridan and was applying chap stick (an addiction of mine that in and of itself remains a topic for another time). As I was closing the overhead mirror I became acutely aware that I was being starred at so I quickly turned and looked out my open window (hallelujah for warm weather!!). There was a Chicago Police van-truck thing (again with my car idiot-ness) with two very stereotypical large Chicago police officers (picture “Da Bears: SNL skit here). The officer in the passenger seat leaned out his window and said “hey, baby, you look great.” Immediately my skin began to crawl and I felt dirty, uncomfortable was not the word. It took every once of self control not to say something equally rude back to him but I decided in that instance to breathe a heavy audible exhale of disgust and ignore the behavior. We were only sitting next to each other at the light for probably 45 seconds but it felt forever as I knew they were sharing “thatta boys” and probably an array of other abhorrent comments. He continued to try to get my attention by again saying “you look so good…hey baby.” I wish I could better describe the way he said it but I was keenly aware of my gender in a way that made me feel small. Why do men do this? Did they not have mothers who raised them to respect women? Do they really think we as women will suddenly feel an overwhelming desire to reply “hey I am YOUR baby, I have all my life been waiting for a man to say that to me….wanna go back to my place?” Are they completely delusional?What is it?
I should have gotten the truck number but I was too busy speeding away from them as soon as the light turned green. It also made me upset with myself that I would even allow this jerk to make me feel bad or uncomfortable. I know there are many great, heroic even police officers out there so by no means am I characterising the police force by these 2 “ickos” but my dealings with Chicago’s finest today left me wondering who exactly they serve and protect.