Smile.

“Smile,” the man shouts from the safety of his beat up ’98 Camry.

I turn to face my heckler.

“Come on, why ain’t you smiling?” he says to me while leaning out the driver’s side window.

As a 21-year-old woman, I wish I could tell you that this is the first time something like this has happened to me. I wish I could speak for all women and say that being verbally harassed on the street is a rarity. Unfortunately, I can’t.

While the topic of harassment is more ubiquitous than ever, I still can’t seem to walk to my college campus without someone hollering obscenities out their car window or telling me to smile. Walking through downtown Columbia after sundown without a catcall is a nearly impossible feat for females on their own. That’s not a statistic I read online. That’s personal experience.

Last year, a video was released in which a woman walked the streets of New York for 10 hours to capture what it’s like to be harassed on a daily basis. She’s dressed in everyday garb and wearing an average amount of makeup, yet she is bothered numerous times.

Now, if you don’t know me, I feel it necessary to inform you that I’m a pretty modest girl. I tend to thoroughly cover all the bits and pieces, plus a huge Goodwill sweater. But does that stop perverse idiots from making a scene? Apparently not.

Just the other day, I was on my way to my campus ministry wearing jeans and a flannel (a fairly lumberjack look, if I dare say). On the way, a truckload of college-aged guys felt the need to stick their heads out the window and yell crude things to me. I wasn’t fazed. I didn’t give them more than a glance. That’s what women learn to do. Acknowledgement gives these belittlers what they desire: attention and empowerment.

Two hours later, I was walking to a coffee shop after my ministry. As I was headed up Ninth Street, I saw a group of men. My instincts told me to cross the street, so I did. But as luck would have it, my intuition led me astray and I walked straight into my next harasser.

“I’ll give you $500 right now.”

Excuse me? I hope you’re offering me money because I look like a psychiatrist that can fix your disgusting personality.

“Sorry?” I replied, dumbfounded.

“Five-hundred dollars. Right now.”

“Bye,” was the only response I could muster as I walked right on past. I was so shocked that, at 8:45 p.m. on a Tuesday night, this would happen to me on a street I usually feel comfortable.

What was it, Mr. Middle-Aged Stranger? Was I just really rocking my flannel? Did my rushed walk make you think I was interested in what you had to say? Did my sports bra give the impression that I was a prostitute?

Granted, it was after dark and I was alone. “I should have known better.” I’d put myself in that situation by walking on a lit street three whole minutes from my campus fully clothed with a backpack in tow and DumDum sucker in hand.

It’s baffling. What the hell is going through the minds of these imbeciles? (I’m looking at you, douchey college boys.) Why is it that my female friends have to consciously think, “Will it be dark when I leave this event? I don’t want to have to be in a parking garage at night. I guess I’ll pay more to park on the street so that I’ll have witnesses.” Why aren’t more people aware?

I would never ask a guy friend to walk me home (mostly because I’m too self-confident in my Tai-Kwon-Do skills and too naive to acknowledge the danger of streets at night), but they rarely offer or ask if I feel uncomfortable. The world women live in is much different than our male counterparts. They can walk home in a drunken state from the bars at 2 a.m., but if I were to attempt the same feat, I’d MUCH more likely be taken advantage of. And it’d be my fault. I shouldn’t have been so stupid. I should’ve worn a longer skirt. My leggings were too tempting.

COULD THAT BE MORE IGNORANT? Who believes that anyway? You know how to stop sexual harassment? DON’T SEXUALLY HARASS PEOPLE. Why can’t I feel safe in my own town just because I have a different downstairs mix-up?

To bring us full circle, if you haven’t heard about the dumbass of a reporter at Serena Williams’s press conference this week, let me give you a little insight. Don’t ask one of the greatest athletes of our generation why she isn’t smiling. You’ll get a response like, “To be perfectly honest I just don’t want to be here right now.” And to be perfectly honest, I would have been much more rude. That reporter is just lucky Serena is a classy lady.

So a little food for thought next time you or a friend consider catcalling a girl to “make her feel good about herself,” don’t. And ladies, next time some dude is a perverted arse, ignore him, don’t give him the satisfaction of a response. He has a lot to deal with anyway with his tiny penis and all.

P.S. To the next guy to tell me to smile, I’m going to punch you in the throat.

awksmile

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Single Girl Diaries: The Stranger

Have you ever had a crush on a stranger that you see ALL THE TIME. You don’t know their name, where they’re from, what they do for fun, if they’re a dog or cat person, what their favorite band is, etc. They’re a stranger.

total_stranger

You see them regularly—maybe at your favorite study spot or Chipotle. Sometimes you stare too long. Sometimes you accidentally find yourself drooling.

Ryan-Reynolds-Drooling-Reaction-Gif

You fantasize an entire life together:

  1. Work up the courage to introduce yourself.
  2. Instantly fall in love.
  3. Love leads to numerous, perfectly-planned dates.
  4. Then marriage.
  5. Then world travel
  6. Maybe some kids (meh)
  7. Settle down
  8. Mind-numbing 9-5 job.
  9. Come home and spend the evening talking about life and movie plots.
  10. Die within 10 minutes of each other at an old age in your sleep.

happilyeverafter

I skipped a few other details, but you get the picture.

I have one of these stranger crushes. I call him “The Barista.”

coffee2

He wears flannel, has the perfect haircut/beard combo, and is super nice and charming.

The other day, I ordered my mocha latte from him. He spelled my name correctly on the receipt (swoon), then told me to stick around because it’d be done in a minute. It was a long minute, but I didn’t mind. I got to watch him craft my coffee. He then filled the mug to the brim in an attempt to create an intricate flower pattern out of steaming milk. It lead to an awkward sipping from the counter so I wouldn’t spill, but he was very funny about it.

Go-ahead-flirt-barista

I don’t know his name and I know I’ll never actually say anything other than “Mocha, please” and “Can you punch my card?” (see previous blog).

So this is to you, nameless barista. Thank you for always making me smile and producing the most delicious mocha I’ve ever had. I look forward to many more daydreams of our (non) life together.

(Is this weird?)

Single Girl Diaries: Can Girls Ask Out Guys?

FIRST OFF:

I’d like to clarify for those readers that may believe the title of this post to be an obvious answer. I know girls CAN ask out guys. The answer is very much yes. I’m very pro gender equality/I’m very opposed to the stereotypical gender roles placed on us.

feminism

 

HOWEVER, can I ask a guy out?

(This is much less of a “gender equality” thing and much more of a “how the hell do I get the courage to do this” thing.)

awk

 

I was raised in a fairly traditional, conservative household. Therefore, I was raised to expect men to be extremely chivalrous. I expect guys to be kind and thoughtful and hold doors and ask me out (mostly I’m terrified of asking them).

chivalry

 

Seriously though. Kudos to you, guys. It takes a lot of guts to put yourself out there. Rejection is one of my greatest fears in life, so I feel ya.

smack

So how do I, as a timid female, ask out the really great guy I’ve been crushing on?

Guys: Does it make you feel un-masculine when a girl asks you out? Also, I feel like if I have to do the asking, it’s because you aren’t interested? Is this true? Someone answer my questions.

confused2

 

This is a very one-thought post. I don’t really have anything else. I just need answers because this is something I’m considering but have no idea what I’m doing so weeeeeee.

kid-running-from-fish

 

PEACE,

Ellise

Single Girl Diaries: Dear Boys

Dear Boys,

Here’s the thing. I have no idea what I’m doing. I have no idea what I want. I don’t know how to flirt and I sure as hell don’t know if you’re flirting with me. I’ve never really been kissed. I’ve never been on a cute date. And I’ve not had a boyfriend in six years.(Which let’s be honest. A relationship at 14 is not a relationship.)

I’m attracted to the guys that would never notice me, aren’t good for me, or are too good for me. The unattainable are just so appealing. (Someone back me up on this, amirite?)

HEATH

Also, if I like you, you’re going to think I hate you. Or I’m rude. Or really awkward (which I am). Buzzfeed recently produced a video that perfectly captures this aspect of me and made me finally feel like I’m not alone.

flirting

If I like you, I am hyperaware of your presence, but pretend not to see you. If you like me, you’ll have to address me because I’m awkward and won’t say anything (usually because I’ve convinced myself you hate me for some reason or another). If you address me, my voice is not my normal speaking voice and I try to act as blasé as possible. I’ll also turn the color of a tomato because my body thinks it’s hilarious to give away my secrets.

yourewrong

*Please note that this is not my real personality. I’m actually funny and caring (or so I like to think). I also tend to mockingly insult you. Sorry. Please just know it’s the way my mind reacts to you speaking to me.

awkward

I don’t date very often because I don’t get asked. My friends tell me it’s because people are intimidated by me (but I think they’re just saying that for my self-esteem). LOL. I’m the least intimidating person. Ever. In the whole world. I’m like a spider. I’m much more afraid of you than you are of me. (Except not poisonous or deadly.)

laugh

So here’s the point. I know I’m not alone in this (at least that’s what I’m trying to convince myself). I’m speaking to you, dear reader that is wasting your valuable time looking at my silly gifs. We’re all terrified. It’s okay to be terrified. Try not to be intimidated by others. Don’t fear rejection. What’s the worst that will happen? They say no? Then you part ways as friends or happy acquaintances with no bitter feelings. C’est la vie, non?

reject

Most importantly, why should we feel pressured to be dating at all? Why is it that anytime I see a relative, they ask if I’m seeing someone? Can I not be a happy, independent 20-something woman without a man? I have amazing friends and family, a great God, a beautiful life, and tons of coffee. Sure it wouldn’t hurt to have someone to snuggle and watch movies with, but that’s what dogs are for, right?

heaven

Single Girl Diaries: An Ode to My Secret Love

I take a deep breath and open the door.

The atmosphere instantly heats the chill of the evening air.

I spot you across the room and slowly saunter up.

I say your name, filling me with butterflies.

I know we’ll be together in a few short moments.

Time stands still as I ache to hear my name.

You’re too far. I’m found wanting.

“Ellise.”

I turn in your direction.

You’re waiting for me, perfect and sweet.

I reach out and hug you to me for warmth.

Your aroma is heavenly.

I take the first sip and all is right in the world.

My mocha latte and I are finally together.

james

Single Girl Diaries — My ALMOST Date

Part I-Meeting

It was a beautiful Sunday evening. I was atop the University Parking Garage taking photos for an Advanced Techniques of Photojournalism assignment in which I had to take photos of the same thing every three hours from dawn until dusk. It had been a long day, but it was my final trek up the four flights of stairs and I just wanted to get it over with.

Within a few moments, I was set up and ready to shoot (photos). It really was lovely. I was enjoying a light breeze and the natural sounds from the streets below me. Then I heard something out of place and really close. I turned around and saw the back of a boy riding away on a longboard. Cool, I thought. Then a second boy on a longboard went by. I smiled and waved this time, then turned back to my work.

A few minutes later, someone called out to me asking what I was doing. I was startled, but it was just the longboarders. Cute longboarders.

After my quick explanation, our conversation took a quick turn. We began to talk about a vast array of things from underwater caving to spaghetti donuts. There was never a lull in the conversation. It was great.

I couldn’t help but laugh at the fact that I was making fast friends on the top of a parking garage. As the sun disappeared below the horizon and the light began to fade, I decided it was time for me to go. (I had a lot of work to do or else I would have stayed.) With a casual “see ya later,” we parted ways.

I descended the staircase with my clunky gear and made it to the street below only to see one of the longboarders standing in the road. I thought little of it. They’d told me they lived nearby. So it caught be by surprise when he called out my name. I walked over all suave and confident (lol. because I’m super suave and cool and stuff).

He then, in the most adorable fashion, asked for my phone number and if I’d like to get coffee sometime. WHAT. Is this real life? Did that just happen to me? An attractive, funny, cool guy just asked for my number? I had to consciously remind myself to answer out loud (I obviously said yes) and he handed me his iPhone. We parted ways after that and I giggled like a school girl all the way to my apartment.

My reaction

My reaction

Part II-Texting

Sk8r boi waited the appropriate amount of time before texting me without seeming too eager (24 hours). He opened with the fact that he’d been on the parking garage again and expected to see me, and ended with asking me to coffee on Wednesday. I told him I’d have to check my SUPER busy schedule, but yes.

We proceeded to text the rest of the night. I think we discussed emojis for an hour. It was my kind of conversation. The next night, a very similar thing occurred. He told me I was slacking not being on the parking garage and I told him I was at my campus ministry. We then spoke (typed) until midnight.

channing-tatum-animated-gif-6

Part III-Wednesday

It was the day. He asked to get coffee Wednesday. It was Wednesday. I was freaking out. I’d spoken to several friends about it (because I don’t know how to date and whatnot), but felt reassured. But as the day wore on, I heard nothing. No “Hey, what’s a good time for you?” Nothing.

I didn’t want to initiate the conversation. I mean, this was his thing. He asked me, right? But at 7 o’clock, I decided I’d waited long enough.

“Hey, where did you want to get coffee?” I asked.

His response? He forgot. “We might have to reschedule for next week. Is that cool?”

Of course that was cool. I’m forgetful. I do that kind of thing all the time. We hadn’t actually set a time or place and coffee was only mentioned once two nights prior. So I gave him the benefit of the doubt and said yes.

Then nothing. No more conversation. No reschedule. Nothing.

Did I do something wrong?

What could have happen in that short period of time to abruptly end things? There was zero commitment. I’m even hesitant to call it a date. We were just getting coffee, for goodness sake. Was he really just that forgetful?

confused

Part IV-Aftermath

So that was it. I didn’t hear from him anymore. We did have a run-in a few days later, but it was very brief and kind of awkward. It also ended with a “see ya later” rather than a “we still need to get coffee.”

Since then, I’ve seen him everywhere. No, I’m not stalking him. No, he’s not stalking me. But we apparently have similar taste in coffee shop hangouts and outdoor spaces. It’s even gotten to the point where I texted him and told him to stop showing up where I am. (I was trying to be cute and flirty, obviously.) He lol’ed and told me to say hi next time.

But that was it. Also, one of my besties (and mutual friend of sk8r boi) decided to take it upon himself to discover the answer to my question by subtly mentioning me in conversation. Sk8r boi responded (on his own accord) that he’d met me, I was pretty cool and that he’d asked me to coffee, but had been really busy.

So is he interested? Is he not? Was he really just busy? Do people think these things through? Has he even thought about it? Am I crazy to put this much thought into this? UGH. SOMEONE TAKE AWAY MY INTERNET.

uncomfortable

(Also, if he (sk8r boi) somehow stumbles across this blog, please know that I am not crazy. I just overthink things and write about them for reassurance. Please disregard this post. I’m pretty normal and mildly funny.)

Ugh. Whateva,

Ellise

Single Girl Diaries — The Return

During the course of this past spring semester, I was fortunate enough to write a weekly column for The Maneater, the University of Missouri’s student-run paper. However, this year I’ll be writing for The Columbia Missourian and unable to continue my weekly column. The good news is, I have a blog. 

Now I’m not promising a weekly look into my lackluster love-life, but I will be keeping anyone bored enough to read this updated. 

My column, the Single Girl Diaries —or SGD, as I affectionately refer to it—began as a fun joke for myself. I enjoy making others laugh and what better way than through my personal experiences? So I started off with a personal favorite of mine: I Heart to Fart. But as my stories progressed, I began to learn more about myself. I’ll be the first to admit that my writing is extremely subpar and I (more often than I wish to admit) wrote my column in the hour before it was due. But it was my happy place. I’ve never loved/hated writing so much. When I couldn’t think of something to say, I sat and fumed, angry with myself for not having a topic, but when I did have a story, my fingers flew across the keyboard as I recounted my tales. The Single Girl Diaries was my own version of Carrie Bradshaw’s Sex and the City column, sans sex and city. It was my time to put everything on the table and spill my thoughts. So now that I have even more freedom to write what I want, when I want, prepare yourselves. The Single Girl Diaries are back, less censored and unedited. 

To start things off, I’ll update you on my summer love life. It didn’t exist. I did get invited on a milk run by a cute guy from work, so that’s exciting. But we literally bought milk. Strawberry. He bought it for me. It was great. I haven’t really spoken with him since. 

Now that we’re all caught up on that, I’d like to briefly address the topic of crushes. Crushes appear so innocent, but they can be a dangerous thing. I mean, come on. It’s literally called a CRUSH. As in crush my heart and dreams if you don’t like me back. 

So I have a crush (let’s be honest, multiple crushes). But I don’t know what to do about it. I don’t know if they think I’m flirting or just being nice. Honestly, I can’t tell myself. I also barely know them, so I don’t know what to say to them or talk about. I can usually muster a nice conversation about mutual classes, but that’s a sure dead end.

What next? How about this weather? Do you like piña coladas? Cool. I can’t drink. How about walking in the rain? No? You hate rain? Cool… I’ll just turn around and walk away now. 

I struggle with conversation. I don’t know what to say. I freeze up. My stomach drops. Gosh, I sound like I’m 13-years-old. I pretty much am. Twenty going on 12 sounds about right. 

I’ve decided to compile several GIFs (pronounced JIF, you ignorant heathens) to give you an idea of me flirting.

21-jump-street When I try to talk to someone attractive.

community-abed Trying to flirt.

kristen-wigg-lick Trying to look cute.

lizze-mcguire-dawg Trying to sound cool/hip.

spongebob-hides Hiding after everything goes terribly wrong.

 

So here’s where I stand: I really like this guy. He barely knows I exist. I only know I really like him thanks to the evil that is social media. I don’t know what to do. I swiped right for him on Tinder a week ago and he hasn’t swiped me. It’s driving me crazy. I need to stop now. I also really need to delete my Tinder…

Thanks for reading my weird, thoughtless rant about being awkward. Hopefully I’ll have more to report in the future. 

Signing off – Ellise