Standing in line is hazardous to my mental health

While we were in Boston on Sunday I had a stupid encounter with a stupid guy waiting in line for a stupid bathroom at Starbucks that’s been bothering me ever since.

As a pregnant woman, nothing sucks more than needing to pee only to discover a super-long line, except for needing to pee only to discover a super-long line that rude people keep trying to cut into. But as a clearly pregnant woman I don’t think I need to feel guilty about telling a guy to wait his turn when he saunters up to the front of the line and tries the door handle on the bathroom.

Me: Excuse me, there’s a line.
Mr. No-social-skills: I’m looking for the restroom.
Me: This is the line for the restroom. We’re all waiting.
Rest of people in line: THIS IS THE LINE. THE END IS OVER THERE.
Mr. No-social-skills: This is ridiculous. Mutter mutter mutter.

He then became the self-appointed bathroom police and took great joy in announcing THIS IS THE LINE to everyone who walked within 20 feet of the door, including the lady wrangling four kids who looked like she might cry. He also kept staring at me and then rolling his eyes if I looked in his direction, which was getting on my last nerve even before this exchange:

Lady with four kids: Wow, this line is really slow.
Mr. No-social-skills (catching my eye): It is! It’s slow! So slow! I think this is all YOUR fault!
Me: *silence*
Mr. No-social-skills: I said it’s your fault! The line is long because you’re pregnant!
Me: …I don’t see how.
Mr. No-social-skills: Ha ha! But it is! I’m making a joke!
Me: I don’t think it’s funny.
Mr. No-social-skills: Jeez, some people have no sense of humor. Why don’t you smile?

Dude, I get it. You’re at the kindly old man stage of your life, where you think being jovial and friendly means you can get away with anything you want in public. And I’m youngish and blond and alone, not to mention I have the audacity to be FEMALE which automatically means I have to be sweet to you in exchange for your witty banter. THOSE ARE THE RULES FOR THE WOMENZ.

Unfortunately, I don’t feel like being polite. I have to PEE. My toddler is over there crying because he can see me but isn’t allowed out of his stroller. I have five people waiting for me, not to mention a coffee that is getting colder by the minute. There’s also a rumor that the toilet in this bathroom is broken (it was) so depending on what the slightly creepy guy in front of me does in there I may not be able to use it at all (It ended up just being the flush handle that was broken, so I pulled the lid off the back and pushed the lever manually – unlike the DOZEN people before me who couldn’t figure that out).

It was just so awkward and uncomfortable and miserable to be trapped there, already physically uncomfortable, only to be dealing with a guy who was trying to make me participate in some sort of social interaction he thought he was entitled to. To be honest, I would rather have a dozen women try to feel my belly than deal with one dude like that. It makes me want to go back to hiding in my living room like a hermit, avoiding social interaction in general just so I don’t have to deal with…PEOPLE. At least for the next 11 weeks.

(Disclaimer: being told to SMILE in public is just about my biggest pet peeve ever, so if your reaction to MY reaction is “Jeeze, take a chill pill hormonal pregnant lady” I’ll understand.)

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17 Responses to “Standing in line is hazardous to my mental health”

  1. sarrible says:

    I think you should have screamed at him. Bet that would make him think twice about being a jackass in public.

  2. MKP says:

    I’ve never been preggers and I HATE being told to smile, hate being engaged when I’ve clearly indicated that I’m in my Private Cone of Silence, and HATE having noises made “at me” in any context. I was riding my bike yesterday and a dumbass who almost hit me with his car (I had the light, he was turning left against traffic) SCREECHED at me when I glared at him. People need to STFU sometimes. Often.

    • bebehblog says:

      I was CLEARLY in my Cone of Silence, as were all the other women in the bathroom line this guy kept trying to interact with. Oblivious and jerky.

  3. brigidkeely says:

    I see you flashing your feminist card there. Niiiice.

    Yeah, I hate the whole “being told to smile” thing. Sorry. Not your decorative object, plus, I am allowed to feel whatever emotions I want.

    Pregnant ladies should always get a free pass to cut to the front of the line. Also people with kids. Unless I am about to have a serious problem, I always let pregnant people/people with kids cut in front of me. I mean, seriously. Life’s already harder for them.

    • bebehblog says:

      My feminist card has been sadly missing for a while. It felt pretty good to flash it around. I think I need an official, laminated version.

      • HA! I went to a NOW conference this summer, and bf and I both got official “NOW” membership cards for shelling out the $40 for the privilege of attending.

        He often pulls it out of his wallet when I get mad, and says I’m not allowed to be angry because he has his “official feminist card.”

  4. becca says:

    i think a good ‘ol throat punch might have been the answer to all of this. for reals. i have issues with people most days too. don’t give me a reason to get even more huffy with you, ok? ugh. people. :)

  5. Amy says:

    UGGHHHHH! Why can’t people just be nice????? This really gets my hackles up.

  6. TMae says:

    For realz? This dude suggested that the line was slow because of YOU? And then wanted you to laugh? WHAT.THE.HELL?

    Being told to smile is one that always gets me – but what gets me even more is when some asshole makes a “joke” that only said asshole thinks is funny and then pulls out the, “Geez, you can’t take a joke” card. Because the problem can’t possible be the ahole, it must be you.

  7. This deserves a reenactment video! (A&E style)

  8. I saw that you were on the Common this weekend- did you happen to be at the Starbucks on the corner of Charles and Beacon? WORST STARBUCKS EVER.

    And Boston men, especially older men, have a rude habit of being like, “SMILE, LADY” when you walk past their creepy selves and try to ignore them. Then say, “bitch” if you pretend to listen to your ipod or something. UGHHH.

    • bebehblog says:

      YES! That Starbucks! And I only remember because I was trying to decide if Beacon was one of the streets the ducks crossed in the book.

    • FourInchHeels says:

      Have you ever shouted back at them? Maybe a nice rousing “DON’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO!” would do the trick. Or at the very least, make you feel better for a moment :)

  9. Audrey says:

    I hate being told to smile by anyone. Even Chris. It makes me less likely to smile and more gruntled. I think I would have been a b**** and said something like “no, this line is long because you’re an a******” and then turned my back to him and ignored him for the duration. You are so nice. :D

  10. Swistle says:

    This whole encounter makes me clench my teeth. YOUR FAULT that the line is slow, WTF?

  11. Suzanne says:

    I, too, hate being told to smile by strangers- always men. Why is it my duty to be pleasant and smile at/talk to/laugh with strange men in public?? Just because I am female? Glad you stood your ground, but how uncomfortable!

  12. lalaland13 says:

    Oh Suz I am so with you on this. I know exactly the type of older man you speak of-he thinks he can play the old man card and no one will think he’s skeevy. Those are the type most likely to call me “Sugar,” when no where on my business card does it refer to me as that. Probably because I have no business cards.

    The other day I was trying to do my job when some guy is all chatting me up and telling me to come to this thing on Tuesday and “I’ll buy you dinner.” Ugh, no. And he kept like patting me on the shoulder and once even tried to sort of pull me toward him as he did so. No. No. No. Then he said, “I’m over here with the girls!” when someone asked where he was. He’s lucky I didn’t stab him with my pen.

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