Today is Free Doughnut Day at Krispy Kreme. So, naturally, upon hearing this, I sent out an office-wide email complete with directions to the nearest one. When lunchtime came, I hightailed it there.
It was said that it was at 'participating' locations so I wasn't entirely sure that they would have it at this one. I figured if they didn't, I would just buy a doughnut, I'm not that cheap. But free things are nice too; they taste better.
I walked in to find a young man helping a woman with her two children. He put their doughnuts in a box, handed it to them with a smile, and watched them walk off. I stepped up in their place. "Can I help you?" he asked. I looked over the doughnuts indecisively and politely said, "In a minute." He began to walk away when I stopped him and asked, "Are you doing the free doughnut thing today?" He looked at me and leaned forward against the glass showcase of doughnuts. "That depends." "Depends on what?" I asked, and he grinned. "On what you say."
I didn't like where this was going.
"What does that mean?" I asked impatiently. He was making me angry. Not about the doughnuts - who gives a fuck - but about the way he was leering at me and holding doughnuts over my head like I was some kind of pastry whore. He was young, probably my own age, and at times he looked uncomfortable, as if he wasn't quite pulling this off the way he had wanted to. He didn't answer, so I asked, "Can I get a doughnut or not?" He said, "Yes," but made no move to get it. He just kept staring and smiling, leaning over the counter that way.
I wanted to punch him in the face.
He looked at me for at least 30 seconds while I shifted uncomfortably beneath his gaze, then I repeated angrily, "CAN I GET ONE OR NOT?" I don't know why I didn't just walk out, or ask to speak to someone else. I never think of these things when I'm in the moment, only afterwards. Finally he gave me the doughnut and I stormed out.
Okay, maybe you will think this was not a big deal, but I think it is a big deal. I don't like that certain men feel entitled to make women uncomfortable and nervous just because they're attractive or wearing a skirt or whatever. I doubt very many men are harassed by women in this way.
When I walked back to my car I had a knot in my stomach, and I was angry, and my mood was wrecked. That's not fair. There's no reason why this asshole should have made me feel that way. I remember being sexually harassed in an ice cream shop in Washington D.C. with a few of my friends a couple of years ago. I was angry then and I'm angry now.
It's all a fucking power trip and I'm sick of it.