Taking up the space generally reserved for your ego

December 19, 2013

Three things happened to me today and I wrote about them in this impolite post.  Swearing.  Anger.  Not funny.  I’m sorry, but it was this or light things on fire.

The first experience occurred in my yoga class.  This class is a beginners’ level vinyasa flow class, which means the teacher is super chill and explains everything we’re doing, but, like every other fitness activity, there is still some skill involved.  This class is very female-heavy (like I imagine many other yoga classes to be), but there are usually at least three men in each class.  Tonight, we had two new guys, who strolled in, grabbed mats, and strode right to the front of the room, where they established themselves.  This was mind-blowing to me, because in every class in which I’m a beginner, I tend to stay near the back so I don’t distract people with any mistakes I will inevitably make.  These two guys were pretty chatty, and called each other “dude” and “man” in each sentence.  Guys, you’re still in fucking yoga.  No amount of “dude,” “bro,” or “man” will magically turn that mat into a dumbbell or a game of pickup basketball or whatever your chosen weekend warrior sport of choice happens to be. 

I’ve been attending this class off and on for about a year now, and have probably made it to at least 30 classes.  The instructor usually tells us to listen to our bodies to figure out how far we need to stretch, if we need to take it easy, if we’re having a strong day.  This was the first time I heard her add “make sure to listen to your body…and not your ego.”  This was after the two guys in the front, despite being complete rookies, decided to try to stretch into every goddamn pose as far as the instructor and much of the class.  It’s just women, right?  It’s just yoga, right?  We can totally do this.  We do deadlifts.  Twenty minutes in, they finally got the fucking hint and one guy just got into child’s pose for a few minutes because he couldn’t do the current pose.  I would not have been surprised if one or both of these guys walked out with an injury because they attempted to do Lady Fitness.  Just to be clear, these guys were in no way disruptive or demeaning to the group, but their egos were running their brainshows.

After class, I went to Chipotle.  I got in line, giving the guy in front of me a good two feet of space.  The guy behind me, however, was close enough the whole time that I could hear the keypad of his smartphone while he was aggressively texting whoever the fuck he was texting that was so important that he didn’t realize or didn’t give a shit that he was touching my purse and the hood of my sweatshirt with his arm.  I was in line for ten minutes, and this only got worse.  I felt myself turning into a pillbug, rolling myself up tighter and tighter in an attempt to take up less space because whatever space I didn’t take up turned into a buffer zone between me and the guy behind me.  This didn’t work, of course, and the guy instead crept closer, eventually brushing my arm.  This isn’t a New York City subway.  This isn’t a concert.  This isn’t any circumstance in which it would be any-fucking-where near acceptable for you to touch me.  It’s somehow fine if you bump into me “accidentally,” though?  The only reason you were able to bump into me is because you were way too fucking close to me in the first place.

 You’re not the first guy to invade my space like this, and I doubt you’ll be the last.  I don’t know if you think you’ll get your burrito faster if you reduce the gap between us, but please let me make this clear: you will get your goddamn food based on when the people working there give it to you.  The do not take out a ruler and decide you only get your barbacoa if there are fewer than four inches between your body and the next body.  You see me curling up?  You see me not smiling?  You hear me not replying when you apologize for bumping into me for the third time in the same number of minutes?  I frankly don’t give a shit if it’s deliberate or just negligence on your part: I deserve to take up this space and you currently do not.  Back the fuck up, and kindly never do this to another person, especially another woman, again.  Of course I didn’t say any of this because that would make me look crazy, so I just paid quickly and left.

On my drive home, I nearly got rear-ended because the guy behind me decided I wasn’t merging into the left turning lane fast enough.  Once we entered the on-ramp, he stayed roughly as close to my bumper as the guy at Chipotle stayed to my arm, close enough that I couldn’t see his headlights.  Once we were able to merge onto the highway, he chose not to wait his turn and passed me on the left, flooring it.  I am 90% sure that his license plate read either “GAINS” or “GAINZ.”  I’m so glad I almost got into an accident so you and your stupid fucking sedan with its vanity license plate could get to the part of the highway you deserve and arrive to your destination twenty seconds faster.  I am not dying because you don’t know how to understand the concept of driving when other people are on the road. 

Bros of the world: Women. Occupy. Space.  Other people occupy spaces that you have no right to invade.  And your ego doesn’t take the place of my comfort.  Get it the fuck together.

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