So last night me and my best friend were at her favorite bar in the Lower East Side, sitting on like a cushioned couch-like bench (or bench-like couch if you prefer). There's plenty of room between me and the next person sitting on this couch, mind you. She and I are chatting away and not showing any indication that we would like to be talking to anyone else.
Suddenly this guy comes over looking like he's going to sit right next to us and I'm like, Oh great, we're about to get hit on and now we have to stop our conversation and politely deflect this guy. No, it was much less polite than that. All of a sudden my friend and I get splashed with my drink as the guy purposely falls on me, practically SITS IN MY LAP, drapes his arm around me, and says, "Oh, EXCUSE me. I'm so SORRY," very insincerely while grinning.
My first reaction was, This must be someone I know. No stranger would actually do that, and I stare at him for a second expecting my brain to connect his face to an identity. Nope. I don't know him. Total stranger, total creep in a bar.
The next thought is, How am I going to react to this? This is not okay and I am not going to cower away from this. Too many women back down from this shit.
"Excuse you," I agree, looking directly and forcefully at him. "WHAT are you doing?"
"I'm so sorrry," he repeats insincerely, still smirking like I'm about to think it's cute and flirt with him.
"That was NOT okay," I tell him.
"I'm so sorry." Smirk.
"Please go sit somewhere else."
"I'm so sorry."
I point toward the rest of the bar with my free hand. "Go be sorry somewhere else."
So I spilled a significant amount of my drink on his leg and said, "I'm so sorry."
"Come on," I told my friend. "We're leaving." I stood up, dumped the rest of my drink unapologetically into his lap, and briskly dropped the glass off on the bar on my way out the door with my friend in tow.
"What the fuck just HAPPENED?!" she asked me, laughing, still in shock, as we stomped toward Houston St.
"...I should have aimed for his crotch so it looked like he pissed himself."
"I didn't get to finish my whiskey!"
"The exit was worth more than the whiskey!"
...And then we stopped and just cracked up laughing.
But seriously. The point of this story is that we shouldn't put up with this shit. Disrespect to your body does not earn a polite response. Take it from a New York chick who ain't havin' none o' that. (Yes that's my tough ghetto voice.)
Of course, I get that I was pretty safe in a very busy, public area and I didn't have to worry too much about my personal safety. I had the LUXURY of standing up for myself without fear of harm, which many women lack in such situations. (One of the reasons why I feel safer walking around late at night in Manhattan than any other place I have ever been in, including my hometown Boston.) But in that second of shock between "Do I know this guy?" and "No, so what am I going to do?" I did calculate my level of safety. And we're not always in dangerous situations when this sort of thing happens. Chances are, if there's lots of people around—and especially if you can make a quick enough getaway that even a true whacko who would be inclined to follow you wouldn't be able to—you're actually pretty safe and can make it very clear to that jerk how you feel about being harassed, groped, or otherwise sexually humiliated.
So I hope this story is inspiring to someone or something.