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Old 02-21-2020, 04:58 PM
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"You just need to speak up" isn't always helpful advice.


Sorry this is a bit disconnected. It's sort of layers on layers.

Over the past week, I've been struggling with feelings of shame and inadequacy over something stupid.1

I've tried to talk to some people about how I feel. There have been two responses, both of which are unhelpful.

1) "I call sneak bragging!" Yeah, I get it. I'm not a super conventionally attractive guy, and it's pretty crazy that a lovely woman like this particular bride, someone who's never been inappropriate with me in the past, would have been this way, especially at her own wedding. But can you imagine how uncomfortable this would be? And although we were invited because I'm the groom's friend, the bride and my wife get along famously. It's not a situation I'm interested in blowing up.

2) People giving me advice. I get it. You're so calm and rational that when someone treats you in a way that's uncomfortable, you can just take a deep breath and say something like "Please stop touching me." I'm not. I'm socially awkward and anxious. To me, that feels confrontational and like making a scene.

I wish that the people who offer that kind of advice would stop and think, have a little empathy for the situation I found myself in instead of telling me how they totally would have rocked it.

----
1 At a wedding last weekend, the bride was way too comfortable with me. The night before the wedding, she was drunk. I spilled my drink on her, and she said, "Okay, just lick it off my toes." I blushed and my wife spoke up, but the bride said, "It's okay. I'm just so comfortable with you two that I went somewhere sexual right away."

Then, during the wedding, she kept coming over and groping my arms and my back. It was super subtle, probably no one else noticed, but she kept doing it.

This is hard for me. I've been working a lot on becoming stronger over the past few years. I've gotten into strongman, powerlifting, and steel bending. It's fun, and although I'm not losing weight, my body composition has changed and I'm finally kind of happy with what I see in my mirror. But boy, the unwanted attention has increased.

Now, imagine being a chubby guy trying to tell people "I'm uncomfortable because the bride was so into me that she kept flirting with me and groping me at her wedding."
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Old 02-21-2020, 05:04 PM
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I would totally have rocked it.

Specifically, I would have rocked slightly forward to try and get away from her touching my back, and rocked to the side to get away from her touching my arm, all the while thinking that maybe if I retreated to the bathroom she might not follow me in.
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Old 02-21-2020, 05:06 PM
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I would totally have rocked it.

Specifically, I would have rocked slightly forward to try and get away from her touching my back, and rocked to the side to get away from her touching my arm, all the while thinking that maybe if I retreated to the bathroom she might not follow me in.
Ha! I needed this.
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Old 02-21-2020, 05:07 PM
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I'm sorry that your boundaries were violated. You didn't do anything wrong.
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Old 02-21-2020, 05:35 PM
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... and if you did say "please don't touch me" and the person keeps touching you what do you do then? Speak up again? Speak up louder?

People who violate boundaries often do not stop when told to.

It was entirely inappropriate. It's just as wrong to touch a man who doesn't want to be touched as to touch a woman who doesn't want to be touched.
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Old 02-21-2020, 05:59 PM
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She probably thinks, 'But it's MY DAY!!!!'

Well, whatever she thinks, I would make sure her husband, your friend, was always present if you spend any time at his place. In fact, how close are you as friends with this husband? Could you somehow arrange things that you could continue contact with him without her presence at all? Or are you couples all the way for everything?

Because if her behavior makes you uncomfortable, and she doesn't stop when asked, you may have to physically distance yourself from this friendship. And yes, you will have to make your discomfort known to her if it happens again. Perhaps you were tactful not to speak up in front of all her guests at her wedding, but if she continues to treat you like this, say, "Please no, don't do that. You may mean well, but it makes me uncomfortable." But if she continues, you will have to adjust matters with your friend if they come as a package.
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Old 02-21-2020, 06:04 PM
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People who violate boundaries often do not stop when told to.
It's almost worse when you do speak up and they don't feel like they're doing anything wrong and either defend their actions or throw a fit about it. In certain cases where what they're doing wouldn't be viewed as inappropriate by most people you're the one that looks like the asshole.

My dad, for example, hates being touched. The way his office at work is set up, he doesn't see people approaching him and often times to get his attention they'll pat him on the back or [shudder] poke him in the ribs. I've seen him tear people a new asshole for doing that. I get it, from their point of view (and everyone looking on) all they did was give him a friendly pat on the back. From his point of view, he's already told them multiple times not to do that because he doesn't like it and now they just think it's funny.
So, the question becomes, do you suck it up or do you say something knowing there's a real chance they'll do it on purpose because they know you don't like it?

I'm the opposite. We had a guy that would stop in about once a week and had this odd habit of holding my elbow while he'd talk to me. It was bizarre and uncomfortable. I did finally say something, but I let it go for years.
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Old 02-21-2020, 06:06 PM
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... and if you did say "please don't touch me" and the person keeps touching you what do you do then? Speak up again? Speak up louder?

People who violate boundaries often do not stop when told to.

It was entirely inappropriate. It's just as wrong to touch a man who doesn't want to be touched as to touch a woman who doesn't want to be touched.
Social anxieties are a bitch to deal with. But people are so different from person-to-person and as a whole, we don't think we are violating someone else's boundaries when doing something that wouldn't violate our own boundaries. I fully agree there are many touchy-feely types who will think "the only way he or she will get over this is to get used to it", but there are also many who will respect those boundaries, if they know.
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Old 02-21-2020, 06:08 PM
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If you complain, this kind of person is likely to tell people that you were the one pursuing her. I'd stay far away if I were you.
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Old 02-21-2020, 06:13 PM
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If you complain, this kind of person is likely to tell people that you were the one pursuing her. I'd stay far away if I were you.
I thought she was drunk? I assumed that that was the reason for her behavior. More slipping inhibitions than sneaky cheater.
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Old 02-21-2020, 06:17 PM
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I thought she was drunk? I assumed that that was the reason for her behavior. More slipping inhibitions than sneaky cheater.
This was my impression. She’s never been inappropriate with me (or as far as I’m aware with anyone I know) before, even while drinking.

That’s also part of the complicated and awkward calculus that kept me from saying anything at the time.
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Old 02-21-2020, 06:27 PM
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I thought she was drunk? I assumed that that was the reason for her behavior. More slipping inhibitions than sneaky cheater.
Yeah, but she did it on 2 separate days, with several times on the wedding day. The 2 days she should have most been focused on somebody else. Sounds like she's looking for trouble.
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Old 02-21-2020, 07:10 PM
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When I was young, 18-20, and worked in retail (at Toys R Us for crying out loud) I was in pretty good shape and on more than one occasion I had inebriated women blatantly hitting on me. Once I had a lady actually feel up my arms and comment on my muscles. I don’t consider myself conventionally attractive (especially now but not even then) and I don’t recount those experiences as bragging.

Women under the influence of alcohol lose inhibitions and will do things like this, so it’s not an indication that you’re a stud. It’s a situation where responding either positively (give me your number, or let’s find a secluded spot) or negatively (you’re making me uncomfortable, please don’t) can make it worse. The best course of action is to do your best to ignore it until it gets too out-of-hand. But the experience is still uncomfortable and doesn’t leave you feeling better about yourself.
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Old 02-22-2020, 01:05 AM
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I totally hear ya, O.P. I'm terrible at advocating for myself, plus, I rarely think of the right thing to say in time.

It takes me a while to process my own emotions, and often I don't realize until a long time afterwards that a particular scenario bothered me.

All that combined means I rarely speak up when I should. I KNOW THIS telling me to do it doesn't help!
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Old 02-22-2020, 04:11 AM
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I got over my social anxieties by marrying a woman with a completely different set of social anxieties; now we delegate uncomfortable tasks to each other. What I mean to say is, how about siccing your wife on her? Doesn't make you less of a man.
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Old 02-22-2020, 06:00 AM
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I'm a single nerdy chap with Asperger's Syndrome.
So I don't do well with flirting.

Many years ago a work colleague got a promotion and invited a few of us to celebrate.
There was some drinking (I'm teetotal), then a beautiful female colleague started taking an interest in me.
I got gently touched and she put her head on my shoulder- all the while encouraging me to tell her anecdotes.
I felt both confused and flattered.

After a while the party ended with a toast and we all started to leave.
I asked the best friend of the beautiful colleague if said colleague was genuinely interested in me (seemed like a sensible check.)
She looked embarrassed and replied "Err, no - she was drunk."

The incident was never mentioned again.
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Old 02-22-2020, 09:53 AM
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I hate being touched. I tell people "You do that again and I will call the cops and have you charged with assault." If they do, I do.

As for giving advice, unless someone asks for it. don't do it. As I say it "You never know what people have to deal with and what they have to deal with it."
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Old 02-22-2020, 10:19 AM
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Did you tell her husband or did he observe her behavior? What was his reaction?
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Old 02-22-2020, 10:23 AM
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Did you tell her husband or did he observe her behavior? What was his reaction?
Neither.
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Old 02-22-2020, 10:53 AM
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Along these same lines, I used to keep my hair really, really short, just shy of totally shaved (could never pull the trigger on taking a razor to it), I'm quite sure I'm not the only guy with short hair/shaved head and a beard that would have people touching it. Didn't happen regularly, but a few times a year I'd be standing in line somewhere and I'd feel someone rub the back of my head or..and I can't stress how often it happens...this. Doesn't bother me if it's someone I know, it's the random people doing it that's bizarre.

Same goes for the apparently unwritten rule that you're allowed to touch a woman's belly if she's pregnant. When my ex was pregnant, it was really strange how often she'd have that happen to her. My advice to her was to do it back. I'm assuming some random guy would be caught off guard if she went hand rubbed their stomach. The nice thing about this, IMO, is that they'd have no defense. I *think* they'd quickly realize A)how odd it is and B) they just did it to her and understand that 'but you're pregnant' isn't a good defense of that behavior.
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Old 02-22-2020, 11:27 AM
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I thought she was drunk? I assumed that that was the reason for her behavior. More slipping inhibitions than sneaky cheater.
I've known brides who've been given a Chill Pill or two before the ceremony, and then people keep handing them drinks at the reception and then they HAVE to toast with champagne and then someone hands them another.

Slipping inhibitions? How about complete lack of? And probably no recollection of groping you. So cut her some slack, with the hope it won't be a problem in the future.
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Old 02-22-2020, 11:29 AM
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When I was young, 18-20, and worked in retail (at Toys R Us for crying out loud) I was in pretty good shape and on more than one occasion I had inebriated women blatantly hitting on me...
Jesus. Who shops for toys drunk?
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Old 02-22-2020, 12:06 PM
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Jesus. Who shops for toys drunk?
Who shops for toys sober?
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Old 02-22-2020, 03:35 PM
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I've known brides who've been given a Chill Pill or two before the ceremony, and then people keep handing them drinks at the reception and then they HAVE to toast with champagne and then someone hands them another.

Slipping inhibitions? How about complete lack of? And probably no recollection of groping you. So cut her some slack, with the hope it won't be a problem in the future.
“She was drunk, maybe on drugs, so cut her some slack for groping you” is kind of a shitty thing to say, even if it wasn’t a super serious situation.
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Old 02-22-2020, 05:54 PM
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I've known brides who've been given a Chill Pill or two before the ceremony, and then people keep handing them drinks at the reception and then they HAVE to toast with champagne and then someone hands them another.

Slipping inhibitions? How about complete lack of? And probably no recollection of groping you. So cut her some slack, with the hope it won't be a problem in the future.
Seriously? You come into a thread about bad advice and give worse advice than the examples in the OP?

Ace309, I'm sorry this happened to you. It would be awkward for anyone, even those who think they'd deal deftly with it. It's probably worse because it's a woman behaving inappropriately with a man; most people would assume you'd like it. Crossing boundaries is out of line no matter who does it or to whom it's done.
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Old 02-22-2020, 06:12 PM
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Jesus. Who shops for toys drunk?
Alcoholics?

I work in retail. Most customers are sober, but not a day goes by we don't get a few under the influence of something or other.
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Old 02-22-2020, 08:56 PM
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I work in retail. Most customers are sober, but not a day goes by we don't get a few under the influence of something or other.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve gone to Toys ‘r Us drunk many times. Not to buy toys....just to hit on the stock boys.
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Old 02-22-2020, 09:13 PM
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I got over my social anxieties by marrying a woman with a completely different set of social anxieties; now we delegate uncomfortable tasks to each other. What I mean to say is, how about siccing your wife on her? Doesn't make you less of a man.
After reading this I thought about it and realized that my husband and I fit into this pattern. Never noticed it before but it sure does help.

OP, I hope once the bride is done with her DAY and being all wound up, that she will revert to her former self. If not, I think avoiding her (or at least avoiding being alone with her) is the best solution. I don't blame you at all for being troubled by the situation as well as the silly responses to the situation (sneak bragging? what?).
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Old 02-22-2020, 09:15 PM
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“She was drunk, maybe on drugs, so cut her some slack for groping you” is kind of a shitty thing to say, even if it wasn’t a super serious situation.
You're right, I apologize. I was remembering my niece's wedding (which is more than she can say) where she had chemically lost all inhibitions by the time she tried to throw the bouquet. We cut her a bunch of slack, partly because she had no memory of how many people she'd draped herself over, and how many were trying to keep her vertical, but I do NOT mean for that to diminish how you felt in the situation. Hope you can deal with this...which I should've helped with but failed. Sorry.
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Old 02-23-2020, 02:33 AM
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I hate being touched. I tell people "You do that again and I will call the cops and have you charged with assault." If they do, I do.
Uh huh. That’s not how that works. The cops won’t just charge someone with assault because a crazy lady said they touched her.
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Old 02-23-2020, 02:59 PM
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I would totally have rocked it.

Specifically, I would have rocked slightly forward to try and get away from her touching my back, and rocked to the side to get away from her touching my arm, all the while thinking that maybe if I retreated to the bathroom she might not follow me in.
Exactly this. The bathroom is a great excuse when you need to put some distance between yourself and another person, especially if the other person uses the other restroom.

I would not have made a fuss about the bride's behavior on her wedding day. I'm pretty direct, but that;s beyond what even I would be comfortable with. But I would have squirmed away, and not let her feel me up. (same if the groom was doing that to me.)

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Along these same lines, I used to keep my hair really, really short, just shy of totally shaved (could never pull the trigger on taking a razor to it), I'm quite sure I'm not the only guy with short hair/shaved head and a beard that would have people touching it...
OMG I love to feel hair like that. And, YIKES I can't imagine running my hand through the hair of a total stranger. Hell, I rarely get up the gumption to ask a friend for permission to do it. I can't believe people do that to you.
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Old 02-23-2020, 03:01 PM
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Oh, and yeah, you are totally normal to be freaked out by being inappropriately touched, and I'm sorry that happened to you.
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Old 02-23-2020, 04:58 PM
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Uh huh. That’s not how that works. The cops won’t just charge someone with assault because a crazy lady said they touched her.
But when she says it, the entire store breaks out in applause.
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Old 02-23-2020, 08:17 PM
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I'm with the, 'sic your wife on her if it happens again', camp.
Avoidance, if that isn't possible.
You have a right to be upset by this.
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Old 02-24-2020, 01:35 PM
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Don’t get me wrong. I’ve gone to Toys ‘r Us drunk many times. Not to buy toys....just to hit on the stock boys.


I was a stock boy.

But yeah, not often but over 2 1/2 years of working there I encountered obviously inebriated people maybe close to a dozen times. It was worse around Christmas. Then you’d get the desperate and drunk rather than happy and drunk people.

I never encountered anyone angry and drunk though. I’m happy about that.
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Old 02-24-2020, 05:00 PM
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You have every right to feel deeply uncomfortable. She violated boundaries didn't take the hint that she went too far.

I'm not one to lecture you on not speaking up when I couldn't even tell my creepy neighbor to leave me TF alone. I just want to state that should you decide to, you'd be totally in the right to tell her how uncomfortable she made you and/or that you have no wishes to see her again. That's super hard to do though, whether you're a woman OR a man, and I hope she leaves you alone going further.
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Old Yesterday, 01:49 AM
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What I used to do is smoke a cigarette with the bride. I don't know if that is "rocking it", but the nastiness of it was already kind of palpable, so there was no need of additional nastiness?

I can't say I understand the mechanics of it, but if you are to encounter a questionable bride, have a smoke or a cigar with them and de-fuse it all right then and there.
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Old Yesterday, 08:44 AM
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“She was drunk, maybe on drugs, so cut her some slack for groping you” is kind of a shitty thing to say, even if it wasn’t a super serious situation.
This. Imagine the groom got drunk and went around grabbing tits and asses. Absolutely nobody would give him a pass.
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Old Yesterday, 09:15 AM
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The people who do the "well, I would simply have..." are full of bullshit. You don't know how you will react to a situation until it happens to you. I don't blame you for being confused and upset.

Both times I was pregnant my belly got huge so of course I got all the touching and rubbing in the world. Of course I had visions of slapping hands away and lecturing strangers about personal space. The best i could usually do was a weak little "Please don't do that."

The worst was some nutcase woman who tried to lift up my shirt in the middle of the grocery store! I was so shocked that all I could do was yank my shirt back down and run right out of the store leaving my cart!
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Old Yesterday, 11:11 AM
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Along these same lines, I used to keep my hair really, really short, just shy of totally shaved (could never pull the trigger on taking a razor to it), I'm quite sure I'm not the only guy with short hair/shaved head and a beard that would have people touching it. Didn't happen regularly, but a few times a year I'd be standing in line somewhere and I'd feel someone rub the back of my head or..and I can't stress how often it happens...this. Doesn't bother me if it's someone I know, it's the random people doing it that's bizarre.

Same goes for the apparently unwritten rule that you're allowed to touch a woman's belly if she's pregnant. When my ex was pregnant, it was really strange how often she'd have that happen to her. My advice to her was to do it back. I'm assuming some random guy would be caught off guard if she went hand rubbed their stomach. The nice thing about this, IMO, is that they'd have no defense. I *think* they'd quickly realize A)how odd it is and B) they just did it to her and understand that 'but you're pregnant' isn't a good defense of that behavior.
I know it happens, but God, that is just so weird. Both touching a man's hair/beard and a woman's hair/stomach. While I feel fine remarking on how neat someone's hair might look, the ONLY time I'd ever touch anyone's hair is if they're a close friend or family member, I'm only straightening something and I mention that I'm doing it first. Most anyone I'm on very good terms with is going to be, "Oh, okay! Thanks!" But doing that to a perfect stranger is just beyond bizarre. I don't understand people who think they have a right to touch other people's bodies.
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Old Yesterday, 11:13 AM
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The people who do the "well, I would simply have..." are full of bullshit. You don't know how you will react to a situation until it happens to you. I don't blame you for being confused and upset.

Both times I was pregnant my belly got huge so of course I got all the touching and rubbing in the world. Of course I had visions of slapping hands away and lecturing strangers about personal space. The best i could usually do was a weak little "Please don't do that."

The worst was some nutcase woman who tried to lift up my shirt in the middle of the grocery store! I was so shocked that all I could do was yank my shirt back down and run right out of the store leaving my cart!
Ooh, neat, a pregnant lady. I think I'll assault her - that'll show her how I respect the miracle of birth!
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Old Yesterday, 11:27 AM
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The problems didn't stop once they were born because then you get the people who think it is their right to touch or pick up or make loud noises at a total stranger's baby, without first asking if the parents are OK with it, and without stopping to think that the baby might not like strangers or loud noises.

I didn't have a problem with the ones who just wanted to peek or make faces or make cutesy sounds at a normal level. It was the OHHH MYYY GOOOOOOOOD YOU'RE SUCH A CUTE BABY COME HERE GIVE ME SNUGGLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! people I wanted to hit with a dirty diaper.

My daughter did spit up all over a nosy parker once. I was so proud of her!
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Old Yesterday, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by tricoteuse View Post
The people who do the "well, I would simply have..." are full of bullshit. You don't know how you will react to a situation until it happens to you....
Uh, I used to be an attractive young woman. I know what I'd do if someone I know touched me in an inappropriate social setting because I know what I've done. And yeah, pulling myself away without actually saying anything out loud is what I usually did.
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Old Yesterday, 01:01 PM
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About once a month I get some joker touching/yanking my braid, which is currently waist-length. It pisses me off. Look, admire my hair all you want but do it at a distance. WTF, people?

General rule for everyone should be no touching without explicit permission unless you're about to perform CFR or snatch them out of the path of a fiery dragon's breath or similar life-saving/emergency maneuver. Which almost never happens in real life so back the F off.

Sometimes I get loud, but all too often it's a situation were I can't do that without risking negatives on myself. Assholes.
  #45  
Old Yesterday, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puzzlegal View Post
Uh, I used to be an attractive young woman. I know what I'd do if someone I know touched me in an inappropriate social setting because I know what I've done. And yeah, pulling myself away without actually saying anything out loud is what I usually did.
Right. You know because you've done it. Therefore you're not the kind of person I was talking about. I doubt the people who were telling Ace they'd have rocked it/ gone all Miss Manners on Tipsy Bridezilla have ever been in that situation and they'd be just as confused and awkward as he was.
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Old Yesterday, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
About once a month I get some joker touching/yanking my braid, which is currently waist-length. It pisses me off. Look, admire my hair all you want but do it at a distance. WTF, people?

General rule for everyone should be no touching without explicit permission unless you're about to perform CFR or snatch them out of the path of a fiery dragon's breath or similar life-saving/emergency maneuver. Which almost never happens in real life so back the F off.

Sometimes I get loud, but all too often it's a situation were I can't do that without risking negatives on myself. Assholes.
They probably wonder if it's your own hair, not that it makes pulling somebody's hair any less rude and stupid. I have a friend whose hair is very tight corkscrew curls and she gets her share of people trying to pet her, as she puts it.
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Old Yesterday, 02:07 PM
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Yeah, I do get people asking me if it's all my own real hair or extensions. I'm OK with that. I'm totally cool with them using their words. It's touching without permission that pisses me off, even more when they do it from behind which is, at best, startling and under some circumstances downright frightening. I'm sure some do it from ignorance, I'm equally sure some do it because they get off on the reaction, particularly on the reaction of someone who's working in retail and thus has very limited options for telling them off or saying NO and making it stick.

Ditto for touching pregnant women, molesting wedding guests, and so on.

Last edited by Broomstick; Yesterday at 02:07 PM.
  #48  
Old Yesterday, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tricoteuse View Post
Right. You know because you've done it. Therefore you're not the kind of person I was talking about. I doubt the people who were telling Ace they'd have rocked it/ gone all Miss Manners on Tipsy Bridezilla have ever been in that situation and they'd be just as confused and awkward as he was.
I have never been groped, because I'm a big fat homely dude, but I'm pretty confident that I would have 'rocked it' exactly as I described above.

If somebody tried to grab my beard, on the other hand, I would fucking recoil. Prod my torso, okay, that's creepy. Go for my face and you're gonna see me jerk away. Fortunately nobody has gone for it, likely due to the lack of visual appeal mentioned above.
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