I don’t know who you are, and I don’t know where your hands have been
I understand you may be coming from a genuinely good place by offering to get me coffee on your run to La Colombe as I make your flower bouquet for your daughter’s recital. I am in fact tired from this morning’s 6am wake up and I’m not in the mood to be at work. How could you tell? Was it my under-eye circles haphazardly covered with a yellow goo? My mascara that’s not in the right place? The way I shuffle my feet around the counter to show you how much that soap costs because you can’t seem to find the sticker yourself?
It could be so easy to say yes thank you, that’s so kind. I shouldn’t drink caffein because of my anxiety but I’ll risk it today. But alas, I will have to reject your offer. Afterwards, I’m going to run to my to my coworker as you leave and tell her how creepy your offer was.
You may be that type who believes the world used to be a friendly place. I might agree to that, even though we’ve both never lived through two world wars. I too believe that people should be kinder to one another, hold the door open for the person behind us, help an old lady across the street, offer to buy our friends drinks as persuasion to get them to go out with us, drive our friends home at 2am instead of kicking them onto the subway because we think their neighborhood is too sketchy. Your offer, as kind as you make it sound –“I’m going to grab a coffee, you want anything?” “Can I getchya somethin’?” “You like those unicorn frappuccinos?”- it comes with some implications that you may not notice.
Call me crazy, call me paranoid, tell me I’m overthinking it, but as a woman there’s a certain degree of skepticism when accepting a drink from a strange man. I don’t know who you are, and I don’t know where your hands have been. The solid history of date rape drug incidents is enough to keep my brain on the lookout for sticky situations; I’m forever covering the hole of my beer bottle with my thumb when in a crowd, I’m always ordering my own drinks and I am certainly drinking them fast enough so no one can pull a fast one on me.
I understand you’re probably not trying to drug me while I’m at work, but in my training as a woman I will never want that drink.
So, I am going to have to respectfully decline your offer sir in the Harley Davidson shirt, and your offer you kind gentleman in the polo, and you there with the loafers, but I’ll see you when you pick up the beautiful arrangement I make for your six year old ballerina princess.
Thank you, sirs, you seem like good guys. But don’t you all?