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Sexually Harassed At The Grocery Store

I’m just so flummoxed. I can’t believe this just happened to me — a married, overweight 39-year-old mom of 3.

I had gone grocery shopping by myself at Food 4 Less in jeans, a house shirt and flat orthotic sandals (just so you know they are not fancy). It’s hot out here in the valley, so you know I was sweating by the time I got my groceries bagged up and out to the car. I was nearly done when the dude who had been in line behind me walked past and said something softly that I thought was “nice dress.” I just nodded a closed-mouth smile at him and said, “thanks,” then wondered to myself, “dress? I’m not wearing a dress.”

I put the cart away and there he was going back past our family car again, because apparently he was lost and wasn’t even parked in that row. I’ve got my keys out when he stops me and starts asking if I’m married, and oh my husband would probably be upset if he asked for my number. (YA THINK?!) Then he asks how old I am, and when I say I have to get going, he asks if it would be inappropriate if he touched them.

Suddenly it hits me what he had said the first time around and my eyes get wide and I’m like, “REALLY INAPPROPRIATE. ” and he walks off and I get into my car, stunned that that actually happened. Then I thought, “crap, Trin is never going to let me come here again by myself.” (We usually go to Albertsons together, but trying to save money, you know?)

I pull out as quickly as possible and seeing the dude walk all the way to the other side of the parking lot, I realize he FOLLOWED ME TO MY CAR.

I didn’t feel unsafe at any point. But still….this was obviously not about me. I’m literally still recovering from a gastrointestinal illness, trying to get back in super early morning work mode and trying to get my usual Sunday night madness done. This was about dude and his issues.

*the awful part is, I cannot stop thinking about this and what I could have done to not draw this kind of attention. Should I have worn something different? Should I have asked him to repeat himself when he first said what he said? Should I have followed him and started yelling at him about what a jackass he was? Should I have worn my bitch-about-her-business look in the store and not met his eye in the register line? Ugh. I know, this is not my fault, but THIS. This is how street harassment makes women feel.

**I managed to push it out of my head after crying after Trinity and I had our good night prayer. But then it woke me up about an hour and a half before I had to get up for my 4 a.m. shift. And I couldn’t get back to sleep.