no, that is not ok.

As part of my job, I am often working in grocery stories. I don’t work for the grocery store company, but I take my work materials in, do my thing, and when I’m done I take my materials back to my car.

The other day, I was training some new people in a grocery store, and because I was training people, I had more than the usual amount of stuff with me. When I was done and taking my materials back out to my car, I had nearly a full shopping cart of assorted work stuff.

Allow me to set the scene. It’s January. about 15 degrees outside. and windy. I push the shopping cart to my car, open the trunk, and am putting boxes and cardboard and bins and other things in my car as fast as I can. It is freakin’ cold outside, it’s been a long day already, and I’m in a rush to get to my next appointment.

A middle aged man walks by and says “You sure got a lot of stuff”.
“Yep,” I say.
he just stands there, as I am putting the stuff in my car.
“I’m gonna call you little red riding hood. That ok with you?” he says.
“no, it is not ok”. I reply.

From the look on his face, I am assuming no one had ever said “no” to him. It took a minute or two for him to get his composure back, which I’ll admit was a bit entertaining. He said a few other things to me, but I confess I couldn’t hear him very well because it was quite windy, I had a scarf over my face and ears, and in a windy environment the quality of my hearing goes practically to zero.

to all the men out there who feel they are entitled to my attention, to all the men whose goal in conversation is to get me to smile for you, or get me to tell you my name, or have a drink with me, because you feel you are entitled to my attention, here is a tactic that might actually work for you:

“It’s very cold out here and you seem to have a lot of stuff, may I help you put it in your car?”

because that will get me to smile. You are doing something FOR me, instead of TO me. You are doing something that helps ME instead of helping YOU.

Because I am not looking for some random guy to give me a nickname that I haven’t heard a million times. I am not interested in a random guy telling me my hair is pretty, or asking me if it’s true about how wild redheads are in bed, or any of that shit. My award winning resting bitch face was born from that kind of shit.

To any man who feels like they are entitled to any woman’s attention, you know what would be nice? offering to help her put her stuff in her car when it is 15 degrees outside and she has her hands full. No guarantee that I will take you up on your offer, because maybe I don’t want your help and also I’m not obligated to say yes if you offer assistance. But being selfless instead of selfish would go a long way in thawing my resting bitch face. Might even get me to smile.

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