About 17 years ago, when I was fresh out of college and at my first daily newspaper, an older, morbidly obese woman would periodically saunter into the newsroom — always huffing and panting, and always wearing a floral moo-moo dress.
She was nice enough, except for her unwanted shoulder rubbing.
What would happen was, I’d be on deadline, finishing yet another story on mosquito abatement, when she’d approach from behind and start rubbing. The first time it happened, I was paralyzed — shocked beyond movement. The second time, I gritted my teeth, cringed and hunched up my shoulders, waiting for it to end.
“You like that?” she huffed in my ear.
“Um, thanks.” Still cringing. Shoulders still hunched. “Well, better get back to work.”
She panted closer, whispering in her husky voice. “Well, I’m just doing what I wish someone would do to me.”
All these years later, that line is still a favorite around my house, especially after a long day. The kids are finally asleep after another evening of unleashing boyish aggression throughout the household. Everyone’s bones are aching. Everyone is exhausted. Everyone just wants to veg on the couch. But you muster the energy to massage your spouse’s shoulders for a moment, and he or she sighs in relief, eyes closed, totally exhausted, thanking you profusely, which is when you say in a husky voice under your breath, “Well, I’m just doing what I wish someone would do to me.”
February 8, 2008 at 9:06 am
Ha. I know exactly who your talking about … and I’m almost ashamed to say I carried on a brief, but interesting, little affair with this woman. I think it was the overpowering scent of Avon “Roses Roses” that finally drove me away.
February 8, 2008 at 10:51 am
Today, we would call this a case of workplace harassment. I know this because I just completed a mandatory two-hour online course, as required by my company’s HR dept. It was painful. Every couple of years, managers have to take the same course, with the same tired scenarios, depicting guys harassing women, women harassing guys, guys harassing guys, gals harassing gals. You get the idea, dude.
February 14, 2008 at 5:39 pm
So she wanted you to rub her what, shoulders? Yeah…