I was driving in my car; a cool, fall night that was perfect for rolling down the windows and letting the wind blow through my hair. The traffic was flowing, the street lights softly guiding me to my destination, and the night kissed every car, leaving her glossy mark on each one of them. I turned up Can’t Feel My Face so that my speakers shook from the bass and leaned back into the driver’s seat. It was a special night in the Second City and this bitch was feeling righteous.
As I got to a light, my shoulders moving to the beat of The Weeknd’s rhythmic sounds, I leaned toward the rear view mirror to check if my lipstick was still the bright Russian Red I loved. It looked great, I felt amazing, the world was on my side this night and I knew it. When the light turned green, I looked to the right and noticed a black Acura beside me – tinted windows in the back, windows down in the front, and a slightly chubby, handsome man on the phone, driving. We locked eyes for a half second and continued on our way.
Suddenly, I heard this ridiculous amount of honking and noticed it was Acura Man. He pulled up beside me, while we were driving, and began to yell. Alarmed, I waited until we were at the red light and eyed him to figure out what he wanted.
“Hey! Why don’t you give me your number?” He said as he placed his phone to his ear; as if I was too stupid to understand what he wanted.
“Are you fucking kidding me?” I replied; pissed, because not only was he breaking my groove, but also because WHAT THE FUCK.
Once the light turned red, Acura Man followed me for about two more blocks trying to get my attention by pulling up next to me while our cars were still in motion. Every time, I pulled away, he would pull back up. After this was all over, I couldn’t help but wonder why he thought this was an effective way to win the affections of any lady.
How many women – who aren’t paid professionals – go for this tactic? Listen, I’ve banged enough strangers in my life that maybe at another time, another place, another dimension, with a completely different person than Acura Man. I may have considered this proposal; like if there weren’t serial killers in the world or if he looked like Ryan Gosling or Idris Elba. Mmmmm. Idris Elba.
I’m not judging any woman who would decide to get it on with a strange man in an Acura. I am judging any man who chooses stupid tactics like Acura Man did. You may say to yourself, “Elizabeth, that’s not fair.” To you, I say, “I don’t give any damns. I will not only judge Acura Man, I am so deeply annoyed that I want to place a curse on him, ensuring that all his car rims are constantly stolen, his purple under light will grow dim, and his pommade will dry in his hands. This curse will be placed not only on him but for all generations after him! No member of Acura Man’s family shall ever enjoy a smooth ride, with leather interior, and optional sunroof. May they all be forever damned to owning Gremlins with faulty oil pans!”
There are so many points I can make about Acura Man’s approach – misogyny, male privilege, cat calling, and so much more, but I’ll skip it because you’re smart and already know that stuff. Let’s approach it from the simple perspective of human experience. I was having a great day, by myself, when a man simply decided that he would scare the crap out of me in order to get my phone number in hopes that I’d give him a hand job in the parking lot of Wendy’s. Come on now, we all know that’s not right.
To further illustrate my point, what if you were about to sit down to enjoy a Bari sub, filled with capicola, genoa salami, mortadella, provolone, and topped with hot or mild giardiniera. You’re at the table, cracked open your bubbly delicious soda can, stuffed your napkin into your shirt collar, and lifted the bread to your watering mouth, when suddenly, someone high kicks it right out of your hands and screams, “Give me your phone number!”
What if you were at the movies? You’ve picked out your favorite seat, the popcorn is fresh, and no one else has arrived. You settle deep into your chair as the lights dim and the sound begins to boom. After working 60 hours that week, you feel like you truly deserve these two hours of alone time and the empty seats around you guarantee this will be the case. You look around, still no one, so you put up your feet. Then right before the credits start, a gaggle of ten unchaperoned six-year-olds sit surround you and start yelling, “Gimme your number! Gimmie! Gimme!” in unison, kicking your chair, until you run from the theater screaming.
Now, imagine that you’re sitting in a park, reading a magazine, enjoying the sunshine warming your skin. You can hear light laughter in the background, you watch a father and son catching a baseball, two dogs softly traipse by you on their way to a spaghetti dinner. You decide to lay down and take a quick nap, but then, a squirrel scurries up your shoulder and starts gnawing on your face. You run, but the squirrel is much faster than you and manages to clamp onto your ankle, work its way up to your balls, scratching at them; you’re frightened because you don’t know what you did to deserve this, but all of it is made worse by the high pitched squeals echoing from your pants from a wild animal screaming, “Give me your phone number! Give me your phone number!”
This is what being followed by strange men who want your phone number feels like, especially ones that seek to interrupt the meditation of a perfect drive on a cool night.
To Acura Man, and anyone else who behaves in this manner, I want to offer a simple piece of advice: Stop it. You’re ruining everything.