Posts Tagged ‘judgement’

“Here’s to all of us!” Cheryl said and raised her glass to toast us.

Us. The four of us women who had somehow formed a friendship over the years. As our glasses clinked and as we continued to laugh, I felt happy. For a moment, all was right with the world.

I had known Cheryl for a long time. We had met at a business convention many years before. We each worked for a small business and began networking with each other. Soon we were helping each other and a friendship had formed over respect, hard work and a similar sick and twisted sense of humor.

I was there when she got divorced. I was there when she had to fight for child custody. I was there when she began to date again and I was there when it would all fall apart.

Kim was a woman I had met via Cheryl. She was her administrative assistant, but I always called her “Cheryl’s secretary” or “Cheryl’s bitch” just to annoy her and get her to laugh. She was younger than the two of us, single with two toddlers and worked as hard as Cheryl and I. I was often her comic relief for the day.

I had just recently met Lindsay a few months earlier. She had applied for a job at our office but we weren’t hiring at the time. She looked scared and desperate. I took her application and talked with her for a while and found out Cheryl had sent her our way. I felt bad that we didn’t have anything for her, but she accepted the rejection gracefully.

We were celebrating tonight. As hard as our lives had become, we decided it was time to get away from everyone and have some fun. We were all overdue for a girl’s night out and I felt my spirits lift as soon as I sat down to dinner with them. I had been the last one to arrive, so I sat back and sipped my wine while they all got me caught-up on the latest gossip and shenanigans.

When it was time to leave, we all regretted having to go back to our lives but knew it was a necessary evil. But being able to step off the planet for a few hours had done us all a world of good.

As we were walking down the street towards the parking lot, two young men were walking towards us. We were still talking and laughing. I wasn’t paying any attention until Cheryl stopped.

They were blocking our way. I looked up and stopped. I thought maybe Cheryl knew them.

“You!” said the man on the left as he pointed to Cheryl. “You, I’d do in a hear beat,” he said. His friend laughed.

He looked at the rest of us. I wasn’t sure what was going on, but before I could figure it out, he pointed to me and said “You’re the second one I’d do, so you’re passable. You’re totally fuckable.”

We were confused and looked at each other. I felt my face turn red and my hackles rise. I pulled on Cheryl’s arm and motioned for the other two to follow.

As we walked past, he pointed to Kim and said “You’re not very pretty, but if I was drunk enough, I don’t think I’d mind.”

Kim stopped for a moment. I reached over and grabbed her hand and pulled her away. It was late and the street was dark and deserted. We had a block to walk before getting to the parking lot.

As Lindsay walked past, he stopped her. His friend just chuckled the entire time, nodding his head up and down in agreement.

“You’d I’d throw back. You’re fat, ugly and I bet you haven’t gotten laid in years,” he said and laughed harder.

That did it. Both Cheryl and I looked at each other. For a brief nano-second, we understood each other. We both walked over to Lindsay. I grabbed her hand and pulled her away. I saw the tears in her eyes. As I was walking away, Cheryl pulled her pepper spray out of her purse and sprayed it on the man’s face.

The screaming was a pleasant sound. So was the sound of his friend running down the street.

Cheryl calmly put her pepper spray back in her purse and walked away. We followed.

When we got to our cars, we weren’t sure whether or not to laugh or cry. I was shaking and decided if anyone asked me about it, I would play dumb. “I don’t know nuthin ’bout no pepper spray” was going to be my story if anyone asked.

Lindsay was crying. His words hurt her badly. She was sensitive about her weight.

But we were celebrating the weight she had gained because she had survived cancer. She was well again, eating and for the first time in a year, not only had she stopped losing weight, she was putting it back on.

We tried to lift each others spirits, attributed the cruelty to the meanness of some people, but no matter how hard we tried to talk ourselves out of it, the severe judgement of one mans opinion of our looks and sexual appeal cut deep.

Yes, I admit it cut deep for a moment and that pissed me off. Who was this stranger, this nobody, that thought he had the right to arrogantly decide that our value was based on our sex appeal?

He was nobody, that’s what he was.

There are plenty of nobody’s around. Every article that tells you how to be. Every ad that shows you what else you need do or buy to be more appealing. Every TV show that shoves “the ideal woman” in your face. Every movie that has the beautiful woman in high heels, saving the planet and still able to keep her make-up smudge free.

These are all written by nobody’s and as long as you say they are correct….they are.

I disagree completely.

We are all good enough just as we are.

I started carrying pepper spray after that…