Some of this food was brought to you by "rapeway"

July 20th, 2014, 10pm

The first incident involved a guy in an electric wheelchair who kept following me around the grocery store, materializing like a ninja in frozen food aisles.

“Now that I’ve seen you more than once, you have to give me your number,” He declared, after the fourth ambush. When I asked him why he replied: “I’m not a stranger anymore, so what do you say? Are you going to give me your number?”

I wanted to say, “Sorry, I’m married,” but I swallowed the words. That’s not why I wasn’t interested and I dislike defaulting on the “don’t tamper with another man’s possession” excuse because it’s easier than admitting that I have preferences which don’t happen to include the person in question.

I told him I was flattered but not interested. He pressed for specifics and I said something about him not liking every woman in the store and that being just fine. It took a few more sneak attacks for him to get the message, but all in, I wasn’t that bothered. He was persistent, but not crude.

A month or so later, while shopping after dusk I was treated to two much more crude come-ons.

I was on a mission to find peanut butter, which should have been easy, but which was not. There were so many choices. I didn’t know why there were so many and how different they all were from each other. I longed for some kind of peanut butter infographic to help me decide which one to buy by putting them all on a scale relative to things like flavor and sugar content. In lieu of that I realized I was about to make a decision based on label design, but even then, it was true that all the labels were similar with none distinguishing itself as a clear contender.

It was in the midst of this that a guy sidled up very close behind me and hissed, “Damn girl, you’re asking for it, wearing pants like that.”

Though I’m ashamed to admit it I did not have a witty come back. Instead, I grabbed a $12 jar of almond butter, acted as though that was what I had been looking for and ran off without saying anything. In the immediate aftermath I felt bad, both because I had just spent too much money on something to put on my toast and because I might have overreacted. But, before I could feel too bad about it, another man, on the side walk, on the way home, yelled out, “Hey, hey there gorgeous.” When I ignored him he raised the volume “You afraid of me?” He shouted.

That got my attention. I wheeled around to glare at him. He was about my age, maybe a little younger, about a half a foot taller, quite a bit bigger. “Why would I be afraid of you?” I sneered in what I hoped was a totally bad-ass tone of voice.

He didn’t miss a beat: “Because I’m a man and you’re a woman.”

My skin prickled. Either he was trying to diffuse my supposed fear or trying to feed it. Either way, the sentiment burned me. “I could take you in a fight,” I blurted angrily, though it was a somewhat transparent lie. “So tell me what I’m afraid of.” He didn’t reply.

Incredibly, the very next day on my way past the same super market I heard a group of 17 year old guys talking about me. “Hey, hey, look at that one,” One said, loosely indicating me with a hand gesture he must have thought was invisible to everyone but his friends.

“Why you think she’s all dressed up?” One guy speculated. “She wants attention,” Another one answered, confidently.

“Hey you,” The first guy addressed me. I kept walking, but he persisted, taking a step in my direction. “Hey you, I’m going to give you something you haven’t gotten in a long while. A huge c**k to rip you in half.”

They broke into laughter. They high fived each other as though that was the funniest thing any of them had ever heard before. My face burned, but I kept quiet, because this time there were too many of them.

This all happened about a month ago. Since then, life has been peaceful and I’ve taken to relating the string of events as an explanation for why I don’t shop at my neighborhood Safeway after dark.

Last night, at a dinner party, after I told my story a friend remarked, “Oh that must be the Rapeway. Is that the one in Western Addition?” “Rapeway?” I repeated. “Well you know all the Safeways have nicknames. There’s the Dateway in the Marina and then the one in Western Addition is, well, the Rapeway.”

Christine, Ragini, Chris, Max and 8 others said thanks.

Share this moment

Dani Z

The hardest thing about getting older is realizing that I might, in fact, be a minor character in someone else's story. (I keep changing this bio. I'm not sure I'll ever nail it)

Create a free account

Have an account? Sign in.

Sign up with Facebook