Rape culture is alive and well

After the Stanford rape trial sentencing, the interwebs were a buzz with commentary. I read a lot of articles and may have gotten into a disagreement or two with individuals who said things like the problem is girls getting drunk and regretting their decisions and then crying rape, or that girls need to make smarter decisions. Things of that nature tend to piss me off. Anywho, I had my own experience this weekend and I just keep thinking about it so I thought I should share. Probably any idiot that thinks it’s common place for a woman to “cry rape” after making a regrettable choice (you know instead of a rape ACTUALLY occurring), isn’t going to see things any differently but either way these conversations need to keep happening.

Let me paint you a picture. It’s hot as hell outside. I mean like probably close to 100 degrees. We went to AthFest with the kids and then the hubs took them home and I stayed out with friends. I was looking GOOD. My hair was pulled into a tousled, tangled mess of a ponytail after I began pouring sweat earlier and I couldn’t take it anymore. I had on a blue, sleeveless top from Target and some baggy grey cropped pants from Sam’s Club. We had a few drinks at one bar and then went to a gay bar down the street. We hung out there for a little longer and decided we wanted to dance. There were 3 girls and 2 guys. We stopped off to get some cookies on the way to find some dancing.

It was late, sometime after midnight. Honestly, I stopped looking at the time. It was past my bedtime. I decided to focus on the fun having and ignore the fact that my kids were going to wake me up at the crack of dawn. We arrive at another bar and walk up the stairs. It’s pretty crowded. We make our way over to an open corner and form a circle and start to dance. Not more than 30 minutes, best guess here, and I realize I’m being touched. I turn to see a guy walk away after he put his hand on the lower part of one side of my back and rubbed it all the way across grazing my ass. As I search the crowd to see where this asshat went, what I assume were his two buddies since it seemed like a coordinated attack, each one after the other aggressively walked by while grabbing my ass and managing to get a hand a little bit further if you know what I mean. I felt like I had been slapped in the face, it was like a jolt of lightning. I was shocked and told my friends what had happened. The two guys had disappeared into the crowd. Only a few minutes later I feel something on my ass again, I whip around and some dude in a polo shirt has his ass forcibly on mine while gyrating. My male friend realized what was happening and gave him the what for and shooed him off. He left pretty quickly. Another few minutes later and another polo wearing douche throws his arms around two of us and starts aggressively getting in our business. This time it took two of the group telling him to piss off. Then we left.

Maybe I mentally blocked out my college dancing encounters or maybe there were less guys in college when I was that weren’t entitled jackholes who felt like they could stick whatever they wanted in whoever they wanted without first getting consent. I don’t know. I don’t remember being semi-penetrated while dancing with my friends before that night.

To address any of the reasons I’ve heard given prior to go along with victim blaming, I’ll clear the air about the deets of that night.

I wasn’t dressed provocatively. Please read about the aforementioned Sam’s Pants.

I wasn’t black out drunk.

I was standing on my own, dancing on my own, in control of my person.

I was not speaking to anyone I didn’t know. (Except for the lady that sold us cookies to ask her to please give me a schmear of icing. She did.)

I wasn’t kissing, petting or doing anything that would have given anyone any indication that I was down for some lovin’. I was enjoying a kid free night with friends dancing.

I believe rape victims. I’ve worked with them and heard their stories. I believe that rape culture is real. And even I was shocked. 5 different guys felt they should be able to touch, grope and insert themselves in and on my person. FIVE. In less than 30 minutes. What the actual fuck?

On the walk back to the car my girlfriend and I were talking about it and she said that’s why she hates going to some of these dance places. It’s a common occurrence. That’s fucked up. So you can’t even go dance anymore without some douchebag asshole being sexually aggressive with you? What are we teaching our sons? I thought of my sweets as we walked and talked. I’m terrified for her to go to college. And sad. Because she should be able to go and dance and laugh with her friends. She should be able to wear Sam’s Pants or something a little more fashionable or really whatever the hell she wants. She should be able to have her personal space invasion free.

We have to do better. We have to stop making excuses and not believing that our darling boys would ever do something to someone. We have to let our kids fail and make mistakes and take responsibility when they are younger. We have to teach our kids to work for what they want instead of taking it. We have to teach our kids that they aren’t entitled to anything. We have to do better. Because this is fucked up.


The Move. Part 2.

After the kids and I arrived in town in the middle of the night, we sort of slept in until maybe 7:30am. My kids never sleep late. It’s awesome.

So once we woke up and grabbed lunch (because I had already forgotten we are now in Eastern time zone and we arrived thinking we would be there just in time for breakfast), then we headed to the new elementary school to get them registered. Our friend came home from work and went with the kids and I to their first practice on the new swim team. And we got their team suits. And the boy nearly died because they don’t wear jammers (long speedo trunks), they wear the shortie shorts that are just a step below full on speedos.

The hubs arrives from Tennessee around 8pm-ish. Then jacknifes the truck and trailer because he pulled in but yet felt it needed to be straightened up so he backed up. Luckily it was easily fixed later another day.

We spent the next few days just hanging out and trying to relax knowing, but in no way imaginging what would be the reality, that relaxation wouldn’t happen for awhile come Tuesday.

Tuesday arrives, my mom shows up to watch the kids and we head off to meet the realtor at the walk through. We had been told that their movers were late the day before and would be at the house at 6:30am to finish. Okay fine. We arrive to a garage full of boxes and our realtor is nowhere to be seen. Their realtor comes out to tell us that the seller has been crying because she is breaking her word about being out when she said she would be. We close in an hour. Less than an hour at this point. We walk through the house and it’s gross. It also appears that in the 30+ days that we saw the house they allowed their 3 small dogs to pee all over the upstairs carpet whenever they felt like it. And didn’t clean it up. I pointed it out to the realtor and she said “Oh you can really tell what exactly that stain is?” Have you not ever seen something pee on carpet? It’s even f-ing yellow. Every room we walk though is half packed and full of boxes. Our realtor says that the house only has to be “swept clean”. It had not been swept. The basement was completely full of stuff. I began to get incredibly anxious.

I advise both realtors that we have movers coming (that we paid for already) at 1pm. It’s 9:45am. There is no moving truck or movers there for their stuff. They don’t seem concerned enough to go and rent a Uhaul. Neither realtor seems concerned and says let’s go to the closing. I call and am able to push our movers back an hour. She says she can send movers to their house right now if they have a truck to use and to let her know. I tell both realtors this. They reply, “Well that’s good to know”. The sellers show up to the closing and the wife says they didn’t leave the house unlocked for the movers to come in. Then the movers call and it’s 10:45am at this point. We are told they will be done and out by 1pm.

Oh! We had also planned to buy the pool table (well I was getting it along with a generous gift from my in-laws as a surprise to the hubs). When we saw it, it was dirty and they had set boxes on it. We advised both realtors we were no longer interested. We were told tough luck. They hadn’t planned to move it so it was ours. Bye $500.

We go get the kids and my mom and go to lunch. I texted our realtor, since they were supposed to let us know when they were gone, and she says “I’ll check”.Then we take them back and head to get my car and trailer. I arrive and there are no movers. At all. No truck. Their stuff is everywhere. It’s 1:45pm. I start texting our realtor again. She shows up 15 minutes later and asks if I want her to go buy me ice cream. I wanted to punch her in the throat. I go and ask if they can move their stuff into the driveway so that we can start moving our things in when the movers arrive in a few minutes. The wife says it’s supposed to rain and they don’t want their things to get wet. The husband says he’s absolutely not doing that because he’s not doing double work. Our realtor stands there silent, after she had just told me that we need to make the priority what we need because we had closed and us moving our things is was the priority.

Our movers arrived and started moving our things around their things. Later we’ve been moving boxes where they actually go since our movers couldn’t put things where they went because of the sellers. At 7:30pm they finally left. The house was disgusting. Something had spilled in the fridge and it had not been cleaned up. The freezer was worse. There was dust and dirt all over the floors and baseboards, windows, everything was nasty. Dead bugs eveywhere. They had not swept or vaccuumed. In fact, because their movers packed everything, the best I could tell the sellers stood together chatting and did nothing else but complain about their movers and refuse to do anything we asked of them.

Then late that night, maybe after 9pm, our friend and my hubs are outside and the seller is walking one of his two large dogs. He precedes to tell them that the other large dog (seriously the sweetest Golden Retrievers) had died of a heat stroke that day after being left in our backyard all day. It was over 90 degrees that day.

Since moving in we discovered that 2 toilet seats were broken, the jetted tub doesn’t work, the window a/c in the basement doesn’t turn off. You have to pull the plug out of the wall to turn it off and then it sparks. Right next to the propane heater that’s connected to a giant propane tank on the other side of the wall. There are several other things that are either broken or messed up but that’s just a taste.

One of my favorite parts was that the wife showed up a week later knocking on my door after 8:30pm at night asking if the movers left their smoker. They moved to another state. But she came back for her 3 small dogs and a hair appointment. I told her I thought it was on the back deck and she wanted to come back in the morning with help moving it. I told her just to go on the back deck and grab it but make sure she shuts the gate. Then she came back 30 minutes later ringing my door bell because I didn’t hear her knocking in the basement while I was looking for paint. Ringing my door bell after 9pm with my kids in bed. I should have told her that couldn’t have it but I was so shocked to see her that I wasn’t thinking. And then when she rang the door bell I was trying to control myself.

So that’s the first part and since then we’ve discovered so much more. But we are slowly getting things liveable.

The Move. Part 1.

Things have finally gotten to a point where, mostly out of sheer exhaustion, I am taking a break to sit down and rest at night once the kids are in bed. Figured it was time to write about all the moving things and what not.

We were very fortunate to have two sets of very good friends who offered (or said yes when we asked) to let our kids spend the night when them and hang out for a portion of the day we loaded up our stuff in moving trucks. We were in pretty good shape packing-wise but needed to clean the house. I (mistakenly) thought I would try to clean as things were taken out of the house.

I was afraid that we had too much to fit into one moving truck. I had been getting rid of things, nick nacks, etc for quite a while. We had sold some furniture. But we had a lot of boxes. We had a 5 bedroom house with two eating areas and a bonus room. And we had furniture to fill all those spaces. It’s a lot. We reserved a 26 foot moving truck and a 6×12 trailer to pull behind it.

The movers were great, they did a wonderful job. I would highly recommend Diamond Movers if you live in Nashville. We started to panic that we wouldn’t have enough room when half the truck was full. I called UHaul to see if they could install the electric part to my tow hitch so I could tow a trailer with my Pathfinder. They said they couldn’t do it that day, so I nearly started to cry, the guy put me on hold and then came back and said to get there as quickly as possible and he’d do it.

There were some house buying issues but that could fill a book, so I’ll just say our realtor was already sucking (our buyers agent, sellers agent was amaze-balls). I take the big kid and we go and get my tow hitch ready and rent yet another 6×12 trailer. I get home and they are ready to load it up already. It’s after 5:30pm at this point. I immediately go and start cleaning the house. I had tried to clean most of the rooms the few days before, but inevitably there were little pieces of things that fell off when they were carried out, etc, so by 7:30pm I was still in the house and had not left with my kids for the 6 hour drive that was ahead of us. And it’s worth mentioning that there was still a lot to clean. Finally around 8-ish (I think) I put the kids into the stuffed car with the dog in front on Benadryl and we started the drive to Georgia.

The dog was mostly okay, if I had to do it again I’d opt for the prescription stuff. She kept waking up from her nap and whining so I stopped at two different truck stops to try and take her to potty while watching my car to make sure no one slipped in and took my kids. In the dark. She never used the bathroom, even once. I was slightly annoyed.

The kids slept most of the time but then Ada woke up around midnight and was in one of those half asleep crazy fits. She kept screaming that she hadn’t slept and why couldn’t she sleep. I started saying “who wants snacks?” until she woke up enough to say that she wanted some. So I hit another truck stop, basically in the middle of nowhere off of I-20. At 12:30am. You get a lot of disapproving and strange looks when you take two kids into a gas station at 12:30am, especially little kids. And especially since I was telling them to find a bag of chips and a drink. Whatever, I was trying to survive. Finally, 3:30am we roll up into my sister’s place.

I had to park my car and trailer there, and my mom had driven the hubs’ car and parked it. So then I had to unload the crap from his car (large framed pictures and two old windows) that we had wrapped and put in his car, so that I could then put in all our luggage and the dog food and other things. My friend came and met me, in the middle of the night, as I drug stuff from one car to the other, dropping things at 3:30am in the morning like a crazy person.

Eventually we get most of it in the car and I decide to come back later for whatever else I might need. We get the kids back to her house and everyone is in bed by 4am. Which was great since my friend had to be at the gym at 5:30am to work with her trainer because she had forgotten to cancel. She probably also didn’t realize I was going to leave so late and then drag her out of the bed at 3:30am so that we could fit the dog cage into her car. I wasn’t about to have the dog tearing up her shit.

So that’s the first leg. It was a long, stressful day. I cried a few times. I was so tired driving that I couldn’t really fall asleep once I was able to sleep. There’s so much more to tell but that’s for another time.