Wednesday, March 04, 2009

"You are ugly woman."

As previously mentioned, I kind of live in a weird neighborhood -- weird because I'm this (cough cough) yuppie Brooklynite lesbian living in a heavily Russian and Jewish Orthodox neighborhood where no one smiles. My neighbors seem saddled with a leaden sense of stoicism, a psychic weight dragged with them from the old country. Whatever floats your boat, I guess.

Also previously mentioned, people around here seem supremely weirded out by dogs -- particularly large dogs. When I take Harley through the building to take him for a walk, there is a palpable distaste and sometimes a fear of his presence. It doesn't bother me as much as it bothers Ms. K; it just is what it is and it is the price we pay for cheap rent.

That said, I was taking Harley out for a walk this evening and upon coming back to the building he pulls me with all his weight the closer we get to the door. That is what he does -- he pulls. He's a big dog, so you kind of have to really fight against him or break out into sprint because he's got places to go apparently.

We go though the front door and into the vestibule and I open the main door with my keys. He starts pulling me into the lobby, which again is like a g-force.

What I didn't know was that there was someone behind me as I entered the building, although he was far enough behind that the main door closed before he could get through. No big deal, I thought. Normally I would have gone back and opened the door for the 60 something year old man with a bottle brush mustache and who was carrying a couple of shopping bags, but like I said, Harley was calling the shots.

Even though Harley was pulling me, I managed to look over my shoulder towards the man who was 10 yards away at this point.

"Shit!" he called from the vestibule, clearly irritated and offended that I had not held the door for him. Someone buzzed him in and he walked to his side of the building, GLARING at me the whole time. I think he grumbled something in a language I did not recognize.

Look, buddy, I didn't not hold the door on purpose. I'm not some ill mannered asshole like you. Harley is calling the shots here and if he says move I move. Besides, people here are so weird about dogs that I try to stay out of people's way.

And FURTHER more, I am a lady (er, sometimes, when it suits me). You do not shout obscenities at a lady.

Oh, he was not happy with me and continued to glare as he waited for his elevator. (As he did so I was reminded of my previous run in with a neighbor.) My spine stiffened. I have a big dog, I thought. You do not. I will out stare you. I kind of wanted to get in his face, which is really not me at all, but I didn't want to upset Harley.

When his elevator came, he gave me his parting shot.

"You are ugly woman," he shouted out as he boarded his elevator.

I laughed. That was the best he could do? The worst insult he could lob in his broken English?

Next time I will let Harley eat you.


Anonymous said...

It is somewhat disappointing that instead of reflecting on the issue in itself you belittled a person for their broken English. Sure, he insulted you but you stooped down to a similar level by ridiculing his speech.

Anonymous said...

I once had someone yell out "Thank you" rather obnoxiously when I was unable to hold the door open for her. Holding the door open for someone is a nice thing to do, but it shouldn't be always expected, especially when the person has a dog in her hands. And a GUY expecting a GIRL to hold the door open for him is tres weird. I always just assume these kinds of people are on (or off) their meds.