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It Happened Again & Freaked Me Out

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shirley View Drop Down
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    Posted: January 11 2000 at 8:50pm
I was at a large department store buying towels of all things and I was in the checkout line. An older women got in line behind me and the next thing I knew, she had her hands on my hair. She was touching it, sort of like testing the ripeness of fruits and veggies.I freaked and pulled back and gave her a look. I was stunned. I always am. She seemed embarrased but said, well I was just wanting to see if your hair was real and it is so soft.This has happened to me before on elevators and in shopping malls. I want to know what I am doing wrong that gives people the nerve to just reach out and touch my hair?I want to slap them but I have too many manners.Does this happen to anyone else and what do you do? This is definitely a major pet hair peeve of mine and I am still steaming, hours later.
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Dave View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 11 2000 at 8:50pm
Shirley,Although I have never had this happen to me (and I have never done thisto anybody else!), I understand your frustration.Basically, they are touching a part of you without having first obtainedyour permission to do so!Look at their (somewhat rude) actions as a big compliment. Your hair isobviously very well cared-for and very beautiful. Not everybody has whatmight be considered "sufficient" self-restraint, or manners, as do you.You may want to calmly explain to them your surprise at being touched.Perhaps then they may begin to understand that touching without firstasking permission is inconsiderate (perhaps?).It's really not my place to ask, but you may want to consider trying tobe more forgiving of their transgressions. Just a friendly and gentlesuggestion.Dave
David M Squires
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Jade21 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jade21 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 11 2000 at 8:50pm
Hi, Dave!I have to disagree with you this time. When I saw Shirley's post, I knew exactly how she felt. Shirley, do not question yourself. There are some rather curiously rude people whose mothers obviously never said to them, "Keep YOur Hands To Yourself."Two weeks ago, on Thursday, I was riding the local Metro to an appointment which I had in downtown DC. I was looking for something in my bag and I felt a strong tug on my hair. I turned around and this man, with my hair in his hands, said to me upon me asking "What are you doing with my hair?", "I just wanted to see if it was real." I asked him to remove his hands from my hair and said to him that "Didn't your mother ever tell you to keep your hands to yourself?" He laughed and I got up and moved to another seat. A few minutes later he tried to find out where I lived and whether I had a boyfriend. I moved again. On the second move, a guy, who looked like he was in high school, told the man in a very threatening manner, "Back off or you can deal with me and not the girl." Thereafter, the man moved to the back of the train car.In this forum, we've discussed many problems with long hair.When other people feel that they can touch another person, albeit their hair, at will, they have crossed the line. When it comes to women, we have to be extremely careful, no matter how friendly or unassuming a man may seem. Case in point just noted.All the best,Jade21> Although I have never had this happen to me (and I> have never done this> to anybody else!), I understand your frustration.> Basically, they are touching a part of you without> having first obtained> your permission to do so!> Look at their (somewhat rude) actions as a big> compliment. Your hair is> obviously very well cared-for and very beautiful. Not> everybody has what> might be considered "sufficient"> self-restraint, or manners, as do you.> You may want to calmly explain to them your surprise> at being touched.> Perhaps then they may begin to understand that> touching without first> asking permission is inconsiderate (perhaps?).> It's really not my place to ask, but you may want to> consider trying to> be more forgiving of their transgressions. Just a> friendly and gentle> suggestion.> Dave
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Dave View Drop Down
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Hi Jade21,Please be assured that in no way do I condone the behavior of people whotouch others in any way without having first received permission to do so.Also, I am not suggesting to Shirley that she feel that she was not violated,for clearly she was.The degree to which that violation constitutes a potentially dangeroussituation, though, is another matter to consider when choosing one's response.Certainly the "touchers" in these two situations were quite different.Shirley may not have felt endangered by the "older woman" touching her hair(as if testing vegetables). But in your encounter, it is very clear to seehow you rightly felt endangered. It was a man, he gave your hair a strongtug, he disrespectfully laughed at your request that he not touch your hair,he pursued you after you moved seats, and he began asking you all sorts ofpersonal questions. Certainly you were considerably harassed, and for thatI am sorry to hear.I also agree that when someone touches your hair without having receivedpermission to do so, one needs to be very cautious about the "toucher" andtheir motives.Although I haven't experienced anything quite like you or Shirley, I hadmy own unpleasant encounter of sorts a few years ago. It was July 4th andan extremely large fireworks-watching crowd was departing the viewing areaafter the show (there were so many people it was shoulder-to-shoulder).From directly behind me, I heard the voice of a boy (approximately 12 yearsold) who said "If I had a scissor..." I turned to see who said this, sawthe boy and an adult man accompanying him (presumably his father) bothlooking at me. I waited a moment for the man to admonish the boy for hiswords -- yet none was forthcoming. So I gave that man the dirtiest lookimagineable. If looks could kill...Dave
David M Squires
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andy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote andy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 11 2000 at 8:50pm
Hi all,I'm totally with Jade and Shirley here.There is no excuse, read my lips, no excuse, for molesting others in dept stores, the subway, or anywhere else! If people want to go around fondling any part of a total stranger they should ask - and if they don't they fully deserve a good "talking to" (as we say here in the UK).For God's sake what next, "I just wanted to feel if your butt was real, it looked so firm"?????!!!!!If groped, let 'em know how you feel
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Diane from Canada View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Diane from Canada Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 11 2000 at 8:50pm
> Hi Jade21,> Please be assured that in no way do I condone the> behavior of people who> touch others in any way without having first received> permission to do so.> Also, I am not suggesting to Shirley that she feel> that she was not violated,> for clearly she was.> The degree to which that violation constitutes a> potentially dangerous> situation, though, is another matter to consider when> choosing one's response.> Certainly the "touchers" in these two> situations were quite different.> Shirley may not have felt endangered by the> "older woman" touching her hair> (as if testing vegetables). But in your encounter, it> is very clear to see> how you rightly felt endangered. It was a man, he gave> your hair a strong> tug, he disrespectfully laughed at your request that> he not touch your hair,> he pursued you after you moved seats, and he began> asking you all sorts of> personal questions. Certainly you were considerably> harassed, and for that> I am sorry to hear.> I also agree that when someone touches your hair> without having received> permission to do so, one needs to be very cautious> about the "toucher" and> their motives.> Although I haven't experienced anything quite like you> or Shirley, I had> my own unpleasant encounter of sorts a few years ago.> It was July 4th and> an extremely large fireworks-watching crowd was> departing the viewing area> after the show (there were so many people it was> shoulder-to-shoulder).> From directly behind me, I heard the voice of a boy> (approximately 12 years> old) who said "If I had a scissor..." I> turned to see who said this, saw> the boy and an adult man accompanying him (presumably> his father) both> looking at me. I waited a moment for the man to> admonish the boy for his> words -- yet none was forthcoming. So I gave that man> the dirtiest look> imagineable. If looks could kill...> DaveHello ShirleyI would also be shock by it and feel invaded. I am not sure what I would do or say if it happened to me.Diane
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Lurker View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lurker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 11 2000 at 8:50pm
> I was at a large department store buying towels of all> things and I was in the checkout line. An older women> got in line behind me and the next thing I knew, she> had her hands on my hair. She was touching it, sort of> like testing the ripeness of fruits and veggies.Just how old was this "older woman"? Was she very old, like in her 70's, or was she just "older" in her 40's? Did she have long hair, or short, or what?The reason I am asking: my sister used to work in a nursing home as a volunteer, she has long hair. A lot of the old people used to want to touch her hair, many of them just did it without asking, kind of like what happened to you.I guess that lots of old people just lose their inhibitions, kind of like a lot of really young kids have no concept of tactful behavior. I belive that most of them wanted to touch my sister's hair just because they liked the tactile sensation that it gave them, kind of like a memory of when they were young. I don't think they meant any harm.Of course, I can understand how freaky it must be to have a total stranger just start feeling your hair without permission!> This has happened to me before on elevators and in> shopping malls. I want to know what I am doing wrong> that gives people the nerve to just reach out and> touch my hair?Nothing you are doing that is "wrong"....people just have an affinity for really pretty long hair, lots of people have very limited inhibitions aboout touching without permission.I wonder if some experiences like your own are reasons that women cut their long hair?I know that one girlfriend in college told me this when she wanted to cut her hair short....she said that she was afraid that someone could grab her long hair and use it to restrain her while she was sexually assaulted.I never understood this at the time, but now I wonder if something exactly like your experience happened to her that just completely freaked her out?
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H. Taylor View Drop Down
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Jade and Shirley, I can understand how you'd be freaked out! THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR ONE PERSON TO TOUCH ANOTHER IN THIS WAY WITHOUT EXPRESS PERMISSION! I may admire someone's hair, but I wouldn't go up and start playing with it, for Pete's sake. A verbal compliment is much more comfortable for all, so long as it, too, is tactful!
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H. Taylor View Drop Down
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Dave, I would have given the father AND son a dirty look! Aarrgghh. . .there's nothing like the young being taught that the cookie-cutter mold is the "best." *Sigh.*
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Jade21 View Drop Down
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Hi, Dave!It think what you said about the Fourth of July experience is interesting and quite deplorable. Such foul behavior!I think I told you about the recent friend I made of this guy who is like the strawberry blonde version of your hair. [Frankly, I think your hair is more awesome:] He told me about something that happened to him at a musical concert when he was living in New York. He was leaving the arena and felt something on his back, but couldn't see anything because the crowd was so dense. When he got home, he was missing some hair on the right side. He said it looked like somebody had taken a knife or sharp object and just made a jagged edge.There are some strange, destructive people out there.Take care of the locks!All the Best,Jade21> Please be assured that in no way do I condone the> behavior of people who> touch others in any way without having first received> permission to do so.> Also, I am not suggesting to Shirley that she feel> that she was not violated,> for clearly she was.> The degree to which that violation constitutes a> potentially dangerous> situation, though, is another matter to consider when> choosing one's response.> Certainly the "touchers" in these two> situations were quite different.> Shirley may not have felt endangered by the> "older woman" touching her hair> (as if testing vegetables). But in your encounter, it> is very clear to see> how you rightly felt endangered. It was a man, he gave> your hair a strong> tug, he disrespectfully laughed at your request that> he not touch your hair,> he pursued you after you moved seats, and he began> asking you all sorts of> personal questions. Certainly you were considerably> harassed, and for that> I am sorry to hear.> I also agree that when someone touches your hair> without having received> permission to do so, one needs to be very cautious> about the "toucher" and> their motives.> Although I haven't experienced anything quite like you> or Shirley, I had> my own unpleasant encounter of sorts a few years ago.> It was July 4th and> an extremely large fireworks-watching crowd was> departing the viewing area> after the show (there were so many people it was> shoulder-to-shoulder).> From directly behind me, I heard the voice of a boy> (approximately 12 years> old) who said "If I had a scissor..." I> turned to see who said this, saw> the boy and an adult man accompanying him (presumably> his father) both> looking at me. I waited a moment for the man to> admonish the boy for his> words -- yet none was forthcoming. So I gave that man> the dirtiest look> imagineable. If looks could kill...> Dave
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Dave View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 11 2000 at 8:50pm
Jade,Oh, how horrible! I'm so sorry for your friend. What was done to himwas W-R-O-N-G !!!Oddly enough.... my "encounter" happened while I was living in New York.Hmmm...Having reminded myself of the story yesterday, I told it to a colleagueat work, who in turn told me that last year, when SHE lived in New York,that she and her husband chose to watch the fireworks show from homeBECAUSE she distrusts large crowds!> There are some strange, destructive people out there.Indeed, and unfortunately, there are.Take care Jade.DaveBTW, thank you for your kind compliment on my hair! :-)
David M Squires
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H. Taylor View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote H. Taylor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 11 2000 at 8:50pm
Oh, LOVELY! (Note the dripping sarcasm!) Jade, I can't begin to understand the mentality of someone who would do that to your friend's hair. . .it makes me wonder what other actions they engage in that harm other people! To think it could have been done with a knife is especially worrisome. . .but at least your friend only lost some hair, and wasn't injured in some sort of fight -- although he shouldn't have lost anything, of course.I'm really sorry to hear of these various incidents people have been sharing with us!!!
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shirley View Drop Down
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Wow. Thanks for all the support and great ideas on how to handle the situation in the future. The woman in question, to answer Lurker, was about 50. Maybe a little younger.I can understand why very young or very old people may want to touch my hair. It would be OK if they asked first. Then I could decide whether I felt comfortable or not.I really liked what all of you had to say about this and could relate so much to Jade21 in her horrible encounter with the male who had hands from hell.Thanks for all taking the time to help me on this topic.Shirley> Hello Shirley> I would also be shock by it and feel invaded. I am not> sure what I would do or say if it happened to me.> Diane
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> I can understand why very young or very old people may> want to touch my hair. It would be OK if they asked> first. Then I could decide whether I felt comfortable> or not.Absolutely.> I really liked what all of you had to say about this> and could relate so much to Jade21 in her horrible> encounter with the male who had hands from hell.Maybe lessons in martial arts would be of some use?
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Ally View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ally Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 11 2000 at 8:51pm
How about a little perspective here?An elderly women pets your hair admiringly, and you are so deeply affronted you have to VENT? Ain't beauty a curse.Shirley, I don't mean to diminish your feelings, but it seems to me that this sort of encounter is a far cry from what Jade described, which was sexual harassment and had little to do with hair. I know we all have our hang-ups. For example, I can't stand anyone breathing in my face. But I also understand that it's part of some people's culture, habit, subconscious body-language script, etc., to do so.My grandmother reaches out to touch babies in supermarkets and will put her arm around the shoulder of someone she just met. She'll also pick lint off a stranger's lapel. This makes me cringe, not because she's really doing anything wrong, but because I know other people are so damned intolerant. Once at a conference I told another woman she had beautiful hair, and she looked at me like I was chasing her with a pair of scissors.It amazes me that in this society we work so hard to cultivate beauty and inspire lust and envy in the hearts of others--and then scorn the targets. I think we've become way too sensitive, intolerant, and indignant. No, this woman had no RIGHT to put her hands on you. But is it really the end of the world? Can't you see it as a compliment?If someone found my hair so gorgeous that they literally couldn't keep their hands off it, I'd be walking on air all the way home from Stop & Shop.The Other Side,Ally
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