Posted by JSYL on Wednesday, November 01, 2006
So I was looking at Kev's blogtoday and had to recount a similar experience I had...though I was at the brunt of the abuse, and while I'm not elderly or frail, I'd like to think it was likewise unwarranted and led me to face an analagous moral dilemna of whether to allow bastards to go on being bastards (its very late I'd phrase it more eloquently if I could), or to stand up to the wrongdoer in the name of righteousness, even if it won't realistically make a difference.

When that moment of clarity came, I was amazed at just how clear the options before me lay.

I was at the gym with my mum in a step class, which, as any stepper should know, gets damn tiring. I came out in the middle of the class to fill my water bottle, and saw at the bubbler two guys standing relatively close on the opposite side of the bubbler, bodies turned toward each other as if they were in the middle of a conversation. The one closer to the bubbler took his drink and walked away, at which point I approached from my side, thinking the second guy had just been waiting for his friend to finish so they could continue their workout or whatever it is guys who go to the gym together do. But the second guy, unbeknownst to me, and begun approaching the bubbler from his side at the same time.

When I realised the misunderstanding on my part, I figured it was a classic case of who will be nice enough to stop first, sort of like when you're walking down the hallway on the same side as the other person and its a matter of who will step out of the other's way to avoid collision. All I was thinking about was getting a little water so I could hurry back to class. But before I could slow my pace as I got closer, the guy shoved my shoulder back, saying, "Wait." He glared at me, at this point stunned to the point of disbelief at his audacity, deliberately and painstakingly took his precious drink, repeated the glare and muttered 'bitch' under his breath as he swaggered his pathetic masculinity away.

The first guy happened to see and overhear at least the first part of these events and appeared as shocked as I, but walked away shaking his head. I remained composed till I'd finished refilling my bottle, unable to digest the level of disrespect that had just been displayed. I began to walk back towards the class...and then stopped.

I knew I had two options. I could pretend nothing had happened and let it go, or approach the guy and give him a piece of my mind so that he knew that I knew that what he did was inexcusable. There were of course implications. If I let it go, it would signify to the world and to myself that that kind of behaviour was tolerable and more importantly that I was able to tolerate it, such was my opinion of myself. But what it really came down to, was this: regardless of the practical outcome, would I be able to live with myself without wishing I'd said something on my own behalf, if I didn't go through with it? And a resounding no was the response.

I walked over to where this short balding (probably just shaved head but the creative licence adds a little to the story don't you think?) loser was on a bench press. I stood over him and said, "What is your problem?"
As if he had expected it, he sat up and said, "You walked right past me and completely ignored me like I wasn't there."
"I didn't know you were in line! I thought you were talking to the other guy!"
"Well I was in line. Next time you'll know better (or some such ironic patronising admonishment)"
"Even if I was pushing in that doesn't give you the right to be a dickhead"
"Walk away" (seriously he said this, as though I was going to start something with a 30 something year old short balding asshole)
"How the fuck were you raised to call someone a bitch for no reason at all?" i continued.
"Walk away" (woah big threat there tough guy makes me wanna run away swooning. Jerk.)
"Don't touch me. If you ever fucking touch me again I'll tell people (i.e. security)"
"Walk away". I don't think he heard a word I'd said, and it didn't really make me feel 'better', but I knew I had to say it as a duty to myself if no one else.

To my credit, after I'd said my peace I headed back toward the room my class was in. The first guy had been watching on from another set of weights and at this point he looked just as worked up as I was. "Please tell me you know that dickhead" he said. For a split second I thought he was about to tell me off for getting mad at the guy, simply because we were strangers- I was pretty mad at this stage and ready to take on anyone haha.
What he really meant was- the guy would have to at least know me to talk to me that rudely and make it a little more legitimate if not totally justified.
"No, I thought he was your friend that's why I wasn't waiting in line"
"No he's not MY friend." at which point he walked over to the guy and told him off accordingly.
I glanced over a few times from my class, and though I didn't hear what he said the first guy (much taller and bulky looking) was definitely angry and there was a lot of finger pointing and heads moving close so that you don't know whether they're going to kiss angrily or headbutt each other.

The second guy (who probably is just insecure about his so-small-its-non-existent penis and overcompensating for lack of real balls) left after the altercation, with as much macho pride as he could muster in his tiny swagger.

My brother told me if I ever see the bastard again, to point at him and yell out "THIS GUY BEATS UP GIRLS". I think it'd be more fun to say "THIS GUY CAN'T GET IT UP" but that's just me =p
In any case, moral of the story is to be true to yourself if nothing else, because at the end of the day, stranger or friend, you have only yourself and God to account your conscience to.



lol i remember that story! that was a long long time ago...u were so pissed at that time haha

the gym is the scene of a surprising number of such incidents. maybe its because the workout gets the testosterone pumping or something, i dunno.

i think as a general rule, it is far better to speak up when confronted with those kinds of situations, because silence equates to condonation.

but the guy you encountered almost seemed to be looking for trouble, and a chance to flex his metaphorical muscles.

(and this wasn't a nigel comment after all =P)

great story! and it's refreshing to hear someone standing up for themselves these days.
people are quick to blame society for these kind of problems problems but forget that they're also apart of it. i say bear conviction and stand up for what you believe in and to hell with the consequences. we all have too many seat belts on anyway. On ya jane!

wow i've never had so many comments on my blog at one time! =p

Chris: I know, and I'm clearly still pissed to this day haha

Kevin: wouldn't working out get the endorphins pumping too? Yeah I coulda taken the guy on if I wanted, he was so puffed up with self-importance.

Jimmy:You read my blog? haha I agree..thanks!

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