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Sunday, November 09, 2008


I went for an extra-long run. I passed this group of possibly homeless people (they had sleeping rolls & shopping carts). As I jogged by, one asked me something inappropriate & insulting (clue: it had to do with the fact that he's a man and I'm a woman). I ran on for about 50 feet, but the question kept ringing in my ears, and with every step I got angrier and angrier. I mean, I've done this so many times — we've all done this, we women. We get somewhat accustomed to being insulted, and we just take it, and by doing so we allow men to think that it's their right to treat us like we're lesser human beings. But you know, it's not right! So I turned around and ran back.

There were about seven of them, some sitting on this bench, others hanging out on or next to the path. I asked who had spoken to me as I ran by, and a man who was about my age said that he did. I told him that I'd simply come to the park to go for a run, and I reminded him that I hadn't done anything to him and that his comment had been incredibly rude and disrespectful. The woman sitting next to him agreed with me, and he apologized.

My shrink tells me that I should think about other peoples' situations before I jump to conclusions and get too angry. So okay, I understand that when a man is perhaps jobless and feeling disenfranchised, when a man is sitting safely with a group of his peers to back him up, then it probably feels like a win-win to say something disrespectful to a woman running all by herself in the park. Maybe I look like a person who has a job, and I'm sure that because of my appearance and bearing, I'm more likely to get one than someone who's had to spend his nights sleeping in the park & hasn't had access to a shower, say. Perhaps by running by I was subtly projecting this air of superiority, this "look-at-me,-I'm-taking-care-of-myself" kind of thing. Maybe by doing something for myself, I come across as smug.

But you know what? I honestly don't give a fuck about all that. I found this man's behavior cowardly, no matter what the context. I explained to him that he could express sorrow, but that there was no excuse for what he'd said to me. Then I resumed my run.

Last night, the ex-boyfriend showed up at work. He seemed to be on an even keel, and it was nice to see him. I told him that he could send me postcards, but he was NOT to come visit me at my home. He advised me to move back to Washington State because if things continue to go downhill, my family might be able to help me out. But the thought of it makes me feel like I'm dying inside, just a little bit.

And today, I'm doing all that I can to NOT sink into a horrible depression. When I get down, my energy level starts to wane. But I figure that if I push myself every day, it'll start coming more naturally. On Thursday morning I'm to meet someone for a game of tennis, and I want to get some practice in before then, since, to be honest, I don't know how to play. So after I post this, I'm going off to see if I can't find a cheap tennis racket, then I'll go for a run, then I'll apply for some jobs.

After my next physical examination, I've decided to let my health insurance lapse. I'll be caught up with all the basics, and providing everything checks out all right, I think I'll luck it for a while. From now on, my monthly health insurance payments are going for groceries.

Okay, on with my day.


Blogger sage said...

Being poor and homeless is no excuse for being rude! Maybe he will learn something, being civil to folks will get us a long ways. Good luck on finding a job--how about Univ. of CA press--they'd be more likely to print something in my area of interests and I could use an advocate!

4:57 PM

Blogger Bongi said...

i disagree with your shrink. his situation has no bearing on you. if he is rude then he is rude. whether he is rich and rude or poor and rude. how can anyone expect you to feel bad because you so called look after yourself.

well done that you went back.

9:23 AM

Blogger ing said...


I don't think anyone learned anything, I just think the gentleman had some fun taking me down one more notch. Luckily, I have a few more notches to go before I get to the bottom.

I've definitely got my eye on UC Press, but it looks like the publishers in this area aren't hiring at the moment & it will likely be a while. Time for another career change. I will look for another field in which I can be your advocate.


Dr. Bongi:

I often disagree with my shrink, but I try to follow his advice, since it's much different from the advice of my friends here in San Francisco, who support me unconditionally. And it's nice to have someone to talk to.

I think it was good for me to release some of the angry pressure that had built up inside of me by going back to that man. But for some reason, I'm still so angry.

10:43 AM

Blogger purplesimon said...

Save some money, ditch the shrink. I don't think you're getting as much out of it as he/she is.

Homeless or not, the guy was a jerk. Okay, I may have said something inappropriate to a woman on the street when I was a teenager, but thankfully (for women and myself) I've matured a lot in that area. You did good, although paragraph three made me worry for a moment. Good job for paragraph 4.

And things will pick up. I've been in a situation of no work for over a year. It was horrid and I've vowed never to go back to it. But I can't guarantee that'll never happen. I just pray it won't. So, I feel your pain.

I started a business to get out of my hole (with a grant), but it failed. However, a learned a lot and it helped me get where I am today. I just had to stick with it. I think life is kinda like poker: to win in the longer term, you need to always play the right hand, even if it means you lose in the short-term.

Having said that, I'm shite at poker. I can be read like a thrift store comic. Easily. By anyone.

I feel like I'm rambling (as I usually do) so I'll stop.

Hugs and sunshine.

purplesimon out...

p.s. if you get really good at tennis, move to the UK. We need all the good female tennis players we can get!

12:48 PM

Blogger ginab said...

Bravo! Embrace the anger, as you did by confronting its source there, and let it go.

Running is your source of freedom. Takes little in funds, and yet it offers much more. It's no ones business but your own.

Embrace yourself.

Can you tell I'm reading from The Best Buddhist Writing 2008? Okay, I am. You've come to mind on koans and on points of compassion. Anger, yes they say it hinders happiness, but I can't help noticing your return to the dope of insult was an attempt to understand no matter what. That's compassion.

7:20 PM

Blogger ing said...


I wish I was brave enough to try to start my own business!

I'll have another talk with the shrink. Sometimes I think he gives great advice, but that it's not necessarily the greatest advice for me. And sometimes I realize that I have to apply each bit of advice he gives me to each situation as it comes, because there is no perfect advice for any given situation.

Sometimes I don't mind not having a job. I enjoy how, to avoid boredom, I'm branching out and trying new things. I love having the time to get in shape.

If I get good at tennis, okay, I'll move to the UK. Done!



Running is the greatest! I love that it's free, and I love how it makes me look and feel.

Do Buddhists derive pleasure from defrosting their freezers? I defrosted last night, and this morning I got no pleasure from cleaning up the nasty bogwater melt.

7:54 AM


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