Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Fencing with words

After another enjoyable evening of vomiting ginger beer through my nose, I decided to work from home this morning.  Despite me moaning about the investment banking culture being unfair to women (which it absolutely is), I'm a trusted enough member of staff that I can manage my own time, so it's not the end of the world if I come in at midday, or work from home from time-to-time.  They get their money's worth out of me in other ways.  Besides which, my manager is based in New York, so is fast asleep until about 1 p.m. UK time anyway.  Result.

I felt lousy all morning, but I was running an important meeting this afternoon so had to be in the office.  I was too sick to put make-up on.  I barely managed a shower.  I crawled out of the house looking desperately unpleasant, wearing my "Baby On Board" badge from Transport for London.

Two doors down are having their fence replaced.  The two workmen were taking up almost all the pavement whilst doing this, but the road isn't busy and it wasn't hard to walk round.  However, instead of making small movements to minimise the amount of space they were taking up, both of them just stopped and stared at me.

They waited until I'd just walked past, and then one of them said, whilst dry-humping the fencepost, "Do you want to stroke my post?"

Now, normally I'd have been straight back with the witty riposte:  "I assume you're talking to your mate; he looks like he does.  I'm so glad you two can be open about your sexuality" would have sufficed.  Or maybe the less subtle, "No thanks - I saw you on that syphilis documentary last week", or even (whilst stroking the fencepost), "That'd be great thanks, but keep your tiny, tiny penis away from me."  I even considered the bitchy, "It must be hard for you to get any action.  Perhaps if you'd learned to read in school, you might have a job that's a bit more attractive to women."

But I was just so shocked.  I'm 32; it's been at least 5 years since any workman has bothered shouting at me - generally they didn't even bother then, as I dress very conservatively, and whilst I'm not a total minger, I'm nothing special in the looks department.

Additionally this was our next-door but one neighbour - it would have been so easy just to knock on their door and report them.

But finally - I looked like crap, I felt like crap, I was clearly pregnant... they must have been absolutely desperate for entertainment.

The weird thing was I actually felt quite vulnerable.  Don't get me wrong - I wasn't in (and didn't feel in) any danger; this was the middle of the day on a residential street.  But I felt violated in a way that wouldn't normally matter. That's a first for me.

We have the 12 week scan tomorrow.  Wish me luck.

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