To the boy who doesn’t “get” why I am so defensive:
You work and you work and you work until you get a position with the big names attached to it. You’ve fought just as hard to be here as the guys next to you. You’re proud, and you bought a new suit. First day, you’re too nervous to notice anything around you, and you spend it straightening your desk with shaking fingers, half excited, and half worried you don’t belong here.
And the next day, something is stolen from you.
Maybe it’s not too big - it’s a box of thumbtacks or your extra pencil so you just figure you misplaced it or imagined bringing it in yesterday. After all, with all the hustle, anything could have happened.
The next day it is your paperclips. And then the other pencil. And then three of your pens. You start chuckling awkwardly, forcing a smile, figuring they’re just hazing the new kid. Don’t say anything because you don’t want to start trouble. Of course not - you’ve got to work with this people for a long, long time. Better not get on their bad side.
So you replace the thumbtacks and your erasers go missing. You replace the pencils and lose all your pens. You replace the paperclips, find your post-it notes nicked. And the people around you, when they see you searching for that one thing - they either avert their eyes or have to cough to cover their laughing.
Maybe by now you’ve made a friend so you sheepishly ask him what’s happening. You do it trying to sound in-the-know, like you’re not too annoyed even though you are. Like it’s not getting to you, even though it is. And your friend sips his water and looks at your suit up and down and leans in to your ear and says, “Honey, what did you expect wearing that around here?” and your ears burn and you force a grin and nod a little as if that’s just what you expected and you go home and blow your first two paychecks buying something more understated.
But things keep disappearing and whenever you bring them up with other people, you hear, “That’s just what happens, get used to it” even though it seems like they only target your desk. But in time, you harden your heart and stop letting it hurt you. Every week you bring in new supplies, every week they are taken.
You want it to go away, but the more you ignore it the worse that it gets. Important things start evaporating: documents, spreadsheets, memos you missed. Your boss yells at you and you try to explain it - but he stares largely at your crotch and says “Not my problem, kid.”
Your office feels like a war zone but you don’t know where the fire is coming from. Half the room hates you because you keep coming in and the other half ignore you because they think you should just shut up and take it. You hear comments about your nature whispered in hallways, in bathrooms, left on notes in your jacket. You’re called messy, forgetful, unable to handle a little teasing. You feel your cheeks burn. This isn’t “a little.” It’s been going on long enough to be called bullying.
And after this has gone on for months, one day you snap and decide to take off. Just one sick day where you hang at home and leave that office behind you. You go to a bar, get drunk with the boys. Come home, take a shower, go back to the hellhole.
Your computer is on the ground, broken. Your desk has been snapped in half. Your drawers are ransacked. Everything is gone, just like that.
You feel like exploding and you know your boss is no help because he would have said something already so you find yourself talking to the authorities. You lead with the story about the thief while the officer sniffs and scratches an unsightly itch.
"So this has been going on for a while," he says, raising an eyebrow. "And you didn’t say anything?" And you work your answer around your mouth before agreeing, stuttering as you try to explain that you thought it was just teasing, that you weren’t sure of the workplace boundaries.
"Did you ask for it to stop?" he stares at you, "Did you tell them that you weren’t liking what was going on? Did you?" And you flounder again because no, you never directly challenged anyone, and yes, although you went to your boss about this, you didn’t really push the issue for fear of making even more enemies.
And the other eyebrow rises and he flips his notepad even though he’s written nothing and he leans across the table so you can smell his sweat and coffee breath and he says, “The evening of the incident, where were you?” You say you went out for a drink with the guys to let out some steam and give your headache a rest. “What were you wearing?” he asks, and you’re startled, because you weren’t aware this had any pertinence to the robbery, so you force your mouth to admit you were in casual clothing - his face gets tight like he’s saying “That explains everything.”
"Have you considered maybe they didn’t think you were very professional, dressing casual?" he coughs and you feel like crying but you just shake your head.
"Maybe," he continues, "You were just asking for it."
im a bad person who thinks bad thoughts like ‘ew what is that girl wearing’ and then remember that im supposed to be positive about all things and then think ‘no she can wear what she wants, fuck what other people say damn girl u look fabulous’ and im just a teeny bit hypocritical tbh
I was always taught by my mother, That the first thought that goes through your mind is what you have been conditioned to think. What you think next defines who you are.
When you’re with someone you love, skin to skin isn’t enough- you want them as close as possible. That’s how it is with you, I want to pull you in so far I feel you in my soul.