In A Bookstore But Not Trying To Read "The Foot Book"

Gosh, I've been so ridiculously busy all week. I've been meaning to tell you all about this:

Monday night in Barnes and Noble, I was sitting in the cafe, meeting with one of my teachers. Suddenly, I felt something touch my foot. And then it touched it again.

Initially, I didn't think anything of this. After all, you know how people accidentally kick you under the table or think they're resting their foot on a table leg and it's actually not a table leg, it's your foot. I thought the teacher I was meeting with might just be bumping into me or something. So I moved my foot a little. Problem solved, right?

Well, a few seconds later, whatever it was, touched my foot again. And then it stayed there, rubbing against my foot.

What was it, you wonder?

Not a mouse.
Not a rat.
Not the teacher I was sitting with.

It was the man sitting at the table behind me.

When I have more time, I'll tell you what happened next, but I'm curious. What would you have done in that situation?


Squirmy Popple said…
I'd like to say that I would have told him off, but I'd probably just get up and leave.

What is it about Barnes and Noble and creepy people? I worked in one for several years and saw many odd characters, including a guy who always used to try to touch the manager's hair.
Dena said…
i would have kicked his arss! only kidding, i don't think i would have done that, but i probably would have told him that, "i don't know you and you're in my personal space!" icky feeling......
Mizrepresent said…
lol, OMG...girl, this reminds me of the time my co-worker said she was walking around the store and kept feeling something brush against her butt, after several times she turned around and a man had his lips on her azz...He says "sorry ma'am,it just looked so good, i had to kiss it!" True Story!
Jameil said…
i just sat here, mouth partially open, with small gasps of shock/laughter/amazement escaping from it! what????? i would've given him the "WHAT ARE YOU DOING PSYCHO???" look that i have to give out a little too frequently when i go out. for some reason natural hair means petting zoo to a lot of people. but the foot... wow... HILARIOUS!!
Jon said…
Stick with Starbucks! Yikes, I think I would have said something like, "Hey now, that's not a table leg! Someone else tried that once, just once. If you want to keep your foot, you'll get it back on your side of the table."
Anonymous said…
Well Liz, You know my answer: You should have responded in "Proper Marine Corps Fashion", though afterwards you might have been arrested :-)
Mamita Umita said…
I would have said something really loud - like "hey man, what are you doing?" or "you need to move to another table". I would have embarassed him beyond belief.
Anonymous said…
Do you print French at this blog?

(Have to side with DJ Black Addam on this one.)
Anonymous said…
I would have turned around and with the loudest voice avaliable said, "what the hell is the problem with your foot"....okay its really not tactful...but really is this the time for tact?!!!
Liz Dwyer said…
Everyone, It was so nice to be able to click here throughout the day yesterday and see your responses. They made me laugh and took my mind off of a very stressful day. Thanks for that. I've just been thinking more and more about how what this guy did is a prime example of gender inequality and how the people who do this kind of stuff are usually men. I just don't see a whole lot of women trying to do this kind of stuff to men. Interesting...

I thought about just moving but there wasn't another free table to move to, plus, I felt like HE should be the one to move. And wow, someone trying to touch other folks hair. It makes you wonder what is wrong with people.

Yeah, the mind first imagines turning over his little cafe table, throwing hot tea in his face and bashing him in the head with a copy of Moby Dick. And then reality sets in and you realize that might not be the best response.

WHAT!!! That is crazy! Now, I'm totally curious about what your friend did/said in response because I can't even imagine that. Mr. Footsie was bad enough, but that's just beyond. See, this is what I'm talking about. Women don't do this mess. We don't see some brother and do something like that because we don't feel like we have the right to do so. Men, not all but some, feel like they have the right to do that.

Yes, the most random thing ever in the Barnes and Noble. A real WTF moment. Sorry to hear that folks think your lovely hair needs petting. That has got to be so annoying. I can just hear the dumb questions, "So how'd you get your hair like that? You mean it just grows out of your head like that?"

Oh I like your response. I did the, "I know you were putting your foot on mine. Don't do that again." I figured it was best to be really direct. He tried to play it off like I was mistaken.

But won't I have to learn how to do guy push-ups first in order to get the marine thing going on? And yes, I think I would probably have been arrested, especially in Manhattan Beach.

See, I worry too much that folks are genuinely crazy and will be waiting in the parking lot and follow me back hom. "Tryin' to embarrass me? Take that, you beeyotch!" And then the knife comes out and stabs me (sorry to be so morbid but you know, that kind of thing.) That's where I think the gender equality thing always comes in. We women have to be so worried about our physical safety and I almost wondered if this guy got off on the fact that he could do it and it's socially unacceptable and unsafe for me to really make a big deal out of it.

I do sometimes print Francais here at this blog, but I'm trying to cut back because we have a cuss jar in our house now. The Toys-R-Us fund is growing rather quickly these days.
Liz Dwyer said…
Oh, that is a good one. I like that. It's assuming the best of his intentions while calling out his wandering foot.
Sundry said…
Hopefully, I would have done something subversively retaliatory. What in that situation?

Makes me think of this moment on the trip that I'm not sure whether to be proud of or embarrassed about...standing in line in the rain outside the Musee d'Orsay, a guy in his early sixties cut in front of us on one of the curves. I thought it might have been a mistake, until I saw him exchanging gleeful glances with a woman a few people behind us.

After I saw that, I bumped his umbrella with mine. I thought if he wasn't guilty, he'd turn around and give me a look. Well. For the next, no kidding, twenty minutes I bumped his umbrella or I held down the edge with mine and he never said a word.

Old rat, anyway. He didn't even get into the museum any earlier because his lady friend didn't jump the line and he had to wait on her after getting tickets.

Oddly enough, pestering him turned the whole experience around from exasperation to an evil glee of my own.

Not sure how I'd make that happen with the foot rubbing guy. If I had an umbrella, though....
Oh, Liz, I worry about you. You are too gorgeous to go out unprotected in public. What a drag.

I think I would have said something because I can be a stickerbush about stuff like that. We women are just too used to being good sports and acting like it's ok when it is NOT ok. And such men are also too used to our not making waves.

You are not in the public domain. You deserve respect, and the usual response that "nobody got hurt" is simply not good enough.

And by the way, it WAS a rodent.
Liz Dwyer said…
I wish I'd had an umbrella as well. And I really wish I'd had a big thing of hot tea that I could "accidentally" knock over.

Sometimes I worry about me too and wish I could go out and not worry about this stuff. I wish every woman didn't have to worry.
Anonymous said…
I wasn't expecting a cliffhanger. Well, see, I'm a guy so if it was a beautiful woman, Halle Berry perhaps, I would have left it there and been flattered. If it was a guy I would have either moved or ran for my life because I he must be crazy to think that's ok, and after 17 years in NYC I know better than to mess with crazy folk.
the last noel said…
I'd tell the foot guy that I had a rash that can easily be spread, even through shoes. I'd say that I'm going to the hospital to get my leg amputated because of it and hopefully, he didn't just catch it now.
Anonymous said…
AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH HAHAHAHA HA! I am repulsed and amused all at once.
Liz Dwyer said…
I know...I'm terrible with the cliffhanger. And I agree, it's better to just leave crazy folks alone.

Oh now that's funny! You should have a number we call only for advice on what to say or do because that's a very witty response.

I know! I find that the more days pass, the more I can laugh it off and chalk it up to that guy being totally off his rocker.
none said…
Probably flung a book at him.
Liz Dwyer said…
LOL! Unfortunately, I didn't have any books at my table, only my laptop and some pens and papers. And if I threw the laptop that would probably be a bad thing since then I wouldn't be able to type this.
velvet said…
At the table behind you? That certainly rules out accidental contact. I would have very obviously put my feet out of reach. Ick.

Boy, you really have a way of attracting strangers, don't you? ;)
Liz Dwyer said…
I have alot of stranger anxiety which always makes the things that happen to me that much stranger. Ick, indeed!

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