You get the call in the mid-afternoon on a Tuesday. It’s one of your best friends here, but it’s too early for one of your “how are you doing?” chats that often happen at night when you feel like you’ve already spent too much time that day watching television and you’re feeling the need to reach out to an actual human because while watching Captain Mel does pass the time, he’s the not the best listener.
You answer and, unfortunately, she’s not just asking you for a quick piece of information, but, instead, needs a moment to tell you one of those stories that happen too frequently when you live in a society that is obsessed and captivated by foreign women.
You listen and respond and try to make the situation better, but after 22 months, you think that you should be better at this conversation. This is not the first time you’ve had this conversation and you know that it won’t be the last. It won’t be the last time when you feel a friendship or work relationship take a completely different turn when he illustrates to you that he would like to be more than friends or work colleagues.
You realize that you haven’t gotten to used to it. Each time you get propositioned, you still feel violated. You know that the culture is different from your own. You know that it’s supposed to be flattering. You know that you can say, “no.” But each time it happens, you can’t stop your mind from momentarily going to those who didn’t have the chance or knew they had the right to say, “no.”