Did I Just Witness a #MeToo Moment?
I hate Starbucks coffee but there was enough room for me to squeeze in and set up shop for a few hours. I ordered a hot black tea anyway.
The available two-top table was positioned awkwardly close to its neighbor where a young woman sat scrolling through YouTube videos on her laptop. From my brief, accidental glance, I noticed they were workout videos. Pilates or yoga or Tae Bo or some such thing. I scooted my claimed table away from hers as quietly and unobtrusively as possible. It made a sound as it scrapped against the floor. Despite having earbuds in, the young woman looked up from what may have been a Peloton video and glared at me.
She was blond and had a face. Nothing remarkable about her, really. And that’s not an insult; she looked like a young, female, urban professional in a coffee shop. Close your eyes. You know exactly what she looked like. I assume someone found her remarkable because she was wearing an engagement ring. I wondered if she’d ever glared at her partner that way. I’ve been glared at like that by ex-girlfriends. It’s why they’re exes. That kind of glare only comes from a woman scorned after suffering years of disappointment and bothersome boyfriend behavior.
Not sure how I had earned that hateful look.
I situated myself at my table — laptop, legal pad, pen, pencil, headphones, black tea; all things in place. The outlet was on the floor between me and the young woman. Her plug was in the socket closest to me. An odd choice, I thought. So I crossed over her plug, careful not to disturb it, and sunk my plug into the socket. It felt like a game of Operation — don’t touch the sides. I thought I had won. Apparently, I had not.
The young woman pinched at the plug leading into her computer. She pulled it out then plugged it back in. Then she reached down to the floor and fiddled at the socket.
“I’m sorry, did I bump it loose?” I asked, making more animated hand gestures to compensate for her still wearing her earbuds.
“It’s fine,” she snapped.
“Sorry about that,” I reiterated.
“Fine,” she snapped again, this time adding a hint of that hateful glare.
I put my head down and got to work. She opened a bag of Trader Joe’s Roasted Seaweed Snack and chowed down on piece after piece much like Cookie Monster chows down on cookies. Seaweed crumbs everywhere. At that point, my earbuds were in and I could still hear her munching. I had no idea seaweed could ever be that loud.
I turned up the Hall & Oates Spotify playlist on my phone. Rich Girl was playing. I laughed at the irony then looked over to make sure I hadn’t upset the young woman again. No, I was safe. This time. She was deep into shopping the Old Navy website.
So, did I just witness a #MeToo moment? Was I the guy who pushed through her personal space? Did I assault her sensibilities? Did I make her feel uncomfortable?
Maybe. Probably. But I doubt she’ll make a big deal of it to her friends — assuming she has any. I think that young woman operates in a state of perpetual annoyance. The city and its people and its Starbucks electrical outlets are nothing more than inconveniences hellbent on ruining her day. It’s her world and the rest of us are mere pigeons shitting on her head.
She left about 20 minutes later. I spent the rest of the day wondering what kind of fight she’ll pick with her partner tonight. Maybe she’ll call off the wedding or insult his mother or his best friend. Maybe she’ll take to sulking on the couch noshing baked seaweed snacks, crumbs flying everywhere watching House of Cards wishing she had Robin Wright’s calves.