Happy Monday, friends and drunkies alike! Some good news before I jump in. My new laptop arrives on Thursday, so I will not be cobbling this together from my phone and an Asus from 2012 for much longer. Impressed by my technological wherewithal? I know you are! Hopefully this new laptop will mean better photos, better editing, and maybe even some videos getting linked up. Who knows? We may get wild. For today though, it’s me, my busted ass base model laptop, that if I’m being honest, for cost $200 8 years ago, has held up remarkably well, and my phone for last looks. Now that we are all caught up, let’s jump in shall we? Almost, let’s almost jump in. Originally, this post was going to be about Sanding Ovations Master’s Cup, a festival with sand castles, food, and art, on Treasure Island Beach, near Sloppy Joe’s, (those certainly are all words that go together). BUT, 2 things happened. 1, I thought, it’s Covid, people should not have or attend large festivals, no matter how cool they are, they will be just as cool next year. And 2, a crazy thing happened to me today, so the sand castles can wait while I tell you about today.
Of course, talking about today means nothing if I don’t mention yesterday. Yesterday, Sunday medium fun day, was going to be a day where we stacked our washer and dryer and reorganized our Florida room (a mud room/laundry room for non Floridians). It was also going to be the day I washed my work out clothes from last week. You know what it ended up being? The day I walked down to the St Pete General Store, bought a bottle of Brut, a slice of the most delicious apple coffee cake known to man, and proceeded to sit on the couch in my living room, drink the bottle of bubbly, and binge watch “The Vow” and “Why Women Kill”. It was also not the day I drank any water. So, that was yesterday, relaxing, lazy, slightly dehydrating day, followed by a pretty early bedtime, and a good sleep. 1 bottle of bubbly spread out over an entire day will not get you drunk, therefor, it will not get you hung over. But it will get you less energized than if you had drank water all day instead.
So now we are all caught up. I woke up, feeling super thirsty, and super unmotivated to leave my cozy house and go for a run. But, I have 2 virtual races and a distance challenge going on right now, so just not doing anything was not an option. Unfortunately I had not done laundry yesterday, meaning I was stuck with some leggings that have zero pockets, which seems inconsequential, but matters because it means I couldn’t drive to the place I planned to run at, because I would have no where to put my keys. St Pete is not a place where you can just leave your keys in your car and expect it to still be there a few minutes later. At this point, I drank 2 glasses of water, but still felt bleary as hell, still felt thirsty, and was annoyed about the no pockets. But, I’m not throwing in the towel, so I grab my air pods and phone, which I’m just going to hold, like a pocketless loser, and head out. It takes me almost a mile before I feel like even walking faster than a meander, but eventually I resign myself to my fate and head to my neighborhood lake, figuring I can at least run around it a few times. Something is always better than nothing, and if you are going to be a runner and a drinker, you just have to deal with days like this. That’s expected. What was not expected was what happened next.
I arrived at the park, and was really happy to see 4 different neighborhood people or groups, 2 women were walking dogs, a man was grabbing lunch, and a couple was doing yoga. Whenever I consider running around this park, I always scan for safety because it’s a very public area, but there are several centers for men and addiction nearby, and occasionally it feels a bit unsafe. But not today, today it was bustling with life and neighbors. I ran around it once, and as I finished the first lap, I had not even noticed that like a western film when the bad guys arrive, it had completely emptied, save 2 men. Still, it’s a public area, lot’s of shops and restaurants and homes surrounding it. So, my guard up a little more once I noticed I was almost alone, I decided to do a few more laps around the lake. The second time around I noticed one of the men staring at me. I smiled when I ran by, women are taught to smile when interacting with strange men, because it’s safer to keep them from becoming angry. The third time around he was REALLY staring at me, and I considered bailing out, and should have listening to my inner alarm bells. Because the fourth time, he spoke to me, invited me to his house for beer, cigarettes and sex. I continued smiling, and said no thank you, and that is when he nodded to the other man who had been sitting up the hill from us. That man stood up and started cutting off the path between myself and the street, I ran. Thank goodness I am in almost decent shape, and while running I texted my husband to let him know what was happening and where I was. We live less than 600 steps from this park. By the time I had made it to the street on the far side of the park, near the general store that had sold me my wine mere hours before, the second man had closed the gap to just a few feet. However, by then I was safely in front of the shops, so he quickly turned down an ally. I texted Brian that I was safe, but did not want to go directly home, so they did not see where I live. Once I felt sure man #2 was not coming back I walked back toward my house, but took some side streets to finish out my run, and make sure the creeps did not follow me home. I immediately felt annoyed that this isn’t the first time a thing like this has happened to me, probably not even the 10th time. Guys, especially white guys, get to freely explore the world, safe from sexual harassment and threat of bodily harm. But women can’t run around a neighborhood lake 600 feet from their home without taking many precautions. It’s a weird thing too, at no point was I truly in danger, I am faster than they were, we were in a public space, I am a good puncher if need be. But in moments like those, you forget all of that, and feel so alone. But to all my other women who run even when hung over, even when they might experience harassment and fear, I see you! Cheers! Until next time, stay safe and hydrated out there!