The single life is tough. I really don’t miss it.
And, if I weren’t a guy, I’d probably miss it even less after reading these 17 responses from women of AskReddit listing times when someone intervened to protect them from creepy dudes on the prowl:
#1. “Best bus driver ever.”
I was coming home from like an indie club on the bus at 1am in my college town. The bus is nearly empty when a get on, with a few people including this one guy who won’t stop staring at me. As the bus leaves, he asks if I mind if he sits next to me. The bus is nearly empty, so I said I’d mind, I’d like to put my purse there. He sits in front of me, instead.
The entire bus ride, the dude will not stop talking to me. I clearly don’t want to talk, but he keeps talking at me, and asking me about my classes, what I’m into, what I like. I give pretty short, but polite answers, hoping he’ll get the hint. Nope, he keeps talking and telling me how beautiful I am and how I seem so smart and cool and nice. Made me really uncomfortable, especially since I’m barely answering the dude, so how could he know any of that stuff? I even drop the boyfriend bomb–my beau was home sick–and the dude continues unfazed.
Get to about three stops before mine and the bus takes “a break” where they wait about 10-15 min because they’re running fast on the route. The route sort of doubles back, so I’m pretty close to my apartment. At this point, there’s only one other person on the bus besides me, the dude and the bus driver. I say, “well, I’m pretty close, I don’t want to wait the fifteen minutes, I’m just getting off here.” Mostly to get away from this creep. But the dude asks if he can stop by my place! “No, no, I’m going to sleep, I’m fine.” So he says, “oh, I wouldn’t want a pretty girl to walk home alone. I’ll walk you.” HELL. NO. I do NOT want this dude knowing exactly where I live, let alone walking me home.
I was young and terrified of being rude, so I just kept saying, no I’m fine. Just stay here. Please, I’m fine. He’s insisting. Then the bus driver, who apparently was watching the entire ride yells, “Boy, she said she was fine. If you get off this bus, I swear I’ll call the cops.”
Best bus driver ever.
#2. “So what’s going on tonight beautiful?”
One night in college, I was walking home. I was in the nightlife area right by campus, only a couple of blocks from my apartment. Some guy (30s-ish) asks to bum a cigarette, which then leads to him being all, “So what’s going on tonight beautiful? You busy? You got a boyfriend?” Me being young and afraid to anger a strange man, I sort of play along, uncomfortable and trying to break away but wanting to play it off naturally.
At one point someone rode past on their bike. They slowed down and stopped about half a block up. They turned around and stared back at us – it was too dark to see their face or who they were, but we could both see that they were there. They stayed like that until the guy left me alone.
I guess this is more of a street harassment story than getting hit on, but I will forever be grateful for that person just watching out for a stranger.
#3. “Hey, can I borrow your glasses?”
I’m usually the deterrent to persistent dudes when out with a group of friends, but one night this “gentleman” would not quit. An abbreviated summary of the conversation went something like:
Him: “Hey, can I borrow your glasses?”
Me: “… No.”
Him: “C’mon, please?”
Me: “No. I need them to see. Get the fuck out of here.”
And with ongoing protests from this guy, my lovely, beautiful best friend (on the right side of four vodka-sodas) just came up in between us repeatedly hollering “BYE!” until he quit.
When I thanked her and told her I would have handled it, her response was, “Nobody messes with my lady!” as she proceeded to bend over and keep dancing.
#4. The Only Time.
I was 17. This guy catcalled me outside a store. I told him to shut up. He laughed. When I came out the store the guy was gone. Another man, much older, came up to me and told me he overheard the exchange, and couldn’t stand to see the guy harassing people. So the older man told the first guy to leave or he would call the police.
Now, I’ve been harassed from 14 onwards and it is the only time in my life anyone stood up for me.
#5. How Mike got the job.
I had to start figuring out how to save myself from it at 11, so I’m usually going to see the bullshit coming. That said, I was in a sports bar and a guy grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. A friend of mine–Mike–saw it, grabbed him and threw him out of the place. The owner bought us both a drink and hired Mike as a bouncer.
In the basement of a frat house, I was getting followed around by some guy, who was too persistent. He got me in the corner, so my friend came up to him, tapped him on the shoulder and starts yelling, “NOPE YOU AREN’T TRYING TO FUCK MY FRIEND, NUH UH MAN. BYE.” And is making a scene. Embarrassed, the guy finally left me alone.
#7. Human Wall
1st year at uni, guy would not leave me alone in a bar. Started with just dancing near me, then dancing on me (shudder) then he’d follow me to the bar, wait outside the bathroom. I was in a big group of people and we didn’t really know each other so I guess they thought I knew this stranger.
So I’m in the bathroom in tears because I’m freaking out a bit. The bathroom attendant sits me down, gives me a lollipop and asks me to describe one of my friends. She finds them and explains what is going on.
When I come out of the bathroom they’re all there and immediately create a human wall, separating this guy from me. He starts kicking off, they begin to walk as a group towards the exit, forcing him towards the bouncers. They quickly kick him out for trying to start a fight.
So the bathroom attendant saved the day (we gave her a great tip to say thank you). From then on, if any of us were receiving unwanted attention we’d text/tell/suggest through interpretive dance ‘lollipop’ and we would protect each other.
#8. “Let’s call him C…”
In grade seven, this guy, let’s call him C, asked me out, but I didn’t like him so I told him I wasn’t over my ex. In grade 9 C started following me around at school, he even would skip his own classes to sit in mine. He kept asking me to have lunch with him or hang out with him after school or if he would walk me home. I told him I didn’t like him like that, but he would just get mad at me for not giving him a fair chance. So I told another guy that I kind of had a crush on (let’s call him J) about my problem with C. I asked him to pretend to be my boyfriend so C would back off. He agreed to do so and It worked. J and I soon started dating for real. It was short lived and messy but that’s what high school is like I guess. Also later on when I was in grade 11, C and his then girlfriend set my garden shed on fire. Not sure why, but I’m still a bit upset about that because my family had to pay a lot of money to replace it.
#9. The Flip
I was in Russia studying abroad and went to a club with a bunch of friends and one guy who was a friend of a friend. Some random, giant Russian dude was hitting on me aggressively all night. The friend of a friend was this French guy who did not look intimidating at all. He pretended to be my boyfriend and kept interrupting the other guy to talk to me in French (which I do not speak). He helped me get away from the other guy and I actually was pretty attracted to him… But then it turned out that he was gay. Luckily he didn’t need anyone to save him from me hitting on him, though.
#10. “How someone didn’t save me…”
I guess this is a story about how someone didn’t save me, I just got really lucky. At a party my freshman year of college, this guy was following me around and trying to grab me. I told my roommate, who was there with me, about it and she blew it off because she was friends with the guy and said he was a good egg. I finally was able to lose him after about an hour and managed to avoid him for the rest of the year. A year later, this guy was convicted of raping another girl from our dorm.
#11. “It’s a super valuable memory.”
Yay I don’t get to share this enough (:
It was a coworker’s going away party at a bar (I was 19, another coworker slipped off his wristband and gave it to me) and I was pretty drunk. I had just got done singing Karaoke with my friends, whatever Lady Gaga song was popular at the time, and this way older dude, probably in his 40s comes over and chats me up about the Karaoke and then asks me to dance. Being very drunk and timid, I reluctantly agreed. Fortunately it only lasted for several seconds until one of my coworkers came over and pulled me away as if I was urgently needed for something elsewhere. He cut the act once we got far enough away, and I profusely thanked him. I ran into to my ex shortly thereafter, but that’s another story.
The coworker who rescued me was always very shy at work, and we worked in separate areas so we rarely interacted irl. We had been talking on Facebook for a few months prior, just casual chatting, mostly platonic.
I know the story is probably pretty typical and seemingly insignificant, but to me it’s a super valuable memory (:
#12. “Buddy – she doesn’t want to talk to you.”
We were coming back from a work outing one time at my old job and I had a really bad sinus infection. This guy who was fairly drunk sat next to me on the bus and started hitting on me. I was pretty unresponsive towards him and was just putting up with it, hoping he would go away. I’m normally pretty good about getting guys to leave me alone but I really wasn’t feeling well and he was my workmate’s brother so I just didn’t have it in me to deal with it at the time. My boss, who could be a total ass, was sitting in front of me and was apparently listening to what was going on because he turned around and said something like “Buddy- she doesn’t want to talk to you. Leave her alone”. And the guy grumbled something back to him but he left me alone. So, along with all the negative stuff I might think about that boss, I’ll always remember that time he was looking out for me.
#13. “You owe me a drink; let’s go.”
IDK if sober me is oblivious or what, but I used to seemingly only get hit on while drinking. I was usually pretty good at turning them down, but sometimes they were extra persistent. One time some dude came up and started grinding on me. He wouldn’t piss off no matter what I did so I went up to a friend who pushed me behind him and then just glared the guy down.
Another time I started a friendly conversation with a much much older man about, IDK international politics or something, and he didn’t get it when the conversation was over and I wanted to walk away. He started getting more and more personal and invading my space and just as he was reaching out to grab me, my friend ran up and went “you owe me a drink, let’s go”, grabbed my arm and swiftly pulled me away.
#14. “I HAVEN’T SEEN YOU FOR AGES!”
Hasn’t happened to me, but I did save someone one time.
Was out with two friends at a bar, it was a Sunday evening so very few people out. Us three started chatting with two randum dudes and invited them to sit with us, so we were five people laughing and having fun. This girl comes in, orders a beer and sits down in a booth. Within 5 minutes a creepy guy who has been sitting alone and staring at every woman in the bar sits down next to her, really close, with his arm sort of behind her on the sofas back support, and it is really obvious the girl doesn’t know the guy and he is VERY close to her, talking to her while she stares down into the table and barely replies. She looks up, catches my eye, and I yell “HOLY SHIT! IT’S YOU! I HAVEN’T SEEN YOU FOR AGES! HOW HAVE YOU BEEN?! COME SIT WITH US!” and smile. She grabbed her beer and coat and quickly came over, leaving the creepy guy behind. She thanked me, and told us she had missed her bus which leaves every two hours, so she just came into the bar to keep warm.
Was invited to a small wedding with exactly three single people; me, my (and the bride’s) BFF, and some guy on the groom’s side who was affectionately dubbed ‘undateable’ by his friends. About half-way through the reception I had a sinking thought ‘the bouquet. Oh shit’. Luckily the bride had our backs and opted out of that little ritual entirely to save me and our friend the awkwardness.
#16. Yep. It counts.
The bus came, so I was able to get on it and not be bothered by that person anymore. Does that count?
#17. “By the time we get on the train…”
I was 17, and this older guy (maybe 50) started talking to me while waiting for a train. All I wanted to do was read my book, but I was too polite to ignore him.
By the time we get on the train, I realize I made a mistake.
I could smell the beer on him, and he put his arm on me, heavy as a rock, and kept trying to kiss me. Actually he did, on my cheek because I turned away.
He followed me through my transfer, even though I tried to lose him. By this point I am terrified and just waiting to have signal to call my dad.
Well a few different men noticed my distress, started asking if I was okay. But I was scared and didn’t want a scene, I just wanted to call my dad. They were persistent, and finally asked the best question I wouldn’t immediately brush off – “do you know him?” I said no, and so they all grabbed/pushed him off the train, loudly making sure everyone knew not to let him back on.
I wish so much I knew who they were, so I could tell them how much it meant to me. I think that’s why I tell this story whenever I can, in the hopes that maybe my thanks will find them, and that it can encourage other people to protect those who look scared.
I’ve had so many bad experiences with random men, but this is always my reminder that “all men” is a fallacy.
So to you strangers from years ago, I still thank you.
We know you can choose a lot of sites to read, but we want you to know that we’re thankful you chose Did You Know.
You rock! Thanks for reading!