Part of me feels like I shouldn’t re-hash this kind of thing all over again on my blog. I already explained my most recent uncomfortable interaction with the men of New York a few weeks ago, but lo and behold, it happened again. Part of me thinks, look – most women in the city deal with this kind of thing every single day. It’s nothing new and sadly, it seems to be an integral part of the New York experience. The other, angrier part of me feels like I, and others, should share our stories early and often. The only way to empower other women, to make other women feel not as alone, and maybe even enlighten men to how their actions are interpreted by the women around them, is to shout each and every detail from the mountaintops. You’d think this isn’t necessary. You’d think that we’re, as George Costanza so elegantly put it, supposed to be living in a society, but each passing day leads me to believe that so much of that just isn’t true. I feel like I’m a strong person. I can stand up for myself. I (generally) don’t let people push me around or make me feel like I’m less than. But there are occasions in which I’m scared or when I don’t quite know what to do. Sometimes I feel stuck. And I can only imagine that there are women out there who haven’t broken through their insecurities or gotten over the horrible things that have already happened to them, so when situations arise where they are made to feel uncomfortable or even threatened, they become paralyzed. My friend Melia at Business Insider wrote a great article on what to do when you’re being harassed on the street, and it’s important reading for any women, but still, you can only prepare yourself so much. When you’re actually being harassed or threatened, it’s hard to be brave. What happened to me last Saturday night wasn’t a particularly brave act, but I was scared and I stood my ground as best as I could. I escaped unscathed, but I’m lucky and who knows what any deviation in this scenario would have meant for me or whatever other women could have been in my place.
Heirloom tomatoes, insane cocktails, my friend Val looking amazing at her baby shower and last night’s heirloom tomato quiche.
On Saturday night, around 10pm, Kramer and I were watching a movie, so I decided I’d run to the bodega about a block away to get some ice cream fixings. I grabbed the ever necessary can of Redi-Whip and took my place in line. A man in front of me turned around and asked if I was buying “boob cream”. My response was a shocked, “Are you kidding me?” He repeated his question, and I could tell he was way too drunk for 10 at night. I told him to back off, but he kept staring at me and asking me if I liked the way that he looked. I let him know that I would defend myself if I needed to, and his friend turned around to let me know that he was “just kidding”. “Yeah, that makes it so much better,” I replied, looking around the bodega to see if anyone else was as offended as I was. The bodega owner asked them to leave, but the man in front of me started aggressively insisting that I purchase my items before him. “If you think that I’m going to buy my stuff first and walk out of this store with you behind me, you’re crazy,” I told him. He kept pushing me to buy my things first, which is when I nearly snapped and started yelling at him to get away from me. The owner told him to get out, so he started to leave, but kept staring at me. He turned around and shouted, “I’m leaving now. Go ahead and buy your stuff. You know, people in Brooklyn are weird. People where I’m from, in the Village, they’re cool,” and after bumping into a rack of chips, turning around and giving me one last glare, he left. I was really shaken up, but even more upset that his friend let it happen and made excuses for this man’s unacceptable behavior. I bought my things and stood at the entrance of the bodega, afraid that he was outside waiting for me. I rifled through my purse to call Kramer, but realized that I had left my phone in our apartment. I cautiously stepped outside, looked around, and sprinted home. Maybe I was being paranoid, but I think it’s always better to be safe than sorry. As soon as I got inside my building, I started crying. I was scared. I was safe – I wasn’t hurt. But I was still upset and scared and so, so angry that men feel like they can just harass women like that whenever they want. Kramer was, of course, equally upset. He wanted to go outside and find this guy. We just sat on the couch together, had a stiff drink, watched our movie, and got some sleep. Part of me is afraid I’ll see this guy in the neighborhood again, but another part of me thinks that even if I did, he was probably too drunk to remember me. Hopefully.
I’m sharing another bread recipe after telling this story because, as previously stated, bread is comforting. Bread takes time and patience, which can help calm shot nerves and soothe any anxiety. I feel like I am at my wit’s end sometimes, so that’s when I need to take a break and do a little baking. I love the smell of foaming yeast, of rising dough, and of course, of baking bread. These rolls were made a few weeks ago for the clambake barbecue we did at our friend’s house. I wanted to make biscuits, but buttery, flaky biscuits can sometimes fall apart when trying to soak up broth. I figured I’d do rolls, but I also wanted something sort of summery. Hawaiian rolls it was. These rolls are just a tad bit sweet, with a golden, buttery top and they pull apart like a dream. The insides are so fluffy and moist that you’d think they were store bought. Thankfully, any bread that comes out of my kitchen has what I like to call an “artisan” look, which is code for not symmetrical or slightly lopsided. That just adds to the charm, right? I doubled the recipe, so we had plenty of giant rolls to soak up any deliciousness at the bottom of your plate.