The new venue is great. The weekend was long. I’m still feeling a little frazzled.

Our cats are kind of dog-like, having been raised around at least one dog. They’re friendly. They kind of go for walks. But at the end of the day, they’re cats. As dog-like as they can be, at some point, you can hit a wall where they’re like, “Yeah, that’s too far.”

Sometimes this weekend, I felt like a cat among dogs.

I was on Twitter when a guy came up to me, touched my hand to get my attention, and then told me to smile. Like a fucking asshole, I did. I’m so mad at myself. But some of the other authors were delighted when they went up to hug him and he gave them surprise kisses.

So, here’s the thing. If you’re cool with surprise kisses, congrats. This minor celebrity just laid one on you. But how does he know that everyone who approaches him would be open to a kiss? I include myself in this group, so I speak from self-knowledge–there are a lot of socially awkward people at conventions. It’s very likely that a hug might be all they’re game for. I can’t help but wonder if and how many women got kissed who didn’t want to be.

And why would you behave like that? That’s a rhetorical question.

I have been thinking a lot about why I froze and smiled instead of scowling and telling that dude to suck my butt and I have decided it’s because I refuse to believe, in this day and age, that guys don’t know that women don’t like it when you tell them to smile. They know. So, already when you’ve decided that your pleasure is more important than my comfort, we’re in a kind of hostile situation. I want the moment to end without the hostility levels rising. The cost of me acquiescing is only my pride, so I acquiesce and you leave me alone.

I don’t know. It’s not really a big thing. Just in a weekend where no one knew what panels they were on until the last minute and I had to do a lot of running around town as well as doing the convention and meeting a lot of strangers and being “on,” it just stands out as a “WTF?” moment. Like we’re all trying to do our best here, dude, except you.

6 thoughts on “Hypericon

  1. There’s something really sinister about the person who uses the superficial parts of being pleasant or nice as a way to camouflage going around being the exact opposite.

  2. If it was me, some of the reaction would have just been from me running on auto-pilot. If I’m in a situation where there’s lots of ‘unknowns’ going and I’m frazzled, a request like that would have triggered the automatic ‘smile face’ just because it was ingrained early and well. And that in itself is just irritating.

    But some unknown dude hugging and kissing would have been not cool. Even if I politely put up with it by not screaming or snarling.

    And the guy should have/did know better. Or maybe thought he was too wonderful to resist? I’m finding this really irritating me the more I think on it.

  3. Maybe I’m assuming a more even progress than there’s actually been, but I just have a hard time believing he didn’t know better but assumed that we were all geeks and therefore desperate for attention from men and therefore happy or willing to tolerate his behavior?

    But, damn, yes, SuperGenius, it did feel creepy.

  4. I don’t know. If they ask us for feed-back, I’m going to recommend they either develop one or, if they have one, post it where people can easily find it.

  5. Yeah, if they have one they need a clear set of actions to take if an attendee has been harassed.

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