Thursday, April 29, 2010

To the Girl I Offended on Williams Avenue Yesterday

On the off-chance that you will read this…

Yesterday I was riding home from work, heading North on Williams. I saw some cyclists standing beside the road, not quite on the sidewalk but not quite in the bike-lane either. I slowed down to ask if they needed help, and you passed me. Politely and with an “On your left.” Once I knew the cyclists were okay, I proceeded on and before long, caught up with and passed you, also with an “On your left.”

And I guess that’s when I offended you.

Just after I turned onto Alberta, you pulled up beside me and angrily said, “What is it an ego thing? Gotta pass the girl? Cause I’ve been right behind you the whole time since you passed me.”

And I replied, truthfully, “No, I was just going my pace and you were there, so I passed you.”

And you looked at me like I was pathetic and disgusting and said, with painful sarcasm, “Whatever, dude.” Then turned off at your block. End of conversation.

I am sorry I offended you. It was not an ego thing. I didn’t need to pass you because you are a girl. I was just riding my own pace and happened to pass you- just as many people do to me every day. In all honestly, not only was I not thinking about you being a girl, I really wasn’t thinking about you at all- other than to make sure I said “On your left” and gave you enough room. I was thinking pretty intently about getting home to take my dog for a quick walk before heading off to have pizza and root beer with my son, as I do every Wednesday night.

Again, I am sorry I offended you. I promise it was not intentional. I’m sorry if some of my gender have treated you unfairly in the past. But please know that that wasn’t the case with me last night. And perhaps in the future, you could give a fellow cyclist the benefit of the doubt rather than jumping to the worst possible conclusion.



Jessica DeLine said...

wow. that's kinda crazy she'd respond like that!

Captain Hairdo said...

That's what I thought too!

Anonymous said...

Clearly she didn't have any ego attachments to her cruising speed! People are extremely sensitive in this town. My bet is that it's not what you said, but how you said it. Get a fair trade vegan bicycle bell and you won't run into this problem again.

revphil said...

Knowing the true cause is pretty challenging. I believe you probably had no ego trip, but more importantly you may have missed out on what sounds like the start of a awesome hook up.

She may have been embarrassed by her overreaction and didn't have a way to save face. Instead of trying to convince her that she is wrong jump ahead in the conversation. "Maybe... men's ego's can be fragile. Hey, do you got any Jennifer Baumgardner books?"

Alternatively you could ask for Bikini Kill albums.

happy space sharing

revphil said...

Anonymous said...

Aw captain, it's not your fault. You just exude ego. Whether you like it or not, it's just part of you.
Next time talk in a high pitched voice like you have strep. You'll bring out the Florence Nightingale in all "hers".

Captain Hairdo said...

@Anonymous: "you just exude ego..." I'm not sure how to take that! Guess I'll have to take it as a compliment.

That song IS about me, by the way.

Sunrise over Little Tohama, from Ingraham Flats, 2007