Friday, June 20, 2014


What is better than hiking on the Bruce trail in northern Ontario  with best  friends of forty years. I'll tell you what --NOTHING. My five friends came up to my farm for the weekend.  In the above picture I am the one in the back with the straw hat with the brim.

Then as often happens things went terribly wrong .  I tripped climbing over some rocks and went down and smashed my head, had to go to the hospital, got six stitches across my eyebrow and got a really black eye.

See picture below for some idea.  What I found interesting was how my life changed when I got back to my home in the city of Toronto. I was perceived very differently.

 First there was the man issue.

 I am 67 years old. Men NEVER  ask me out, unless they are 90 and have had too much wine at the early bird special in Florida.

However, with my black eye and black stitches I have become the bell of the ball. I have been asked out twice this week by younger men. Once I was at Hercules, my car mechanics,  in a sketchy alley behind a Jamaican restaurant at the Vaughan Road and St. Clair  Rd. in Toronto. I was leaning against my car and a normal looking, almost handsome, man of about fifty or so  with flaming red hair came strolling up to me  and we had the following conversation.

"Hey let's go for a beer."
"No thanks."
"No, just waiting for my car, thanks."
"Around the corner they have ladies hour."
"What's that ? Half price if you bring a lady?"
Ignoring my query he said with a great deal of insistence, in fact he used a bellicose tone. "COME ON. What's your problem?"
"I already said no."
"I see you been beat on. Well I can tell you I'm through with that. Haven't done it in years."
"That's reassuring."
Then he turned on a dime and said, "Fuck you. I can see why someone beat you up." and walked away.

I realized after he was gone that he thought I was so pathetic that I would probably buy him the beer.  Men who are bullies are drawn to women who they perceive as victims.  The age doesn't matter. They want someone they can abuse and manipulate. His manner was insistent almost rude and threatening. It all happened within a minute in this alley.

The same thing happened when I was walking past a smelly roofing tar truck. A man asked me to stop and chat, etc. We had almost the same dialogue.

I found it sociologically  interesting that when I  looked fairly decent no one asked me out; yet when I had black eye and looked abused, two men went out of their way to engage me.  Strange how looking pathetic is a man magnet.  People wonder why abused women meet the same kind of guy again and again,-- well now you know.

The second issue I confronted was a lack in social status.  Once I had a black eye  and looked beaten up, I dropped at least two socioeconomic levels in the eyes of others.  Or viewed in another way, maybe people unconsciously treated me as the victim that they could blame.  Read on below and you can judge for yourself.

 In the first week of my black eye I was driving through the tony suburb of Forest Hill in Toronto and I stopped at the instant teller at the bank.  The bank was having one of those customer appreciation days where the clerk sits outside on a summer's day at a table with a cheerful table cloth and balloons and offers you a lemonade. ( I guess they want to let you know how much they appreciated their 12 million dollar bonuses by offering the customer an instant lemonade.) As I was heading into the bank I grabbed  a paper cup and the teller  asked me in an officious tone, "Do you belong to this bank?" When I assured her that I did she asked to see my convenience card. Clearly she thought I was simply ripping off a lemonade.  When I turned to the other people milling around the cooler and said, "Maybe I should be finger printed or DNA tested before I get a free lemonade."  no one saw the humour. One customer said, "She is only doing her job."

I think that if I'd had a broken leg,  no low life would have asked me out and no bank clerk would have assumed I had no bank account and should have no lemonade.  Try having a black eye for a week and see how differently people treat you when they assume you've been beaten up.  You'll have 'an eye opener.'