An open letter to the people of my workplace

Hi everyone,

I’m guessing a lot of you don’t get out much.  Call it a hunch.  But you know what?  Patterned tights have been around for a long time – no, really!  Why, back in high school I actually owned a pair of green tartan pantyhose, I kid you not!  And they looked pretty rad with my fuschia miniskirt, let me tell you.

Anyway, my point is that this stuff isn’t new.  And when you make a point of stopping me in the hallway to squeal “Where did you GET those???” or holler to your friend “Shirley you have GOT to come and check these out!!” or even attempt to touch my leg because you’re curious and you have never SEEN anything like that before??  Well, let’s just say.  It’s awkward.  And it’s rude, and it’s fucking annoying.

I don’t like attention like that.  I do my best to be quite anonymous in the hallways of the cancer centre, and do you know why?  It’s because sometimes I know patients.  I know them personally.  And I see them waiting for their appointments, and I do my very best NOT to let them see me unless they absolutely want to.  It’s called privacy, and my place of work kind of takes it seriously.  You should know this, because you work here too. 

I also don’t appreciate feeling like a freak.  I know, I know, you’re only doing it because “they look so great on you!” or “they’re so interesting, I just have to know where to get a pair for my daughter/niece/friend”, but as soon as those words leave your lips, EVERYONE within a 500 metre radius is staring at my legs and I am not ok with that.  So, you know, there’s that.  Freakshow, party of one, amirite?

You know, there’s actually a way to do this.  If you admire something I’m wearing, I am going to be flattered.  Particularly if you approach me when I am alone – say in line for coffee or in the elevator.  And particularly if you say “cute tights, love the pattern” or something equally as low-key.  I appreciate that, and there have been times where I too have admired a pair of shoes or a jacket someone was wearing, and I have waited until an appropriate time to let them know.  Because it makes people feel good.  And you know what else?  Sometimes you just don’t get an appropriate time to tell someone you like their shoes or whatever.  Sometimes it just isn’t in the cards for that day.  But maybe the next time you see them wearing them, there will be an opening and you can say “love those shoes, do you mind telling me where you got them?”  And they will probably be ok with that, and they will probably tell you.

But when you chase me down the hallway shrieking to your friends that I’m wearing houndstooth check tights and “isn’t that the most adorable thing you’ve ever seen??”  That shit only makes me want to run faster.  Or to stop altogether.  And kick you in the head.



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