I have a short story to tell of an experience I had the other night and am looking for some thoughts and advice about what could have been done differently in this situation.
I went to a concert over the weekend with a couple of girlfriends. We had been planning this for awhile and were all pretty excited about going and just having a fun night together. It was a country concert and we had gotten “pit tickets”, which I have never done, so I was pretty pumped about this aspect.
We arrived about an hour early and got a really good spot. We were the second people back from the stage, right in the center. There were others around us, but people were pretty nice and no one was shoving or pushing to steal your spot, which I have heard this can be a problem at some concerts.
The only problem with the spot we had was that we were kind of in a “pinch point” and it was pretty narrow, so there was just enough room for people to walk behind us to get in and out of the pit. This was fine until the band started to play…
Once they started, an older “larger bellied” man in a grey shirt shows up and stands right behind us. Now, there is basically no room for anyone to get through unless we are pushed up against the people in front of us, which gets really annoying after awhile. We all tried to just laugh and make the best of the situation.
At one point, I made eye contact with “Grey Shirt” behind us and trying to be nice made a little small talk. I asked “Grey Shirt” if he was here with any friends, to which he replied, “No, I’m single. Are you?” I quickly replied that no I am happily married and proudly showed him my ring. Having dealt with a few unwanted advances in my life, I knew where this was headed, so I politely ended the conversation and turned back around the enjoy the rest of the concert with my friends, all along being pushed forward while if anyone was trying to get through.
A few minutes later, “Grey Shirt” whispers an inappropriate comment in my ear, which I will save you all from having to experience, to which I did not reply, hoping that he would get the hint and leave me alone. But much to my disappointment and disgust, a couple minutes later “Grey Shirt” is trying to grope my side and pull me back towards him. I quickly grabbed his hand and shoved it off me. At this point I am not sure what to do. I am not one wanting to cause a scene, or get in a fight, but I also DO NOT appreciate being groped by strangers.
This shouldn’t matter, but I just want to make note that I was not wearing anything inappropriate or “inviting”. I had jeans and a neon orange rain jacket on. I also was not dancing in a way that asked to be touched or commented on. I’m pretty sure I was slightly bobbing to the beat and clapping my hands, basically just enjoying the show. I understand that concerts can get crowded, but there is a difference between a bump and a grope.
At the end of the song the band announced it was intermission, “Grey Shirt” says “Sorry for the grope” and left. I was hoping that he wouldn’t come back after the break. My girlfriends and I debated about what to do, if we should move or not, but in the end decided to stay put because it was a really good spot.
Much to my disappointment, “Grey Shirt” did come back, he left me alone, but started having issues with another couple to our left. Things started to escalate a little and the “boyfriend” went and got security. I could hear them arguing, but was trying my best to not get involved. We all just wanted to have fun and enjoy the band on our girls night.
The lady next to us was pointing at me, and I knew that they were going to ask me about “Grey Shirt”. Which I was dreading, because like I said before I really dislike conflict and don’t like causing a scene. And after what happened on the train in Portland, Oregon this week, you just never really know how people are going to react. This guy was obviously drunk or has some issues deciphering social cues OR BOTH, and I wasn’t really looking to make any enemies.
Sure enough, security came over and asked if “Grey Shirt” had tried to touch me and I said yes, he did. “Grey Shirt” looks at me clearly pissed and says “Seriously?” as he is being escorted out.
So here’s my dilemma… is there something that could have done differently here? I always try to be nice and friendly to people, but in this situation I get harassed and groped in return. I don’t feel like I asked or opened the door for that kind of behavior from this man. Should we have moved? Should I have not spoken to him at all? Should I have turned around and smacked him?
I try really hard to live my life according to the Bible, but I really don’t know what the Bible says about a situation like this. How do you treat people that are acting this way? How do I remain a godly example to others while dealing with someone who is inappropriate and crossing the line?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Thanks in advance!